The unexpected death of a 51-year community leader has led the the ordering of flags at half mast in the Town of Wappinger.

While local governments have control over how to fly the flags in their jurisdiction, decisions to lower the flag usually come directly from the State of New York or the federal government.

Flags at individual schools, counties, towns and municipalities are under the supervision and control of the locality in which they reside. While towns and cities generally follow state and national flag display orders, local governments also have the option to order flags to be flown at half-staff in times of community mourning.

Why Are Flags at Half Mast in the Town of Wappinger, New York?

Wappinger Town Supervisor Joseph D. Cavaccini declared that all flags should be flown at half-staff after learning of the unexpected death of Roderick MacLeod. MacLeod served the community for 51 years and was the Commissioner of the New Hackensack Fire Department.

Cavaccini says Roderick was a top responder for the fire department last year, making 303 emergency calls. As commissioner, he also served the district and other fire agencies throughout Dutchess County by acting as legal counsel.

Google Maps/Hughsonville FD
Google Maps/Hughsonville FD

A statement released by the New Hackensack Fire Department Chief, Raymond Valontin, noted Roderick's service as well as his connection to the community.

He leaves behind a legacy of courage, compassion, and sacrifice that will continue to inspire us all. His commitment to service, unwavering bravery, and dedication to duty will forever be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Roderick's cause of death wasn't immediately revealed. Details regarding the first responder's memorial service are expected this week.

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Gallery Credit: Boris