On October 10, 2009, Seneca County Sheriff Jack S. Stenberg honored and paid tribute to members of the Sheriff’s Office during an awards ceremony.
Those receiving awards and comments made by the Sheriff are listed below:
Investigator Michael Rhinehart –
Upon your assignment to the Criminal Investigations Division in 2008, you were assigned the duties to manage and track “registered sex offenders” living in Seneca County. Included in those duties was the additional responsibility of managing the Seneca County Sheriff’s Offender Watch Program. During the past year, you have successfully verified and tracked over fifty sex offenders living in Seneca County.
Your devotion to duty and your tireless efforts to protect children from sex offender predators has had direct consequences. In August, 2008, you located and arrested an adult male who had taken a child from the State of Ohio, brought her to Seneca County and subsequently molested this child. In January 2009, you identified and arrested a fugitive, a level three sex offender living and working in Seneca County under an assumed name in the Town of Romulus. In February 2009, you arrested an adult male for child sexual abuse in the Town of Lodi. In April 2009, you arrested an adult male in the Town of Ovid for sexually molesting a child. In September 2009, you arrested a registered sex offender in the Town of Ovid for sexually abusing a young child.
For your outstanding work protecting the children of Seneca County, you are hereby awarded the Meritorious Service commendation.
Investigator Robert Lahr –
On October 19th, 2008 an Armed Robbery occurred at the Happy Landing convenience store in the Town of Ovid, Seneca County, N.Y..
The store employee was robbed at gun point. The unknown masked suspect fled the scene. Citizens and business owners in the Southern portion of Seneca County were extremely anxious over this violent crime occurring in their neighborhood. You responded to the scene and took the position of Lead Investigator in this case. In the days that followed, you developed and tracked leads, identified witnesses, resulting in identifying the vehicle involved along with the suspect(s).
Working tirelessly with other members of Criminal Investigations Division as well as other Law Enforcement agencies the suspects in this case were arrested within days of their crimes.
You demonstrated extreme professionalism in this case as well as your tenacity in solving this most heinous crime. You continued to exhibit these characteristics during your presentation of the case before a Seneca County Grand Jury convened to hear this case. For your outstanding work in solving this case you are awarded a Letter of Commendation.
Deputy Sheriff Michael Strohm -
On August 31, 2009, you responded to a citizen request for property retrieval. You interviewed an individual who wanted to retrieve his property from an ex-girlfriend. While interviewing the subject he made a comment to you that he knew his ex-girlfriend was only fifteen years old. He also reported to you that the girl’s father was unhappy with the young man who was twenty-one years of age. You went to the home of the female minor and helped with the property retrieval. During this time, you interviewed the female’s mother about the relationship. As a result of your interviews, you gained information that the young man may be in possession of pornographic photos of the fifteen year old girl. You interviewed the male who voluntarily provided you with the pornographic images stored on his cell phone. The young woman’s mother identified her daughter in the photographs.
Your handling of this case is to be commended. Your persistence during this routine property retrieval and your “gut feeling” that something was not right enabled a child molester to be taken off the streets. When confronted with the evidence against him, the twenty-one year old man confessed and was subsequently arrested. For your initiative and professionalism you are awarded a Letter of Commendation.
Deputy Sheriff James Conkey –
During 2009, while working your regular patrol shifts, you took the initiative and a developed a pro-active approach to drug enforcement in Seneca County. Your vigilance and tireless efforts in identifying and locating marihuana growing operations in rural portions of Seneca County have demonstrated the finest traditions of this Office. Due to your direct efforts, one such marihuana growing operation was identified and located in the Town of Covert which resulted in an arrest and the harvesting of the suspect’s marihuana growing operation. You participated and assisted in the marihuana eradication efforts during the most recent joint operation conducted by this Office, the NY/NJ Air National Guard in which over 250 marihuana plants were discovered and harvested with a street value in excess of $250,000.00.
You regularly seek out and uncover information regarding drug activity in Seneca County and forward that information to Narcotics Investigations Unit. For your drug enforcement activities you are awarded a Letter of Commendation.
This UNIT CITATION AWARD is conferred upon the Corrections Officers and Civilian staff of the Seneca County Correctional Facility for your devotion to duty for rising to the challenges of an increase in work-load brought about by the in-boarding of inmates. Each of you has had to endure additional responsibilities and duties resulting from this increase in inmate population during the past year. You have demonstrated, once again, your professionalism in the finest traditions of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office.
Corrections Sergeant Michael Dwello –
In the finest tradition of Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, you served as the Director for the Basic Corrections Officer Academy held at Seneca County Sheriff’s Office from 02/02/09 - 03/12/09. Your commitment to excellence and attention to detail in managing the day to day operations of the Basic Corrections Academy allowed attendee's to have a truly rewarding educational experience. The Academy attendees, ten in total, five from Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, three from Yates County Sheriff’s Office and two from Ontario County Sheriff’s Office, had critical acclaim for the professionalism displayed by you in administering the Academy. You displayed and provided a firm foundation for new Corrections Officers beginning their careers. For your outstanding work with the Seneca County Basic Corrections Academy you are awarded the Meritorious Service commendation.
Corrections Sergeant Roger Ward –For the past several years you have played a vital role at the New York State Sheriff’s Association Summer Camp. Your tireless efforts and devotion to not only the Sheriff’s summer camp, but, to the hundreds of children from across the State of New York who attend each year has not gone unnoticed. You have donated hundreds of hours of your own time, expense and talent in making the “camping experience” a memorable and profound educational experience for kids. You represent in the finest tradition of this Office an outstanding commitment to public service and the dedication of improving the quality of life for children across this State. You are hereby awarded the Community Policing Excellence Award.