Sheriff leaves a legacy of public service

There was also the expansion of the mental health facility at the Albany County Jail, which Campbell said will be a big help. He also spoke of the millions of dollars in grants the department has brought to the area that contributed to building its law enforcement.

Campbell said he is ready to support Apple as the new sheriff, praising him as a man that has gone through the ranks to get to where he is today and calling him the first sheriff "that is a career-oriented individual."

"Craig would be my definite choice," he said, "without a doubt."

Apple was emotional as he called Campbell a father figure and someone he looked up to. He also said that Campbell is a very kind individual and that he will be a tough act to follow.

"It's really bittersweet," he said of Campbell's retirement. "He's been a mentor for 20 years. He's put me through every one of my promotions. I love him like a father."

Apple said Campbell always gave hints that he would retire and added that with such a big department and a difficult economy, being sheriff is not the kind of stress he needs to be dealing with.

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin called Campbell a great guy and said he will be missed as sheriff. He said Campbell has been able to advance the sheriff's department.

"He was a trooper for over two decades. He knew law enforcement inside and out, and he was a great public servant," he said.

Breslin also supported the idea of Apple taking over as sheriff, whom he also praised as being "an outstanding public official."

"I look forward to working with him," he said.

Campbell said there is one piece of unfinished business he is leaving behind: the ongoing renovations on the courthouse.

"I never thought I'd say I'm retiring before this courthouse was completed," he said.""

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