HOPEWELL — Ontario County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Rago was named Deputy of the Year at the 28th annual “Law Day” awards ceremony held by the sheriff’s office.
“He is an exemplary police officer and supervisor,” Sheriff Kevin Henderson said of Rago, who has been with the office since 2005. “He helps keep fellow officers and the citizens of Ontario County safe.”
Wednesday’s event at the county safety training facility was attended by an estimated 200 people, including sheriff’s office employees, Geneva and Canandaigua police, and school resource officers. Numerous county officials and members of the public were on hand.
“This is an amazing turnout,” Henderson said.
The annual ceremony honors all divisions of the sheriff’s office. Cristin DeVries was named Correction Officer of the Year while Sabrina Mayo was named Communication Officer of the Year.
Letters of commendation were presented to Communication Officer Kara Miller, Deputy Karl Nelson, Communication Officer Jeffrey Newton, Correction Officer Daniel Russell, Communication Officer Christopher Tiffany, and jail Nurse Lori Wheeler.
The Distinguished Service Award went to Sgt. Ryan Burnett and Deputy Bretty Lowry, who saved a family and two pets from a January 2019 fire in Gorham.
Life Saving Awards went to Deputy Floyd Cooley, Deputy Seth Jones, Deputy Brian Lazarus, Deputy Brett Lowry, and Deputy Timothy Brewer. In most cases, they administered CPR or used automated external defibrillators to revive people having heart attacks.
“We train repeatedly for all types of emergencies,” Henderson said. “We never know when they will be needed, but they will be at some point.”
Meritorious Service Awards went to Deputy Daniel Bennett, a 36-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, and Correction Sgt. Trevor Sergeant. Henderson said Sergeant, a correction officer at the jail since 2000, is a key member of the jail supervisory team and involved in many jail programs.
Henderson, who went to the police academy with Bennett, said Bennett was a field training officer for more than 20 years and a member of many specialized teams with the sheriff’s office.
“He treats all his fellow officers and the public with respect and dignity,” Henderson said.
Henderson and Undersheriff Dave Frasca handed out longevity pins to the following:
• 40 Years — Deputy Bill Gallagher, Deputy Gary Lupold, Correction Officer Larry Nolan, Deputy Ronald O’Brien.
• 35 Years — Investigator John Abraham, Sr. Communication Officer Jeff Edwards, Correction Officer Patrick Thorpe, Investigator Eric Woehr, Correction Officer Debra Parsons.
• 25 Years — Sgt. James Alexander, Correction Officer Timothy Bentley, Correction Officer Michael Blazey, Correction Officer Sherry Kelsey, Deputy Scott Avedisian.
• 20 Years — Investigator Christopher Drake, Deputy Cathleen Habberfield, Correction Sgt. Terra Killian, Correction Officer Martin Lozada, stenographer Margaret Wood.
• 15 Years — Correction Officer Walter Fagner, Correction Sgt. Stacy Lambert, Deputy Brian Lazarus, Correction Sgt. Clarence Merrell, Sgt. Mark Taylor, Correction Officer Adam Weller.
• 10 Years — Correction Sgt. James Boggs, Investigator Nathan Bowerman, Correction Officer Jason Braverman, Correction Officer Richard Hirschmann, Deputy John Potter Jr.,
• 5 Years — Correction Sgt. Benjamin Casella, Communication Officer Robert Castor, Correction Officer Ryan Falkey, Correction Officer Alyssa Green, Correction Officer Ryan Hargrave, Correction Officer Justin Johnston, Deputy Eric Schroo, Correction Officer Jacob VanDamme.