PHOTOS: Tributes Already Pouring in For Fallen Casper Police Lieutenant Danny Dundas
It makes sense, then, that today (the day after the Casper Police Department announced the sudden passing of Lieutenant Danny Dundas) would be cloudy. It makes sense that the sun wouldn't be shining on this day because it is, indeed, a dark day for the Casper community.
To those who knew him, Lt. Dundas was the best of us. He was an exceptional police officer, but he was an even better human being. This is why, less than 24 hours after the announcement of his death, the tributes have already started pouring in.
Comments on the Casper Police Department Facebook page serve as an unofficial requiem for Lt. Dundas, as countless community members offered their condolences to the magnetic, kind, child-at-heart, one-of-a-kind person that Lt. Dundas was.
Cori Cosner Burton said that, "Doing the homeless count with him was meaningful; he made a hard subject lighthearted & helped others feel at ease. Loved watching him last year as part of the Blues Brothers at Lip Sync! And who didn’t cry laugh at his nasty eating videos with his partner? My heart goes out to our community, his brothers, his family."
Shawn 'DJ Nyke' Jackson called Lt. Dundas "A good friend and officer...he will be greatly missed. Prayers going up for his family."
Andrea Adamson stated that "Danny was a brother to my family, he was more than a brother to my brother Jake Morrison and to our friend Jesse Morgan. There will never be another like Danny Dundas. He was the best Lieutenant, hands down. I love you Danny, Rest In Peace buddy."
"Love you, 'Cuz,'" said Jeri Lynn. "You were one of the good guys who stood beside me in one of the hardest parts of my life. You'll be missed."
McChale 'Aquile' Gunby said that Dundas' death is a "Super tragic loss for this community! Danny was such a kind soul, always looked forward to seeing him around town. My heart goes out to the family and to this town and everyone he touched. Rest in peace, Lieutenant. You will be so missed."
And so on.
Hundreds of people have commented on various social media posts, offering up cherished memories of Lt. Dundas and offering his family their condolences.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for words to do Lieutenant Dundas justice. His impact reached far beyond his role as a police officer. Casper didn't just lose an officer; we lost a friend.
And the Casper Police Department lost a brother.
Earlier in the day, Dundas' police family parked his car in front of the station as a tribute to a man gone too soon. Shortly after, a bouquet of flowers were left on his car. And then another. And another. There was a Keystone Light can with a note that read, 'I love you, Hoss.' There were other notes as well. American flags. Ribbons. All were a tribute and a testament to a man that moved mountains with his heart and saved lives with head.
Donna O'Quinn left flowers on Lt. Dundas' patrol car and said that his death was devastating.
"We're close friends with the Galles family, who is on Danny's mother's side of the family," she said. "We live on the mountain, along with the Galles'. Danny loved the mountain. I've known Danny since he was just a baby. He had such an impact on the community, and children, and us. He would bring his son up to our cabin and they'd find salamanders in my pond.
"He was just such a sweet, lovely man. I can't even tell you about how much my heart breaks for their family and for this community. Not only was he an outstanding police officer; he was a friend of ours and I'm heartbroken.
"I had a friend that said 'The sun won't shine as brightly, and flowers won't smell as sweet now that Danny's gone."
People become police officers for many different reasons. Some of those reasons are good, some aren't so good. Some police officers are good and some police officers are bad. But every once in a while, there's a police officer who is the living embodiment of everything that is good, everything that is pure, everything that is right about that profession. Because, for that officer, it's not about the badge and it's not about the gun - it's about the lives saved and the lives changed.
Lieutenant Danny Dundas was one of those officers. He ruled with kindness; not with an iron fist but with an open heart. And now, we grieve. We grieve for him and we grieve for his family and for his friends and for his colleagues. We grieve for our community because it will never be as great as it was when Lt. Dundas was a part of it. But we'll try. We will try to move forward, we will try to be better, we will try to shape ourselves into the community that Danny Dundas knew we could be. We will honor him. We will remember him. And we will live our lives as best we can, to be a testament to his.
We owe him that.
Remembering Lieutenant Danny Dundas