It’s a beautiful day in Steuben County. August brought much-needed rain, although the rain tested the Steuben County Fair by falling almost every day during the fair. Our county is lush and green again as the nights get colder with that feeling that fall is just around the corner. Students have returned to school, teachers have returned to their classrooms, and Labor Day celebrations are over. I was talking with a mom yesterday who was picking up her daughter after the first day of kindergarten. She said a classmate of her daughter’s was leaving school as they were picked up by their parents and said, “I’m never going back to this place again!” She said the child then realized he had left an item in the school and had to come back to retrieve it, going back to “that place”. It never turned out to be a short enough timeline! As we continue to deal with changes in New York State law and the consequences of those changes, perhaps we all need to realize that things can change very quickly, whether we like it or not.
In the area of school safety, remember to allow yourself a little extra driving time this month as bus routes are regulated and pedestrian and vehicular traffic increases around our schools. Please observe school speed limits when traveling and respect the safety of our schools. The sheriff’s office added another new school resource officer to the Corning-Painted Post district this year. If you are at Erwin Valley Elementary, please say hello to SRO Volpe, who recently retired from the Corning City Police Department. We have also added a new SRO to the BOCES campus, Deputy Todd Terwilliger has taken on the task of protecting these campuses. Four of our School Resource Officers have completed the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Basic School Resource Officer Course in Livingston County. This course was taught by members of the NYS Sheriff’s Association C-PASS School Safety Committee. We continue to work with all partners to improve the safety of our school in Steuben County.
September 1stst arrived and with it came new gun licensing requirements and a change in the criminal law for owning a firearm. We have been extensively involved with the NYS Sheriff’s Association, the Steuben County Clerk’s Office, and Steuben County Judges to determine the best way to move forward with the new pistol license requirements. I believe we have a way forward that is workable for the citizens of Steuben County and once all procedures are finalized we will formally present them in a joint press release with the Clerk’s Office. Changes to concealed carry locations and restrictions are being heard in court and we await their decision.
August has been an incredibly busy and difficult month at the Sheriff’s Office. Our investigators and deputies were responsible for three death investigations, four assault investigations, four burglary investigations, two animal abuse investigations, two large-scale theft investigations, seven thefts, one drug investigation, two sexual offense investigations, four harassment investigations, one arson investigation, five criminal mischief investigations, two criminal contempt investigations and two fraud investigations. Our Patrol Division has been tasked with several domestic incident investigations as well as accident investigations, including a fatal UTV accident investigation and mental health detentions.
In August the Steuben County Fair was held. We maintained safety and security at the fair and held displays of our K9s, Boat Patrol, SWAT team and STOP DWI. We held a KidCare ID session with car seat verification and partnered with Bath Kiwanis to distribute bicycle helmets. We thank our partners NYS Police and Bath Ambulance for their assistance with public safety at the fair.
In August, the Sheriff’s Office was recognized by the Steuben Central Chamber of Commerce at Music in the Park in Bath and by the Steuben County Legislature for its exemplary efforts during the Covid crisis. I cannot thank our staff enough for coming to work diligently every day and performing essential tasks that were beyond their normal duties. They have truly been and continue to be an inspiration.
Deputy Harrison completed the FBI’s Erie County sniper course in August, joining the SWAT team for surveillance duties. Investigator Smith was the lead instructor for new police officers in the basic firearms portion of the Alfred Police Academy at the Bath Law Enforcement Range. Deputy McNelis attended a training conference detailing methods of forming a county threat assessment management team and also taught the NYS School Resource Officer course in the county of Livingstone. Sheriff Allard taught human trafficking at Alfred Academy.
In August, we swore in three new assistants and a new correctional officer. We are extremely proud to welcome Deputy Cody Henry, Deputy Brent Nadjadi, Deputy Cameron Dye and Correctional Officer Cordell Galvan to the Sheriff’s Office family. Cody, a Canisteo resident, is a United States Army veteran and former Steuben County Jail corrections officer. Cody is completing his basic police course and will soon begin field training. Brent, a Bath native and US Army veteran, has been sworn in as a deputy sheriff and is completing field training and will soon begin solo duties. Cameron is a Corning native and second-generation law enforcement officer. Cameron is completing his Basic Police Course and will then be assigned to the Navigation (Boat) Patrol. Cordell began his career in law enforcement helping to maintain safety and security in our prison. We are incredibly grateful for these new additions to the Sheriff’s Office and their service to their county.
The Sheriff’s Foundation hosted the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Golf Tournament in August, raising funds for the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial Park and Foundation scholarships. A beautiful day accompanied the tournament which was attended by five NYS Sheriffs.
We continue to pray for those who have lost family members to the pandemic and for all Ukrainians who are suffering under Russian aggression.
Thank you for supporting the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office during these trying times and stay safe!