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Hero Down: Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian ‘Butch’ Anderson Dies Unexpectedly

Pawling, NY – Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson passed away at his home early Wednesday morning.

The 73-year-old sheriff’s exact cause of death has not been released.

Sheriff Anderson’s law enforcement career spanned more than 50 years, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

He was serving his sixth four-year term as sheriff at the time of his death, the Daily Freeman reported.

“Today we have lost an extraordinary public servant,” Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said in a statement. “Butch devoted his entire life to protecting and serving the community he loved so dearly. Throughout his life, he was a true leader – in law enforcement, in elected office, and in service to community organizations.”

Molinaro said Sheriff Anderson’s lifetime of service “made a measurable difference in the lives of countless children, families and residents,” the Daily Freeman reported.

“Our hearts are broken today,” he wrote. “He was my friend, a mentor and I loved him like an uncle. Butch Anderson was truly second to none, and we will honor him by following his example and his only ask of all of us: ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated.’”

Sheriff Anderson joined the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) on Dec. 1, 1970, the Daily Freeman reported.

He served primarily in the Harlem Valley area until he was promoted to the rank of detective, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Sheriff Anderson was assigned to the Major Case Squad after his promotion, the Daily Freeman reported.

He went on to graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Law Enforcement Academy in 1997, and was appointed to the role of DCSO undersheriff in 1993.

Sheriff Anderson was elected to his first term as sheriff in 1999 – a position voters continued to select him for over every four years until the time of his death.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, a former DCSO deputy, told the Daily Freeman Sheriff Anderson “served this county with dignity and civility for decades.”

“He will be long remembered as one of the truly gifted leaders of the Hudson Valley,” Rolison said. “Butch took his vital role to heart and worked earnestly for the betterment and safety of communities across Dutchess County and beyond…Butch, in all capacities, was a dedicated and brave member of that department, but what always impressed me was his love of this county, the people who live here and his overwhelming commitment to the Hudson Valley.”

State Senator Sue Serino said Sheriff Anderson “was not only a dear personal friend, but someone who felt like a father, a brother and confidant to everyone who crossed his path,” the Daily Freeman reported.

“He truly was a steadfast and selfless leader who treated our whole community like family,” Serino said. “Our community has lost a true hero, and words hardly feel like enough to articulate the full debt of gratitude we owe to the sheriff and his loved ones.”

DCSO Undersheriff Kirk Imperati described Sheriff Anderson as a “great man” and said he was “honored and proud to serve by his side each day,” the Daily Freeman reported.

“The sheriff was not only a mentor and a close friend, but he was like a second father to me,” Undersheriff Imperati said. “He will be greatly missed by the members and staff of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and all the people throughout Dutchess County who have been positively impacted by his kindness, care and generosity over the years.”

Molinaro said the Dutchess County Office Building will be lit up in blue in honor of Sheriff Anderson, the Daily Freeman reported.

He also ordered flags to be lowered to half staff in the late sheriff’s memory.

Sheriff Anderson leaves behind his wife, Danielle, and his four children, the Daily Freeman reported.

Danielle Anderson said her husband “was a tremendous husband, father and friend to all,” according to the paper.

“Our family appreciates the outpouring of support from everyone as we grieve our loss,” she added.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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