Governor Andrew Cuomo has proclaimed September 18-24 as Sheriff’s Week in New York State. This celebration is in honor of the significant traditional and contemporary contributions made by the Office of Sheriff in county government and in the statewide criminal justice system.
The history of the Office of Sheriff is unparalleled by any other modern governmental office and the tradition of the Office of Sheriff is as rich in this country as it is anywhere in the world. Sheriff’s played a vital role in the development of our nation during the colonial days.
In New York State, the Office of Sheriff was provided for in the state’s first constitution in 1777 and has existed continuously ever since. Its unique structure and the status it carries in county government extend far beyond the traditional role of the “Keeper of the Peace” into almost every facet of public service.
The Sheriff is the only law enforcement officer in New York State to be directly elected by those he serves and as an elected official; he is a true public servant, directly accountable to the people of his community.
The Sheriff is the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county. He not only provides his community with traditional police services, but is also responsible to patrol our lakes and waterways, provide security in our courts, maintain the county jail, executing the civil process for our courts and coordinating the dispatching of all emergency services in the county.
This will be the thirty-first annual celebration of Sheriff’s Week in New York State, and I would like to congratulate my 56 colleagues who are the elected Sheriffs in their respective counties across New York State.
I also would like thank the people of Allegany County for putting their trust in me and I promise to do my best to live up to the rich tradition of the office of Sheriff.
Ricky L. Whitney, Allegany County Sheriff