National Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Jonathan Thompson
Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, Chairman of NYSSAI and of the Municipal Police Training Council
Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy
Acting Commissioner John Melville of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
Sheriffs from across the state, law enforcement leaders, and over 50 vendors gathered at the Desmond in Albany in February for the 81st Annual Winter Training Conference. Sessions included: Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, NYSSAI Chairman, who is also Chairman of the Municipal Police Training Council, presenting an update on Training issues from the MPTC as well as NYSAC Public Safety Committee Priorities;" Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy speaking on "Advancing the Sheriff's Office Using Social Media;" Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour speaking on "Body Cameras: Deployment and Issues;" Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard who introduced Town of Clarence Emergency Manager David Bissonette to speak on "Responding to a Mass Casualty Event;" Clinton County Sheriff's Lieutenant Kevin Laurin speaking on "The Paperless Jail;" Dan Stewart, Senior Justice Advisor with Cisco Connected Justice, speaking on the "NYSSA Portal Project"; and Deb Emerson of Appriss, presenting an "Analytic Tools Overview on GetCrashReports.com."
In addition, the sheriffs received reports from the heads of most the state's major law enforcement entities, including: Terence O'Leary, the recently appointed Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Public Safety; Acting Commissioner John Melville of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services; Executive Deputy Commissioner Mike Green of the Division of Criminal Justice Services; Chairman Thomas Beilein and Commissioner Thomas Loughren of the New York State Commission of Correction, State Director Robert Maccarone of the Division of Probation & Correctional Alternatives; and Superintendent Joseph D'Amico of the New York State Police.
All photos by Thomas Rocco, who expressed his appreciation to the Sheriffs who are always a pleasure to work with, he said.
Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo recognized two Saratoga County Deputy Sheriffs for their heroic actions performed while rescuing a man from a fiery crash in the Town of Clifton Park on August 8th 2014. The awards were presented by Sheriff Zurlo at a meeting of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, which was attended by members of the Deputy’s families and fellow members of the Sheriff’s Office. The Lifesaving Award is given to a member of the Sheriff’s Office for an act performed in the line of duty, which through disregard of personal safety or prompt and alert action, results in saving or prolonging a person’s life. Sheriff Zurlo stated “Deputies Grady and O’Connor are just two examples of the great work performed by members of this Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement throughout the country on a daily basis. Their selfless actions are a testament to their training and personal commitment to the residents of Saratoga County.”
Captain Rick Clay, Commanding Officer of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Enforcement Bureau, was honored with a walk-out ceremony, marking the beginning of his retirement after a 31-year career with the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriffs of New York join in congratulating Captain Clay on his distinguished career, and wish him the best in retirement!
Sheriff Allen Riley has been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the College Council at Morrisville State College.
Sheriff Riley, who attended Morrisville State, gave a keynote commencement address at the college in 2014. “Sheriff Allen Riley has been a strong community advocate and a friend of the college," said Dr. William J. Murabito, president of Morrisville State. “As the keynote speaker last year, Sheriff Riley delivered an inspiring commencement address to the 2014 graduating class. The college looks forward to his leadership and service as a member of the College Council."
This is the second appointment for Sheriff Riley by the Governor. In 2014, Sheriff Riley was tapped by Governor Cuomo to serve on his Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice. That commission was charged with studying the proposal to raise from 16 to 18 the age of criminal responsibility in the state, and the group recently released its report and recommendations to the Governor.
Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty and the Livingston County Sheriff's Office was recently recognized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their efforts in combating illegal drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs, and promoting the safe disposal of prescription drugs by participating, from the very beginning, in the DEA sponsored "Drug Take-Back Day." Resident Agent in Charge Timothy Kernan of DEA Field Office Rochester, NY presented a "Certificate of Appreciation" to the Livingston County Sheriff's Office in recognition of the ongoing partnership
On its ninth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 27, the DEA, along with 4,076 of its national, tribal, and community law enforcement partners, collected 617,150 pounds (309 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at 5,495 sites. This brought the total amount of drugs collected in four years to 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons.
