WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Watertown community is mourning the loss of a retired law enforcement member.

On January 19, 2022, Watertown resident Darren Yott died at the age of 52. Yott died at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse following a brief illness.

However, Yott’s death was unexpected according to community members. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Yott retired from being a Watertown City Police officer only four months ago. He served in this position from 2001 to 2021.

Immediately following Yott’s death, Watertown and surrounding community members have been sharing messages of sympathy on social media.

Messages include memories with Yott, countless photos and words supporting Yott’s family. This included law enforcement and EMS personnel.

“Today was a tough day at the Metro Jeff Public Safety Building. Retired City of Watertown Patrolman Darren Yott has passed,” Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Management said on Facebook on January 20. “Officer Yott retired in September of 2021 from the PD. Darrin was a great officer and friend to JCFEMO and Jefferson County 911 and always willing to lend a hand or help anyway he could.”

“After being retired for four months, WPD Officer Darren Yott has unexpectedly passed away,” The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office added. “He was a great friend and coworker here at the Public Safety Building. We at JCSO are shocked and saddened by his passing and our hearts go out to his family, friends, and WPD family.”

Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith also released the following statement on Facebook:

My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Darren Yott, an individual who served as a member of the Watertown City Police Department from 2001 to 2021. May he Rest in Peace.

Watertown Mayor Smith

To honor his role in the community, Yott’s body was escorted home from Syracuse to Watertown on January 2022. Police officers, including Watertown City Police and the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office, fire and EMS personnel joined the escort.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.