Clarkstown Police Department Dispatcher Laurie Sharkey has seen countless citizens walk into the police station angry and about to file a complain only to walk out laughing.
In the middle of their visit, they probably spoke with Police Officer Terrance “Terry” McCrudden.
“People would come in angry all the time, and they’d come up to the window to file a complaint,” Sharkey said. “Then Terry would just have them laughing until the time they finished filing the complaint and walked out. That’s just how he was.”
Sharkey, along with numerous other colleagues, friends and relatives, went to Higgins Funeral Home in New City on Friday for McCrudden’s wake. The 48-year-old who was a Clarkstown police officer for 17 years died Tuesday from cancer.
“He was just a character,” Sharkey said. “Anytime you spoke to him he would make you laugh.”
Sharkey said she can still hear McCrudden call everyone he talked to “kid.” She also said he was always upbeat.
“I’ve been here since before Terry started, and I don’t think I ever once saw him in a bad mood,” Sharkey said. “Nothing would get him down.”
Others who came out on Friday described McCrudden as a good guy, as someone who was very outgoing, friendly and athletic, with many specifically talking about his love of rugby.
Joe McNamara’s son, Patrick, played rugby with McCrudden. McNamara, of New City, remembers one Christmas when the rugby team was going to have a big party and within a day of the party, the person who was supposed to host it canceled. McNamara said his son asked if they could host the party, and the next day they had a full rugby team with spouses over for Christmas.
“It was just a really fun time, and since it was Christmas a lot of the guys didn’t want to travel at night, so they stayed over,” McNamara said. “I remember Terry was just a heck of a guy. I think the next morning he ended up buying everyone breakfast.”
Clarkstown Police Lt. Steve Morgan said that he’s never heard a bad story about McCrudden and that he was “one of those guys you just looked forward to seeing everyday.” Morgan added that McCrudden’s death is a “damn, damn shame” and that the entire department is taking the loss hard.
“We’re a family here in Clarkstown,” he said. “It’s just devastating to everyone. We’re really going to miss him.”