Members of the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office were honored Friday at the 21st annual Awards Ceremony program, held at the office. About 120 people were in attendance, Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting Jr. said.
“We take the time to acknowledge there are a lot of positive things that go on,” Cutting said.
Sgt. Craig Hackett received the Sheriff Joseph J. Benenati Jr. award for career achievement and outstanding performance in the field of law enforcement and corrections. Hackett said the honor was special because it shows others outside his division have faith in him. The award is voted on by the sheriff and division heads, and was named for a former Chenango County Sheriff.
To receive this kind of award, “you really have to care about what you do,” Hackett said. “It’s not just a job, it’s a career” that allows officers to make a difference in people’s lives.
Hackett is entering his 19th year with the police agency. He is its only two-time corrections officer of the year, and has received numerous other commendations and recognition.
“He consistently looks to find ways to improve public safety operations,” Cutting said.
Officer of the Year awards went to:
Patrol — Deputy Anthony Lawrence
Corrections — Tracy Rotundo
Communications — A.J. Burke
Civilian Employee — Joanne Locke
Corrections Officer Thomas B. Thompson received the Sgt. Michael R. Friot Award, which is given in memory of Friot, who died of cancer in June 2010.
Cutting said these kinds of awards are important because the very nature of their work means law enforcement members often hear complaints. There can be a lot of negativity, but a lot of people are doing a lot of good things, he added.