"The Livingston County Sheriff's Office has been there since day one of the initiative," said Resident Agent in Charge Kernan. "Your agency immediately partnered up with ours and that teamwork has continued to grow over the years. I thank you not only for your dedication to the Take-Back events but also the collaboration on fighting illegal drugs through the Livingston County Drug Task Force. On behalf of the DEA we present your Office with this Certificate of Appreciation."
Photo (L to R): Deputy Sheriff David Richardson, DEA Resident Agent in Charge Timothy Kernan, Sheriff Tom Dougherty and Road Patrol Captain Norm Zeh.
Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum (left) announces the appointment of Captain Michael O. Freer (right) to the position of Undersheriff of the Ulster County Sheriff's Office and the promotion of Francis X. Gillespie (center) to the rank of Detective in the Criminal Division of the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.
Undersheriff Freer succeeds former Undersheriff Frank P. Faluotico, Jr., who earlier this month announced his plans to retire after 28 years in law enforcement earlier this month.
The new Undersheriff Freer has been with the Sheriff's Office for 34 years. In 1981 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff from the first civil service list for deputy sheriff in Ulster County. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in 1986, to patrol lieutenant in 2000; and to Captain of Police Services in 2007. Captain Freer is a graduate of New Paltz High School. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Marist College and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. Undersheriff Freer is married with four grown children and four grandchildren.
Detective Gillespie joined the Ulster County Sheriff's Office as Deputy Sheriff in July 2008, having graduated from Basic Police Academy in 2007. Congratulations to both Undersheriff Freer and Detective Gillespie!
The Annual School for New Sheriffs was attended by two new Sheriffs--Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen O'Neill and Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway--along with Jefferson County Undersheriff Brian McDermott, Montgomery County Undersheriff Justin Cramer and Tompkins County Undersheriff Brian Robison. During the two-day program the new Sheriffs and Undersheriffs heard presentations from: Chairman Thomas Beilein and Commissioner Thomas Loughren of the New York State Commission of Correction, Executive Deputy Commissioner Mike Green and Deputy Commissioner Mike Woods of the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services; Superintendent Joseph D'Amico and Deputy Superintendent and Field Commander Colonel Patricia Groeber of the New York State Police.
Some of the most valuable information came from presentations by current Sheriffs: Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley discussed Incarcerated Education Programs; Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha spoke about Ethics and Pitfalls to Avoid; Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace covered Practical Issues in Running a Sheriff's Office, Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike gave an overview of Training Issues Facing New Sheriffs and discussed the Role of the Municipal Police Training Council; Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero spoke on Budgetary Procedures and the Fight Crime, Invest in Kids Program; Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts covered Social Media and the Office of Sheriff; and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple spoke on Traversing Politics and the Media.
A full session was devoted to Civil Office issues and we are grateful to Chief Ron Bill of the Broome County Sheriff's Office for presenting. Another session was devoted to jail issues and we are grateful to Broome County Jail Administrator Mark Smolinsky for presenting.
Photo: Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts presents to new Sheriffs and Undersheriffs at NYSSA Offices in Albany (l to r): Tompkins County Undersheriff Brian Robison, Montgomery County Undersheriff Justin Cramer, Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway, Jefferson County Undersheriff Brian McDermott, and Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen O'Neill.
Former Undersheriff Clair Van Haneghem passed away on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at the Wayne County Nursing Home. He was 89 years old.
Undersheriff VanHaneghem started with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office on May 1, 1953, having been appointed by Sheriff Earl G. Keckison as a deputy Sheriff. He later served as Undersheriff for five Sheriffs (Sheriffs Burns, Hurley, Kise, Byork and Pisciotti) during his 34 year career with the Sheriff's Office. Undersheriff Van Haneghem retired on January 4, 1987.
Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts said "Our Sheriff's Office progressed to the professional law enforcement agency it is today from the leadership Undersheriff Van Haneghem instilled in many of the deputies he guided throughout his outstanding career."
Image left: This story reporting the late Undersheriff Van Haneghem's appointment as Undersheriff appeared in the June 18, 1964 edition of The Geneva Times. Click here to see the full page from The Geneva Times for that day.