1,000-PLUS PAY LAST RE­SPECTS

Fu­neral for sergeant who was on dive team draws per­son­nel from more than 30 agen­cies

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

More than 1,000 lawen­force­ment per­son­nel and other emergency re­spon­ders lined Route 9W on Thurs­day to pay last re­spects to Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Sgt. Kerry Win­ters, whose death served as a re­minder to them that their jobs come with risks.

Win­ters, 51, was a mem­ber of the sher­iff’s dive team who died Sept. 22 af­ter be­ing found un­con­scious dur­ing an in-wa­ter train­ing ex­er­cise at the Ashokan Reser­voir in the town of Olive. The cause of his death re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A fu­neral pro­ces­sion led by police on mo­tor­cy­cles brought Win­ters’ cas­ket to St. Joseph’s Ro­man Catholic Church in the Sauger­ties ham­let of Glasco for a fu­neral Mass. The cas­ket was car­ried from the hearse to the church by Win­ters’ fel­low mem­bers of the Sher­iff’s Of­fice dive team.

About 150 peo­ple at­tended the Mass, while about 100 more stood out­side the church.

Af­ter the Mass, Win­ters’ cas-

ket was driven along Route 9W to St. Mary of the Snow Ceme­tery in nearby Barclay Heights, where he was laid to rest. Mem­bers of more than 30 agen­cies, some from well out­side the Mid-Hud­son Val­ley, stood along the route to pay trib­ute.

“The re­al­ity of this job is what it is,” Greene County Sher­iff’s Deputy J.R. DelVec­chio said. “The re­al­ity of last week’s accident drives it home. You never know when the time is up. You never know when you can­not make it home.”

DelVec­chio is a mem­ber of Greene County’s dive team, which of­ten trains with Ul­ster’s.

Greene County Deputy Ray­mond Feml, also a dive team mem­ber, said the risks in­volved in re­spond­ing to in-wa­ter calls can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“We go places peo­ple don’t want to go,” he said. “... The Hud­son River ... is black wa­ter. You can’t see any­thing, you don’t know what you’re work­ing with, you don’t know what you’re go­ing to find.”

Ul­ster County Ex­ec­u­tive Michael Hein said be­fore en­ter­ing the church that Win­ters had “given ev­ery­thing” in service to the com­mu­nity.

“Our county is heart­bro­ken,” Hein said. “All of our thoughts are with his fam­ily. I care deeply about each and ev­ery one of the peo­ple who serve, and this re­ally speaks to the im­por­tance and dan­ger of the job they do.”

Units tak­ing part in the

lineup along U.S. Route 9W in­cluded state police; the U.S. Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity; the state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion; the sher­iff’s de­part­ments of Ul­ster, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sul­li­van, Delaware, Broome, Oneida, Put­nam and Rock­land coun­ties, and New York City; the New York City Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion; city police from Pough­keep­sie, New­burgh and Ni­a­gara Falls; town and vil­lage police from Sauger­ties, New Paltz, Shan­daken, Rosendale, Marl­bor­ough, Ul­ster, Wap­pingers Falls, Falls­burg, Lib­erty and York­town; and fire de­part­ments and res­cue squads from Sauger­ties, Wood­stock, Ruby and Port Ewen.

Win­ters was a 30-year vet­eran of the Sher­iff’s Of­fice who’s full-time as­sign­ment was be­ing a cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer at the Ul­ster County Jail.

He lived in Sauger­ties and was a grad­u­ate of Sauger­ties High School. He was mar­ried and had two sons.

TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

Led by law en­force­ment, the fu­neral pro­ces­sion for Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Sgt. Kerry Win­ters makes its way along Main Street in Glasco on Thurs­day.

Mem­bers of the Ul­ster County Sher­iff’s Of­fice dive team carry the cas­ket of Sgt. Kerry Win­ters, a mem­ber of the team, out­side St. Joseph’s Ro­man Catholic Church in Glasco on Thurs­day.

PRO­VIDED

Sgt. Kerry Win­ters is shown in his dive gear.

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