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Longtime Albany County Sheriff James Campbell Laid To Rest

Funeral services were held this morning for former Albany County Sheriff James Campbell, the longest-serving sheriff in county history. WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there.

Remembered and memorialized as a fair, honest and above all family man, Jim Campbell served six terms as Albany County Sheriff, retiring in 2011.

He died March 22nd at the Eddy Village Green in Cohoes, surrounded by family. He was 77 years old and suffering from Parkinson's Disease. He was fondly remembered in a eulogy delivered by his son-in-law, Bethlehem Police commander Adam Hornick.   "Who was Jim Campbell? Well we all have our own version of him and our perspective to run the gamut from consummate professional to just plain, well, goofy. Above and beyond being sheriff, as the law enforcement community knows him and every single person in Albany County and beyond, he was a family man, and that was job number one. Even if it meant being away from home for long hours as a trooper and sheriff, it was home that was most important to him. Even if the job could not leave him, he could leave it, especially when we were on a boat at Walt Disney World and the man sitting next to us said 'Hey, aren't you the sheriff from Albany County?'  We knew Jim as a loving husband. And for 56 years he did everything with Pat at his side. He would have it no other way. He was also a brother, a father, an uncle, a grandfather or poppy, a friend, a boss, a listener, a mentor, a neighbor, a best man and even a true patriarch."

Campbell was mourned by friends, comrades, a legion of law enforcement officers representing several area police forces, and government officials, like Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.   "He's left a legacy that's gonna be hard to fill. And it's a sad day here in Albany County to put this man to rest."

Campbell was first elected sheriff in 1989 after retiring from the New York State Police. Former Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings:     "Jim was a friend, first and foremost, but he was a man that I really got a lot of great advice from. I learned what it was like, what he was going through, what we went through together, to help people, and that was his number one priority other than family and, I'm really gonna miss him. And I know a lot of people are because he really was a gentleman that you want to grow up to be like. I used to tell that to a lot of people. And he supported everyone — it didn't matter where you were from, who you knew. He was there for people. And that was a great thing about Jim. And I really am gonna miss him."

Campbell was laid to rest at  at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Watervliet.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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