A badge and a big heart

(Photo provided)

Matt Dana, 27, a sergeant with the Tupper Lake Police Department, died this week while off duty at his home, leaving the community in mourning yet again this year.

Being a cop was in Matt’s heart. He excelled at every challenge thrown at him, including his newfound rank of sergeant, which he earned only four years after joining the department.

He served with kindness and empathy. He extended his hand to others and was especially gifted at connecting with local youths, engaging them as a friend — not as an officer — and was someone who genuinely cared about their well-being. He made a point to show people that behind the badge was a big heart.

For those who loved him, he was a constant reminder that someone cared. He raised people up and encouraged them, and was the type of friend who checked in on you and was always there to listen.

At home, dogs were especially close to Matt’s heart. He and his girlfriend Bridgette welcomed home three pups just in the last year.

Matt gave more than he took, and he left this world a better place than he found it.

He will be missed.