Volume 452
December 2, 2022
Sheriffs' News
Toby Shelley Wins Tight Race for Onondaga County Sheriff

Toby Shelley (pictured) was declared the winner in this year’s close race for Onondaga County Sheriff.
A 17-year veteran of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, Shelley retired in 2011. He mounted earlier campaigns for Sheriff while serving with the Village of Jordan Police Department. Now he will succeed current Sheriff Gene Conway, who is retiring after two terms as Sheriff and 45 years in law enforcement.

Shelley’s opponent, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Chief Custody Deputy Esteban Gonzalez (pictured), conceded to Shelley once it was clear Gonzalez did not have the votes to carry him to a win.

“There is no longer a path to victory, so I am fulfilling my Election Night promise and conceding,” Gonzalez said. “I want to congratulate Toby Shelley on becoming the next Sheriff of Onondaga County.”
Veteran Honored for Helping Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy
Recent Assaults Result in Implementing Two-Deputy Patrols
Donald Holdridge, Jr.
Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office recognized a citizen with the Sheriff’s Commendation to a Civilian for his quick actions in helping a Deputy during a physical attack.
Deputy Ethan Thomas was on routine patrol when he stopped to question a man whose vehicle was parked strangely, Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said. Dispatch advised Deputy Thomas that the man had a felony drug warrant out of Texas. When confronted by the Deputy, the man resisted arrest and struggled to grab the Deputy’s magazine.
Donald Holdridge, Jr., a veteran, happened to drive by during the attack. He stopped and aided the deputy in subduing the suspect.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page noted, “It is therefore with many thanks that Sheriff Richard Giardino, on behalf of all the members of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, commend Donald Holdridge of Herkimer County for stopping and assisting Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Thomas . . . . Without the assistance of Donald Holdridge, the situation could have ended up much worse with the potential for serious injury to the Deputy. We greatly appreciate his assistance.
“In addition to this incident, we have had three other incidents in the last 6 weeks of suspects using force to resist Deputies, including assaults and a fight in the booking room at the Station. As a result, we will be following the New York State Police policy of having two deputies in a patrol car after midnight. The Deputy’s safety is the most important issue for us, because if the Deputies aren’t safe, we can’t protect the public.”
State Civil Service Pilots Online Corrections Application and Test
The New York State Department of Civil Service has launched a new pilot program eliminating written exams for corrections officers, providing instead an online questionnaire that kicks off the hiring process and potentially mitigates worsening staff shortages.
The Department’s approach changes correction officer testing from a lengthy, written, multiple-choice exam administered in person to a “training-and-experience” online questionnaire. Thirteen counties were selected to participate in the pilot program.
“We need correction officers now,” said Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol (pictured). “The written exam typically takes three to five months to be graded and that is a luxury we can’t afford. Moving to the online model will not only speed up that process, but it puts us on a level playing field with the state correction officer hiring process, which also uses the ‘training-and-experience’ questionnaire. Testing in this manner will give us more leeway to hire quality candidates that may have otherwise been deterred.”
Cazenovia College Partners with Madison County Sheriff's Office
Cazenovia College’s Police Academy has established a new partnership with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to be the sponsoring agency for the program, which going forward will be known as the Madison County Regional Pre-employment Police Academy at Cazenovia College.

With the support of the Sheriff’s Office, Cazenovia College is also planning to expand its programming to include a corrections academy. 

“We are glad to be partnering with Cazenovia College,” noted Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood (pictured). “Police departments across the country are experiencing a shortage of officers due to a variety of factors and Madison County is no exception. This partnership will assist us in filling those gaps while providing cadets with more opportunities in training and job placement.”
Cattaraugus County Sheriff Speaks Out on PTSD, Earns Award from Red Cross
Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, shown above speaking at a meeting of the International Conference of Police Chaplains in Buffalo, is nationally known for his programs on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Law Enforcement Suicide. His work in this area attracted the attention of the American Red Cross, which recently conferred on him the 2022 Real Hero Law Enforcement Award.
PTSD is a topic Sheriff Whitcomb knows well after serving in law enforcement for 32 years. He started his personal crusade 13 years ago when he lost his best friend and colleague, former Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis John — the first Native American Sheriff elected in the state — who struggled with PTSD.
“We prepare law enforcement officers with all types of weapons and all types of training in the academy, but we do not teach them the resiliency skill sets of how to take care of themselves emotionally and psychologically," said Whitcomb.
Sheriff John shot and killed himself on August 18, 2009. Whitcomb served as his Undersheriff at that time.

