The Sheriffs’ Institute has established several award programs to identify and recognize outstanding employees of Sheriffs’ Offices around the State, with a view toward rewarding those employees, increasing morale in the Sheriffs’ Offices, and alerting the public to the good work of their public servants in Sheriffs’ Offices around the State.

View the 2008 Award Recipients


The "Deputy of the Year" award is presented annually to a Deputy Sheriff selected by the Institute as the most outstanding example of heroic service above and beyond the call of duty during the previous year. The 2007 Deputy of the Year is Sergeant Gregory Rudolph of Wyoming County.

Caption: Sergeant Gregory Rudolph, center is joined by his parents (left) Bill and Mary, his wife Pam (right) and Wyoming County Sheriff Farris Heimann (far right).


The "Carl Draxler" award, named in honor of the late Sheriff of Chemung County who was a moving force in the Sheriffs’ Association for many years, is presented annually to a Sheriff ’s Office employee whose career has demonstrated outstanding devotion to his or her duty and office, above and beyond the normal call of duty. The 2007 Carl Draxler Award was presented posthumously to the late Dutchess County Undersheriff James J. Thompson.

Caption: The late Dutchess County Undersheriff James J. Thompson.


The "Correction Officer of the Year" award recognizes the outstanding achievements of a Sheriff ’s employee who works in the correction division. It was created to acknowledge the Sheriffs’ Correction Division as an important part of the Sheriff ’s Office, and to honor those who work in the difficult profession of corrections. The 2007 Correction Officer of the Year was awarded to three Livingston County Correction Officers: Deputy Michael Malone, Deputy Lawrence Kennedy and Deputy William Rowan.

Caption: from left to right; Deputy Sheriff Michael Malone, Deputy Sheriff Lawrence Kennedy, Deputy Sheriff William Rowan and Livingston County Sheriff John York.


The "Civil Deputy of the Year" award is presented to a sworn or civilian employee of a Sheriff ’s Civil Division and recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of civil law enforcement, which field receives little public attention, but is one of the most dangerous and complicated of all the duties of the Office of Sheriff. The 2007 Civil Deputy of the Year is Sergeant Lester "Duffy" Reese of the Herkimer County Sheriff ’s Office.

Caption: from left to right: Livingston County Sheriff John York, Sergeant Lester "Duffy" Reese, Oneida County Sheriff Daniel Middaugh and Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber.


The "Emergency Communicators" award is given to an employee assigned to the Sheriff’s Emergency Communications Center who performed either an act of exceptional heroism or has shown an exceptional pattern of career achievements and conscientious devotion to duty. The recipient does not have to be a sworn officer. The 2007 Emergency Communicator of the Year Award was presented to Dispatcher Douglas Wigton of Genesee County.

Caption: Dispatcher Douglas Wigton (sitting) and Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha.


The "VINE Coordinator of the Year" award was established in 2004 to recognize an individual who has served as VINE Coordinator for a Sheriff ’s Office and performed their duties with extraordinary distinction. VINE is the system that notifies victims when the individuals that have committed a crime against them are released from incarceration. The 2007 VINE Coordinator of the Year is Officer William J. Laik of Ulster County.

Caption: from left to right; Livingston County Sheriff John York, NY Sheriffs’ Victim Advisory Board Member Thomas Goldrick, Oneida County Sheriff Daniel Middaugh, Officer William J. Laik, and Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum.


The "Innovative Program" award was established to recognize specialized programs that have been developed in Sheriff ’s Offices, such as programs that deal with youth, seniors, domestic violence, welfare fraud, crime prevention or initiatives that save tax dollars. Through this award, the Sheriffs’ Institute hopes to bring appropriate statewide recognition to the Sheriff ’s Office which developed the innovative program, and to encourage other Sheriffs’ Offices to adopt the new programs. The 2007 recipient is Montgomery County Sheriff ’s Office, in recognition of Sheriff Amato’s program to combat the infestation of methamphetamines in rural counties such as Montgomery.

Caption: from left to right; Livingston County Sheriff John York, Montgomery County Sheriff Michael Amato and Oneida County Sheriff Daniel Middaugh.