Archive for Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Our view: Residents will miss Duncanson

December 30, 2003

During his 32 years on the job, John Duncanson kept in mind some advice that longtime sheriff's official gave him:

"He said that in any given situation, someone has to be in charge," Duncanson recalled during a recent interview. "If you want to stay alive, that damn well better be you."

Duncanson, who retired this month, always was in control. But he managed to conceal that fact much of the time.

Unless the situation called for a hard-nosed sheriff's lieutenant, Duncanson generally was soft-spoken. He relied on humor, when he thought it was appropriate. And in the words of Richard Ogden, Reno Township fire chief, Duncanson's "just a good old laid back guy, a good old laid back country kid. He's just a down-to-earth guy."

As Sheriff Herb Nye searches for someone to take over John Duncanson's duties, he'll have a difficult task. Duncanson won't be easy to replace. Of course, the department will march on without him. And Duncanson knows that.

But still, when a situation calls for someone who's even-tempered, who's calm and collected, some folks will think about John Duncanson and wish he were there -- in control.

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