SENECA FALLS — After more than 24 years of serving her hometown as a police officer, Sgt. Sue Pluretti is retiring.
The last day for the first female to serve on the town’s police force is Jan. 30.
“I always wanted to be a police officer as a way to serve my community,” Pluretti said. “I have no regrets at all. I enjoyed it very much. Every day was different, and I can’t believe time has gone by so fast. I enjoyed my career, but won’t miss working nights, weekends and holidays.”
Pluretti, 50, said she may look for part-time work, possibly in the law enforcement or security field. For now, she’s looking forward to down time. She said she appreciates the support and guidance from former Police Chief Fred Capozzi and current chief Stu Peenstra, as well as her fellow officers.
Peenstra called Pluretti “the Seneca Falls police officer that knew everyone and everyone knew and loved her.’’
“I would like to personally thank Sgt. Pluretti for her dedication, compassion and professionalism to the department, citizens and those who visited Seneca Falls,” Peenstra said. “Sgt. Pluretti’s selfless description and tireless efforts have touched and changed countless lives. The Seneca Falls Police Department wishes nothing but the best for Sgt. Pluretti in her future endeavors and a long, healthy retirement.
“You will always have a home here.”
Capozzi was involved in hiring Pluretti. Just before he retired, he recommended her promotion to sergeant. Peenstra followed through and promoted her.
Capozzi remembers interviewing Pluretti and several others for a police officer vacancy in 1994.
“She was one of the best qualified candidates I ever had,” Capozzi said. “She had a few years’ experience with the sheriff’s department, and she babysat our sons when they were young, so I knew her character. She was one of the fairest, most compassionate officers ever. She was a true professional who did her job to the best of her ability, often going beyond what she needed to do to treat everyone fairly.”
He remembers her for “smiling a lot” and always being upbeat, rarely angry, upset or mad.
“She was very good-natured, but if a person didn’t appreciate her attitude, they might regret it,” Capozzi added. “She could be tough if necessary.”
Capozzi said he never had a problem or issue with Pluretti during her career.
When she was first hired, Capozzi said the village had to create a locker room and shower for her at the State Street station. Pluretti said she didn’t need it and could use her facilities at home, but Capozzi insisted.
Capozzi took her willingness to shower and change at home as a sign she was going to fit in well.
“I remember taking her and another officer to the shooting range at Sampson, going down a dirt road with lots of potholes,” he said. “We were getting bounced around pretty well, and Sue said that it was a good thing she wore her sports bra.
“I wish I could have had more like her.”
Pluretti is among an elite group of women who have achieved firsts in the community known as the Birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement:
• Ann Cramer, who recently died at age 85, was the first woman elected to the former Village Board.
• Janette Pfeiff was the first woman elected town supervisor.
• Diana Smith was the first woman elected mayor of the now-dissolved village.
However, Pluretti holds a distinction the others don’t: She is the only one with a statue of herself on the Ludovico Sculpture Trail along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.