Detective Sergeant Randall “Randy” Clayton French of Troy, New York, died April 30, 2020, after a courageous battle with COVID-19.
He was born on March 9, 1981, in Pittsfield to William and the late April French. Randy grew up in Stockbridge and graduated from Monument Mountain Regional High School. At age 16, he joined the West Stockbridge Fire Department as a firefighter and first responder. At age 18, he completed special police officer training to become a police officer for the Stockbridge police, where he spent his summers working while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. He graduated with a degree in applied mathematics. Randy also worked for the Empire Ambulance Service, where he met his wife, Danielle.
In 2003, he joined the Troy Police Department; he trained at the Zone 5 Regional Law Enforcement Academy, where he graduated first in his class. Randy quickly distinguished himself as a self-motivated, hardworking police officer with a relentless work ethic. He earned several citations and commendations for both outstanding police work and bravery. In 2008, after passing selection testing, Randy was appointed to the Troy Police Department Emergency Response Team. Randy was a charismatic and profoundly effective leader. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2009, and in 2010, was made an element leader of one of two entry teams. In 2018, Randy was advanced to the position of tactical team leader, yet another position that he excelled at.
Randy spent several years in the department’s detective bureau. His brilliant analytical mind coupled with that tenacious work ethic made Randy a fantastic detective. Randy was instrumental in founding the Troy Police Department Cadet Post 4102. He was passionate and enthusiastic about the cadet post, and for that effort, in putting the Troy Police Department and the Troy Police Benevolent Association in a positive light in the community, he was awarded the Troy PBA’s Owen G. Connally Award. Randy’s last assignment was in the department’s special operations section. As the sergeant in charge of the narcotics unit, Randy and his men made countless numbers of drug- and firearms-related arrests. He was highly respected and loved by his fellow officers and teammates, and by officers all over the state.
Randy was equally passionate about working in emergency medical services. He earned his certification as a New York state critical care technician. In addition to having worked for the RPI Ambulance and Empire Ambulance Service, Randy had worked for the North Greenbush Ambulance since 2013. Randy was also one of the tactical medics for the Troy Police Emergency Response Team. He had a reputation for being calm and cool under pressure, and was a very good medic. He received many letters of thanks from patients that he cared for over the years. Much like his career in law enforcement, Randy earned the respect and love of his coworkers in EMS. Randy had recently been testing to receive his certification as a New York state paramedic, a skill set he hoped to use as a flight medic when he retired from the Troy Police Department.
Randy loved spending time with his family and his dogs; in fact, he never met a dog he didn’t like. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle, which he would ride in full uniform to work. He loved to go camping and fishing, in particular, ice fishing.
He is survived by his loving wife, Danielle Durand French, whom he married Nov. 29, 2003, as well as his two wonderful daughters: Caitlyn and Juliana French. He is also survived by his father, William French, and stepmother Linda French of Spring Hill, Florida.; sister Christina Drake and husband John of Chehalis, Washington; father-in-law Donald Durand and wife Adele of Canaan, New York; uncle Harold French and wife Lynne of Stockbridge; aunt Beverly Funk and husband Will of Pittsfield; sister-in-law Kimberly Pizzoferrato and husband Dan; nephew Nico and niece Ava Rose of Newington, Connecticut; and many cousins. He was predeceased by his mother, April French; paternal grandparents Harold Sr. and Helen French; and maternal grandparents Clayton and Anna Mae Gile.
A celebration of Randy’s life will be announced and held in the future. For those who wish to remember Randy in a special way, an education fund for Randy’s girls is being set up. Check back on the funeral chapel website for that information as it will be announced when available. Visit www.perrykomdat.com for a private guestbook.