Ontario County law enforcement officers celebrated their roots and, symbolically, the county’s future at their Annual Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, held Tuesday at the Ontario County Jail.
For Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero, who has stood at the podium 27 times in as many years, it was both rewarding and bittersweet. For him, the coming months will be full of “lasts” before he officially retires at the close of 2018.
Sitting front and center for Tuesday’s ceremony was the person who hired a very young Phil Povero back in 1972 — former Sheriff Ed Guinan.
“The annual Law Day event is always very special,” said Povero to Guinan and about 100 in attendance. “First, we recognize and remember our four police officers who died from their injuries as a result of being in the line of duty.”
Povero named each one — Undersheriff Ernest Kersie, Deputy Jack Fennell, Deputy Truman Becker and Deputy Malcomb Strong — who died between 1937 and 1983, saying they “are our history” and their names “we must never forget.”
“And we also recognize our current staff members who go above and beyond that call of duty with selfless dedication and service to others in a way that protects our community so effectively,” he said. “Their stories aren’t often told in full detail, and this gives us an opportunity to do just that.”