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Sheriff honors officers at ceremony

WATKINS GLEN--Local members of law enforcement were joined by their families, local residents, and county officials outside the Sheriff's Office Friday, May 13 to honor fallen officers. In his first year as Sheriff, department veteran Kevin Rumsey spoke on behalf of not only his fallen brethren but the nature of modern police work and the challenges they face.
"It's an honor first and foremost to celebrate the lives and sacrifices of our comrades who gave the ultimate sacrifice while in service... It's a little bit of closure every year," said Rumsey.
Also in attendance was County Administrator Fonda Chronis, who is also in his first year in the position.
"It's very humbling, I think it's easy to forget in our day-to-day lives to know how important these services are," Chronis stated.
District Attorney Joe Fazzary joined Rumsey as a keynote speaker and spoke of his decades working with the Sheriff's department and the number of officers he had known through their shared role in law enforcement.
"During that time I have seen a lot of good officers pass away," Fazzary commented. "Most were not in the line of duty but still they were our officers."
Along with members of the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office, including K-9 officers, the names of the fallen were read aloud including members of the Chemung County Sheriff's Office, the Elmira Police Department, New York State Police and the Yates County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Rumsey also spoke about the media and social media by criticizing how they portray police officers and decrying the lack of respect police officers receive in modern times.
"A video can be captured, edited, and posted in a matter of minutes... Everything law enforcement does is on the news and social media sites," Rumsey said. Adding, the editing can leave out crucial details about the whole encounter and change the perception of what happened at a scene.
Rumsey also touched on how police work has changed, in everything from how paperwork is filed to pursuit policies; putting additional stress on officers as they constantly have to adjust to new policies and a new definition as to how they are supposed to perform their duties.
Chronis also said that oftentimes people don't understand everything local officers do behind the scenes to ensure the safety of the county.
"The department is a great group of people, dedicated to the protection of this community and you can't put a price tag on what that means," Chronis added.

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