May 4, 2021
It’s a beautiful day in Steuben County. Spring greets us with green fields and budding trees, a truly gorgeous and hopeful time of year. May also brings Correction Officer week, Police week and our Steuben County Law Enforcement Memorial Service on May 21st at 6pm at the Public Safety Building. This ceremony honors the officers, deputies and troopers who have made the ultimate line of duty sacrifice in our county and the six contiguous counties. As we reflect on their loss, and the grief that their loved ones and communities experience, we also honor their dedication and heroism. A citizen recently took me to task concerning the thin blue line flag that is displayed in our office. That citizen felt it was an “abomination” and a symbol of white supremacy. To some, it may represent that, which is truly unfortunate. To me, it represents the honor we accord all of the fallen, their families and communities. It is a symbol of remembrance for those who, while protecting their communities, will never come home to their families, see their children grow or ever return from that final shift.
It is a popular current refrain in the national media to depict law enforcement as the problem, as the enemy, as jack-booted thugs run amok. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Having served as a law enforcement officer for over three decades, in two centuries, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that today’s officers and deputies are better trained, better screened and more conscious of social issues and bias than ever before in the history of law enforcement. A new era of policing has begun, bringing accountability, transparency and community partnership. Although the human element is always part of any law enforcement officer’s actions, all members of your Sheriff’s Office continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of our service to the citizens of Steuben County.
We continue to celebrate the 225 years of service of the women and men of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office to the citizens of Steuben County. We held a public celebration in April in which the Sheriff’s Office was honored by the Steuben County Legislature, New York State Assembly and Senate and the United States House of Representatives. We also recognized the life-saving efforts of Officer Marvin, Sergeant Scott, Investigator Ellison, Deputy McCoy and the entire SWAT team. We concluded the ceremony by honoring those who have dedicated their careers to public service at the Sheriff’s Office.
Boating season is upon us and we have scheduled the first boater safety course at the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday May 15th from 8am to 4:30pm. Please call 607 622-3911 to register for this class. Many thanks to the Village of Hammondsport Police Department for partnering with us for this class. As a reminder, this year, any motorized boat operator born on or after January 1, 1993 will require a boater safety certificate. For those out on kayaks, canoes and paddleboards, remember that personal flotation devices are required to be worn by those under the age of 12.
Have a safe and happy May everyone,
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard