Albany County’s longest serving sheriff has died. James Campbell was 79.
He served as sheriff for six terms before retiring in 2011. Widely respected among law enforcement, he is credited for expanding the jail, the Work Alternative to Incarceration Program, creating the countywide drug unit, Project Access, a program that targets handicap parking violations, and bringing Advanced Life Support Programs to the hilltowns and establishing a permanent substation at the Albany International Airport.
“Heaven gained another angel early today,” said his successor Sheriff Craig Apple on his Facebook page. “That angel was a great man, great dad, great husband great friend great law enforcement officer and in my case a great mentor. He was my sheriff — boss — and friend for over two decades. He was fair honest and a great leader. I’m sure I may have caused a few grays on his head but we also had a ton of laughs.”
His funeral will be on Tuesday, March 27, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Albany. Calling hours are on Monday, March 26 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Parker Bros. Memorial at 2013 Broadway in Watervliet, according to his partial obituary listed by Parker Bros. A full obituary is expected on Saturday.