ELLERY – We are learning more about the tragic death of a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Captain. This as the community is remembering the long legacy he left behind.
Over the weekend, Captain David Bentley died after falling into Chautauqua Lake, while boating near Martha’s Vineyard in the Town of Ellery.
“He was going out to his motor boat to board off the shore. He was taking his canoe out there to the boat and was transferring from the canoe into the motor boat and unknown at this time what caused him to fall into the water,” says Sheriff Jim Quattrone. “Whether it was the unsteadiness of the canoe or a loss of balance.”
A neighbor and nearby vacationers attempted to save Bentley’s life using CPR, but were unsuccessful.
Bentley’s work for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office began in 1985, and most recently was overseeing the patrol and special teams divisions. For many years, he headed the drug task force and served as a firearms instructor, teaching numerous topics at the Sheriff’s Academy.
“Captain Bentley was instrumental in law enforcement and training many officers throughout this county,” explained Quattrone. “It’s an impact, not even just in Chautauqua County but we’ve received contact from across the state. People he had worked with and helped train.”
The Captain was known as a “cop’s cop” and was committed to the job, community, and his family.
“He had a very compassionate side. He’s very willing to step up and help those who are in need. I can think of one particular individual who when Captain Bentley was running the Drug Task Force, an individual who struggled with life controlling problems and for years has been helping him to try to help keep him clean and directing him in the right paths,” says Quattrone.
Bentley comes from a family of law enforcement, and that legacy continues with the officers he trained, as well as with his son, who works as an Assistant District Attorney.
He is survived by his wife Kim, children Erik and Kaitlyn, and his grandson Sawyer.
“Sometimes in that grieving process it’s being able to gather and share stories. It’s an opportunity to grieve, but it’s also an opportunity to offer hope to individuals. And to remember. Remember Captain Bentley and remember the legacy he’s gonna be leaving for us,” says Quattrone.
Public visitation will take place at Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held the following day at 1st Lutheran Church in Jamestown at 11 a.m.
A Graveside ceremony will follow at Fluvanna Cemetery ahead of a reception at the Fluvanna Fire Department.