BALLSTON SPA — Hours after he announced the death of Deputy John Brown, Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo received emails from residents about Brown's work in the community.
Brown, a 12-year veteran of the department, collapsed and died Sunday while training for a triathlon.
One email came Monday from a family who encountered Brown after the death of a loved one. The writer spoke of Brown's friendliness and compassion for the family's loss, Zurlo said.
"Just the little things I don't hear about all the time — about his hard work with the department," Zurlo said of the emails he's received. "He worked hard, did his job."
Brown, 45, of Albany, started work with the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office in January 2005. He served on the road patrol, as well as on the department's bicycle patrol out of the department's Halfmoon station.
He was married and had a 2-year-old son, Zurlo said. Deputies have been assigned to the family to ensure they have what they need, Zurlo said.
Funeral arrangements are in progress, he said.
Brown previously worked in security for the town of Clifton Park and as an officer with the South Glens Falls Police Department.
Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett said Brown began working for the town in 2001 and served for about a year before taking a job with the sheriff's office.
Barrett said he always had good experiences with Brown.
"He was a hard worker, very serious about his profession," Barrett said, "and he served Clifton Park and Saratoga County with distinction."
Brown served full time with the South Glens Falls department for about a year, patrolling the village where he spent his youth and attended high school, Chief Kevin Judd said.
After joining the sheriff's office, Brown would still work part time for South Glens Falls, picking up shifts through 2013, Judd said.
"He was always there for us," Judd said, "just a very reliable guy."
Through the sheriff's bike patrol, Brown patrolled trails in the summer. He also frequently participated in parades and special events where he often interacted with children from the county.
Zurlo recalled Brown smiling with the children and his distinctive laugh.
"That's not something I'm going to forget," Zurlo said.