The following remarks were delivered by the Hon. Stephen F. Lungen, former District Attorney of Sullivan County, at the funeral of the late former Sullivan County Sheriff, Daniel S. Hogue Sr. (1938 - 2013) on May 25, 2013 at Rock Hill Church of the Nazarene. It is republished here with Mr. Lungen's permission, in memory of an extraordinary Village of Monticello police officer and county Sheriff.
"It is hard to know where to begin when talking about Danny. We have been through a lot together over the years and to sum up a man's life in a few words is very difficult.
"I met Danny when I became an Assistant DA in August 1973. We met at the scene of a bank robbery in the Village of Monticello. The robber stole about $13,000 from the bank in the Village and while running away, threw the money into a nearby bar. Not wanting to be responsible for the money, he called the DA's office and asked for an ADA to come and take charge of the money and count it. That began our 40-year friendship and close working relationship in law-enforcement.
"Over the years, we worked many serious cases together, from drugs to murder. The cases that got to Danny the most were the ones involving children. In the late 1980s we had two baby homicides in a week and they took a real emotional toll on Danny. The cases brought him to gears.
"Everyone has a Danny Hogue story as he was so active as a copy and he handled all his cases with a sense of timing and humor. He would break the tension in the most serious moments with a wise crack or a joke.
"We were doing a cocaine search warrant in the Village. It happened to be the Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hoshonna evening. We hit the apartment and made the arrest of an older defendant, catching him with the marked money and drugs. The man also happened to be Jewish. Before Danny put the handcuffs on, he asked the man if he had any kosher wine. Perplexed, the man said yes and got the bottle. Danny poured two glasses, one for the defendant and one for himself. He wished the man a happy new year. They each drank, then Danny put the cuffs on him and told him he won't be celebrating or drinking again for a long time.
"Whenever we would reach a complicated part of an investigation and questions were being asked about what to do next, Danny would always pipe up and say - "Don't ask me. I only majored in wood shop. What do I know!" In fact, he knew a lot because he was as smart as they come.
"Last week, on a visit to the house, Danny was lying in bed and then quite ill. I reminded him of that wood shop saying and he started to laugh. I said to him, 'Danny, I never asked this before, but did you really take a lot of wood shop classes?' He said yes. I asked him if he was any good at it and he said no. We both laughed some more.
"Danny was a mentor to me as a young ADA and later on when I became District Attorney. I felt that in order for me to be a good DA, I needed to understand police work from the bottom up. Danny became my mentor and teacher. He had the knowledge, the skill, the street smarts, and the integrity to work and to make sure he got it right. He never took shortcuts and he never rushed to judgment. He undrstood the difference between being able to arrest and being able to prosecute a case and always made sure to obtain my inpout in order to make our efforts a success.
"As a street cop in the Village, he knew everyone and they all knew him. Walking down Broadway with him was like being with a celebrity. People would come out from the stores, the bars, and alleys to say hello and shake his hand. Many would actually thank him for arresting them, as he helped straighten out their lives.
"Simply put, there are not many police officers like Danny. He was always at the top of his game, not much ever got past him. If he was on the case, the perpetrator was going to get caught. He was truly a "cop's cop". He was a man of the highest caliber. His integrity was without question.
"The people of the Village of Monticello and of this County were privileged to have Danny as a police officer, and as their Sheriff. His work ethic and his good judgment made this area a much safer place to live and raise a family. Following the Christopher Gardner child abuse homicide case, I asked Danny to help create what is now "the Family Violence Response Team". As Sheriff, he was instrumental in getting this project completed. That initiative has saved many children from being further victimized by sexual predators both inside and outside of the house.
"He loved being a police officer. Most of all, he loved his family, Milly, Dan Jr., and his grandchildren. Whenever he talked about them his eyes would swell up with pride. You should be eminently proud of your grandfather and the legacy he has created.
"For me, I lost a very good and close friend. Someone I trusted and could always rely on. We shared similar values and we took our jobs in law-enforcement very seriously. We saw many disturbing things in our careers, the kind of things you don't talk much about. He was a proud man who believed in and lived by the words - "DUTY - HONOR - COUNTRY". Danny was a true red, white, and blue American.
"We are all privileged to have known Danny and to have had him in our lives. I am thankful that I had the chance to say good-bye to my friend this past Tuesday. We spoke. Briefly, he reached out to shake and hold my hand. We both knew it would be our last meeting in this lifetime. He has now gone, but our memories of him will live on. The police in this County should strive to emulate him and to carry on his good work, to keep us safe. God bless you Danny, and rest now in eternal peace."