Greene County Sheriff Brian Tennant died two days ago, Feb. 27, at age 35. Tennant was sworn into office for the first time in January 2014, and just recently began his second term.
Early reports of Tennant’s death said he was battling a long illness and died while receiving treatment at UPMC Shadyside hospital in Pittsburgh. A statement released Thursday by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tennant had an “ongoing battle” with cancer.
According to the statement, Tennant’s life was full of service positions—he worked as an emergency medical technician, a firefighter, and a police officer.
“He felt a responsibility to serving the members of the community,” the statement reads.
As sheriff, Tennant implemented improvements to many of the county’s programs, including the DARE and K9 programs, the statement said. Beyond that, Tennant created a sense of family and community that will be sorely missed in the Sheriff’s Office.
“Brian had the ability to see in people what they did not see in themselves,” it continues. “Brian always kept a positive attitude and wit about him no matter how bad the circumstance was.”
Marcus Simms, chief deputy, said Tennant possessed a candid sense of perspective that was able to calm the office in times of stress.
“Our Sheriff’s office did not just lose a sheriff,” Simms said. “We lost a brother.”
At this time, the office has no plans for filling Tennant’s position. At Tennant’s request, however, his K9, Dagen, has already been transitioned to the care of another handler.
The statement sends condolences to Tennant’s family and promises to “pursue his dream to make the Sheriff’s Office better every day.”
“Sheriff Brian A. Tennant, we have the watch,” it reads. “Rest easy, my friend.”