‘There Will Never Be Another Danny Dundas’
One thing was clear as Casperites filed into the Ford Wyoming Center on Monday to pay respect to one of the city's finest.
Danny Dundas was larger than life.
"There will never be another Danny Dundas," close family friend Bob Dill said during Monday's service. "His love and dedication to his family, friends and coworkers and the entire Casper community will live on forever."
Dundas died by suicide last week.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the region were represented during the ceremony Monday. Additionally, well over 1,000 people attended the public memorial service.
For Casper Police Officer Scott Cogdill, Dundas was much more than Lieutenant Daniel Dundas.
"I always just knew him as Danny," Cogdill said. "If you ask people who knew Danny about Danny, before a single word is spoken, a smile will probably spread across their face. This will typically be followed by a deep breath and a laugh that varies in volume.
"Only after this ritual is complete will a person speak of him. That's because if you knew Danny, you knew him as a rogue, a prankster. No one was off-limits. And God help you if you were a member of his family and called him a friend."
Cogdill said his speaking at Dundas's funeral was Dundas's final prank. Dundas, Cogdill said, knew that Cogdill has a petrifying fear of public speaking.
"I'm sure wherever he is, he's laughing his butt off at our discomfort," Cogdill said. "So wherever you are Danny, you got us."
And, as a testament to Dundas's character, there were too many stories Cogdill said were too much to share.
When Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters first arrived in Casper, he knew that the "infamous Danny Dundas" would be among the first people with whom he'd have a private meeting.
McPheeters said that first meeting included putting a stop to Dundas, then a sergeant, scaring his team with airhorns.
"Danny did his best to rationalize to me that he was simply conditioning them to being surprised and coping with the ensuing adrenaline rush that accompanies such a startle. Danny explained that this startle response was something they'd likely experience on the streets, emphasizing that was his only reason for scaring the crap out of his team," McPheeters recalled. "He assured me that he was only acting in their long-term best interest.
"Not even Danny could keep a straight face when he attempted this explanation."
But Dundas's sense of humor, his penchant for mischief, did not take away from how well he did the job of a leader within the police department.
"In my 30 years of police work, Danny Dundas was and still is the finest police sergeant I've ever encountered," McPheeters said. "His team loved him with a passion. They believed in him and would do anything for him.
"This, ladies and gentlemen, is his true legacy."