Sheriff Ron Spike of Yates County has received the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute’s most prestigious award the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award.
On only three occasions has the Sheriffs’ Institute leadership presented the highest honor that can be given a sitting New York State Sheriff - the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award. The previous winners – in order – are Sheriff James Bowen, Saratoga County, Sheriff John York, Livingston County, and Sheriff Kevin Walsh, Onondaga County. Between those three men they have served almost 100 years in the office of Sheriff. When you add Sheriff Spike’s tenure as Sheriff with these 3 men’s service the total is115 years in the Office of Sheriff.
Sheriff Ron Spike first elected Sheriff in 1991. He was well prepared for the job. He grew up living in the Sheriff’s residence , attached to a county jail that was built in 1904, as his father George was Sheriff from 1958 to 1981. His late brother Jim claims that the award winner was dispatching patrol deputies when he was 10.
Upon graduation from the Monroe County Community College Ron Spike joined the Yates County Sheriff’s Office in 1970. He rose quickly through the civil service ranks to the position of Chief Deputy in 1982.
In 1981 he was chosen the Sheriffs’ Institute’s Deputy of the Year, the only sitting Sheriff to have obtained that honor.
Sheriff Spike is a graduate 144th Session of the FBI National Academy. He is the longtime Chairman of the Municipal Police Training Council. Both Republican and Democrat Governors have appointed him to that position. He serves on the Executive Committee of the National Sheriffs’ Association. He chairs the NYSAC Public Safety Committee. He is past President of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Sheriffs’ Institute.
Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Though Grover Cleveland is remembered for being the only person to serve two non-consecutive four year terms he also remembered as the only President that had ever been elected Sheriff (Erie County New York).
President Cleveland’s biographer Allen wrote, “in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had endowments, but he possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not.”
Sheriff Ron Spike also possesses these important leadership qualities.
Photo Caption - A somewhat surprised Sheriff Ron Spike, center, holds the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award. Presenting the award on behalf of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute are Sheriff Chris Moss, Chemung County, left and Sheriff Gary Maha, Genesee County.