By Nathan Mayberg
BLOOMINGBURG May 20, 2005 On Wednesday, Sullivan County Sheriff Dan Hogue was honored by the Fraternal Order of Police, New York State Law Enforcement Officers Lodge #50, at the Eagles Nest in Bloomingburg in front of a large crowd of lodge members, friends, co-workers, and local political officials.
Hogue served two four-year terms as Sheriff, after working as Undersheriff for longtime Sullivan County Sheriff Joseph Wasser. Hogue will retire this December.
His service was highly and fondly regarded by friends and fellow members of the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department that evening.
Sullivan County Clerk George Cooke said that Hogue built his name on honesty, integrity and hard work. He is a great man and a great sheriff.
Sergeant Luis Alvarez began working for the department the same year as Hogue.
He did a lot for me, said Alvarez.
The sergeant said Hogue believed in him and taught him a great deal, while over the years promoting him to the rank of corporal and then sergeant.
Alvarez said Hogue has always been correct and to the point. He is very clear and precise. I hate to see him go he has really fought for us a lot.
Among the achievements Alvarez cited: updating a wide variety of equipment in the department, from cars to a new building for the departments use which allows for more space, and purchasing new guns and radios, securing a new generator, and promoting constant training among the staff.
Im very sorry to see him go, said 18-year department veteran Don Starner.
Hogue promoted Starner to detective in 1998, and two days later, he was handling his first homicide.
I have the utmost respect for him, he said.
Starner moved to the Sheriffs Department from the Fallsburg Police Department,and previously worked as a loss prevention specialist at Great American in Liberty, where he often worked several times with Hogue. Like several others that day, Starner called Hogue a cops cop.
Sullivan County Court Judge Frank LaBuda called Hogue something else as well: dedicated.
He is a man of absolute integrity, said LaBuda.
In 1978, LaBuda handled his first felony case as an assistant Sullivan County district attorney with Hogue, which involved a burglary. At the time, Hogue was the lead detective for the Monticello Police Department.
Town of Thompson Supervisor Anthony Cellini has been a friend of Hogues since the early 1960s, when Cellini moved to the area and managed Dean Phipps Auto Stores in Monticello and Hogue was walking the beat as a patrolman for the Monticello Police Dept. (1961-1986).
Hell always be the sheriff in my eyes, said Cellini. Whoever replaces him will have large shoes to fill. He is a super cop.
Hogue himself was quick to credit his wife Millie. Still, he called the dinner and honor by the Fraternal Order of Police very enjoyable. It was an honor. He was taken aback by the large number of folks who turned out to salute him.
When he retires at the end of the year, Hogue said he will miss the people he worked with. He is proud of his accomplishments, including the ability of the department to work in a jail approximately 100 years old and stay up to code.
Plans are now underway in the county government to locate a site for a new jail, but Hogue would have liked for it to happen sooner. The jail constantly operates near maximum capacity, and structural problems have been ongoing.
Hogue is also proud of his work with Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen, in conjunction with the New York State Police, to launch a family response team to respond to abuse cases.
As for his retirement plans, Hogue said, Im going to watch my grandchildren grow up.
Outdoors, if he has anything to say about it. He enjoys riding all-terrain vehicles and plans to actively campaign the state to open up its land in the county for ATV use, as they do further upstate. Currently, there are few places for ATV riders to go, yet they pay a $45 fee to the state as well as insurance.