“He was one of my best friends. He was so influential for me early in my career. And his loss was not just devastating to me. It was devastating to our community. It was devastating to his family," said Whitcomb.
A Bittersweet Win for Chautauqua County Sheriff
Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone handily won reelection last month for a second term. But an important person behind the Sheriff’s success was missing.
Sheriff Quattrone’s father, Wayne, a former Chief of Police, was laid to rest on Election Day 2022, hours before the polls closed.
Quattrone reflected on this turn of events, remembering Election Day 2018 when the soon-to-be Sheriff-elect (pictured at left) celebrated his first win with his father by his side.
“You know, standing with my dad that night, him being a former officer, you can see the pride in him,” Quattrone reflected. “But I had pride in him myself, so it was bittersweet not having him [here].”
Quattrone said his dad provided plenty of inspiration from his own background in law enforcement.
“All along through my career he provided me with tips and encouragement, advice,” he said. “You know, he never ran for any political office, but something he always instilled in myself and my siblings is work hard. And my slogan, if you will, isn’t by chance, you know. ‘Doing the right thing for the right reasons,’ really comes from my dad.”
Suffolk County Sheriff Shares His Fight for Life
Photo Credit; Office of the Suffolk County Sheriff
Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon, Jr. (pictured), made a highly personal contribution to raise the profile of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month by sharing the story of his own fight with the deadly disease.
Sheriff Toulon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2002, after having beaten Hodgkin's Lymphoma years before.
“I had the suit laid out for my wife to bury me in,” begins the Sheriff as he describes the challenges he faced to regain his health, his family and his career. Click here for the Sheriff’s interview.
History at Their Fingertips
Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe (l) and Undersheriff Sean O’Brien (r) were recently presented with framed copies of the original oaths of office of Sheriff Elisha Tibbits and Undersheriff John King. Both Tibbits and King were the first Sheriff and Undersheriff to serve St. Lawrence County, in 1802. Pictured at center is St. Lawrence County Historian Nancy LaFaver, who researched and located these irreplaceable pieces of Sheriff’s Office History.
1802 Oath of Office of Sheriff Elisha Tibbits (above left) and Undersheriff John King (above right)
We Remember
Former Wayne County Sheriff Jim Hurley
James Francis Hurley, who served as Wayne County Sheriff from 1968 – 1972, passed away peacefully on November 8 at the age of 86.
Jim was the son of the former city of Rochester Fire Commissioner John F. Hurley. He attended Buffalo University on a football scholarship and was a veteran of the Army's 1st Infantry Division. He retired from the New York State Police before being elected Sheriff and serving one term. He then was elected to the New York State Assembly where he served three terms, and later became a key executive with Coltec Industries.
A recent Facebook post on the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office noted, “He was always very supportive of this office and the work that we do. He will be missed.”
Professional Development
NYSSA Sheriffs' Winter Training Conference

DON’T FORGET, it’s time to register for NYSSA’s Winter Conference, January 16 – 19, 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Albany - The Desmond Hotel.

Start the New Year right and join the 17 Sheriffs who have already signed up. Register now using the links below!

Recent C-PASS Basic Training in Ontario County a Success
Thank you to the Ontario County Sheriff's Office, DCJS, and to everyone who attended this program, marking C-PASS’s third successful Basic Class in 2022.
Registration Open for Second Annual School Safety Conference
C-PASS is pleased to announce its second annual C-PASS School Safety Training Conference and Networking Dinner. This four-day event runs February 20 through 23, 2023, at the Courtyard by Marriott/Excelsior Springs Event Center in Saratoga Springs. We encourage Sheriffs to send their School Resource Officers and School Resource Deputies to this event. Click here to register for the Conference and for hotel rooms.
Accreditation News
Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Receives LEAAC Reaccreditation
Proudly Displayed – Team members gather to celebrate its law enforcement reaccreditation (l – r) Warden Michael Franchi, Chief Deputy Sheriff Christopher Brockmeyer, Undersheriff Steven Kuehhas, Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr., D/S Lt. Brian Weinfeld, Undersheriff Kevin Catalina, Deputy Undersheriff Michael Catuosco, Chief of Staff Charles L’ Hommedieu. Photo credit: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office was recently reaccredited by the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Council. The Office was originally accredited in 2012.

Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr., commended his staff on this achievement. “The thorough accreditation process requires the Sheriff’s Office to meet or exceed 166 standards. This prestigious accreditation is only held by a select number of law enforcement agencies in New York who have met the required standards.”
Rounding Out the File
Now You Don't See It . . .
. . . Now You Do
Jefferson County was on the receiving end of several feet of lake-effect snow last month, along with other counties in Western and Central New York. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was quick to dispatch this pre-winter gift and return to service assisting others dealing with the first significant snow of the season.
Still Doing What He Loves
This photo recently surfaced on the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page, depicting a young Pat Russo training for the job he now holds as Rensselaer County Sheriff. The photo was posted in honor of Sheriff Russo’s 70th birthday. Keep up the good work, Sheriff, and Happy Birthday!
Our Diamond Partners
 New York State Sheriffs' Association | 518-434-9091 | www.nysheriffs.org