ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Law enforcement officials across the area are offering tributes and remembrances of former Rockland County Sheriff James Kralik who died Monday at the age of 74 after battling cancer.
Kralik, also fondly known as "Cowboy Kralik," for his love of horses, served with the department for 49 years, 20 of those as sheriff. Born in Ramsey, New Jersey, the sheriff graduated from Rockland Community College before joining the Sheriff's Office.
In Kralik's memory, Sheriff Louis Falco had the Sheriff's headquarters draped in black and purple bunting and lower its American flag to half-staff.
A Civil War expert, Kralik was also known for his efforts to beef up the state's anti-terrorism zones by coming up with the color coordination to show the level of potential terror attacks after Sept. 11, 2001. The coding was later picked up and used by state and then national officials.
Kralik worked as chief of patrol for two decades before being elected sheriff in November 1991. He retired from his post in 2011, spending his final years in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he owned a horse farm.
In addition to law enforcement, condolences also came in from other quarters including officials with the Historical Society of Rockland County who produced a video with the former sheriff: "We send our sincere condolences to Sheriff Kralik's family and to all who are impacted by his passing. In 2013 Sheriff Kralik was presented with the HSRC's Lifetime Service Award. Upon the occasion of that event, HSRC Trustee Dorice Madronero prepared a video tribute to Sheriff Kralik.
The Ramapo Police Department also offered their tribute as well: "The officers and members of the Ramapo Police Department mourn the passing of Retired Rockland County Sheriff James F. Kralik. Sheriff Kralik served with the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department for 49 years, 20 of those as the elected Sheriff of Rockland County. Sheriff Kralik retired in 2011, spending time at his horse farm and campground in Gettysburg, PA, where he loved giving tours of the battlefield on horseback. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, and to all those whose lives he touched.
And the Clarkstown Police Department shared Rockland County Sheriff's Office's post: "The Clarkstown Police Department sends our condolences to the family of retired Rockland County Sheriff James F. Kralik and the men and women of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department on their loss. May he rest in peace."
Funeral services are pending.
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