Pictured above (l to r): Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, Lieutenant Stephen Sklenar, Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, Chairman of the NYS Sheriffs' Institute Board of Directors.

Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, Chairman of the NYS Sheriffs' Institute Board of Directors, presented the Carl Draxler Award to Wayne County Sheriff's Lieutenant Stephen Sklenar at the Wayne County Board of Supervisors meeting this week. Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts nominated Lt. Sklenar for the prestigious award, which is given for exceptional career achievements and conscientious devotion to duty that demonstrates a spirit of selfless public service over the course of an entire career. The award is given in memory of the late Chemung County Sheriff Carl Draxler, who personified these qualities.

Lt. Stephen Sklenar began his law enforcement career with the Sodus police in 1973 and was appointed Deputy Sheriff in 1974 by former Sheriff Richard Kise. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1981. He was again promoted in 2007 to Lieutenant in charge of the Civil Division. "He has exhibited continuing dedication and commitment to excellence in all his responsibilities, and has adapted to the changing of technologies to help keep the Wayne County Sheriff's Office contemporary, professional, and efficient," Sheriff Virts said.

The accomplishments of Lt. Sklenar's 41-year career are too numerous to list here. Some highlights: Lt. Sklenar served on: the underwater search scuba team, the emergency response team (as commander), the crash management reconstruction team and the victim's resource volunteers. He is a certified instructor of firearms training and has served as a police instructor at the Finger Lakes area police academy for many years. Lt. Sklenar oversaw computerization of records and procurement of equipment processes for the WCSO. He served as quartermaster, website manager, and liaison to area and federal agencies including homeland security. Lt. Sklenar is also an avid historian, and has authored monographs.

The committee had several worthy candidates for the Draxler Award this year, but it was clear, given Lt. Skelnar's over 41 years of devotion to the citizens of Wayne County, along with his unswerving loyalty to all four sheriffs he has served under, that he truly is a selfless public servant worthy of recognition as the recipient of the NYS Sheriffs' Draxler Award," said Sheriff Spike.