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criminal justice awards

April 27, 2018 - 3:57pm

Press release:

The recipients of the 2018 Law Day Observance & Criminal Justice Awards were announced at an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 26.

Kiwanis Club President Matt Landers and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey announced the honorees. The speaker at the dinner was the Honorable John Curran, Supreme Court Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

The 2018 Award Recipients are:

Sergeant Bradley D. Mazur, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Mazur started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 31, 1999, as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Road Patrol. As a Sergeant, Mazur's primary assignment is to supervise the counties local drug task force.

In his first year supervising the Task Force, they investigated a record number of cases since the Task Force was formed in 1989, for the sale and distribution of illegal drugs within Genesee County. These tireless investigations resulted in several arrests against those who use and sell drugs on the streets and neighborhoods of Genesee County.

Mazur, with his work in the Task Force, has proven to be a valuable source of information that assists in the apprehension and conviction of individuals involved in other felony crimes within Genesee County to include attempted murder, robbery, burglary and assaults.

He was also a Field Training Officer (FTO) in the Sheriff's Office, which is a valuable position that helps train our newest Deputies as they are coming out of the academy and learning how to handle calls for service. Many officers look to Mazur for guidance when dealing with difficult cases, especially when the cases involve drugs. With Sergeant Mazur's guidance, the Drug Task Force is already looking to have another banner year.

In 2002, Sergeant Mazur received the "Officer of the Year" Award and has received two Commendation Awards. Sergeant Mazur is most deserving of this award and recognition for his dedication and hard work toward protecting the citizens in Genesee County as a Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy. Sergeant Mazur was nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

Sergeant Daniel J. Coffey, Batavia Police Department

Sergeant Coffey has been instrumental in creating quality law enforcement training for the City of Batavia Police Department and other agencies in the County. He is a general topics instructor, firearms instructor, taser instructor and chemical breath test instructor. He has developed or helped develop training protocols throughout the county that have ensured law enforcement officers are trained to the highest standard possible.

Coffey continues to improve himself as a trainer and police officer regulary attending training symposiums and leadership schools. Not only has Sgt. Coffey been an asset to the City of Batavia as a police officer but he also spends a lot of his "free time" volunteering for the Town of Batavia Fire Department and is an instructor for Genesee County Emergency Management.

He exemplifies what a public servant is and for that he should be recognized. Sergeant Coffey was nominated for this award by Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award -- Oakfield-Alabama High School Mock Trial Team

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Oakfield-Alabama High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2018 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament.

The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen." Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death 11 years ago.

The Oakfield-Alabama High School team members honored at the dinner include: Logan Cadieux, Noah Gray, Ryan Manges, Justina Pruski, Aiden Cornelius, John Igoe Jr., Nick Munger, Alison Woodward, Colin Graham, Dylan Maier, Derek Pruski, Josiah Yantz, Coach Peter Beuler, and Attorney Advisor Melissa Cianfrini.

Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program Kristie DeFreze and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey presented the award.

April 29, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in criminal justice awards, Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, news.

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Sheriff Gary Maha was honored for his 49 years in local law enforcement at the annual Criminal Justice Awards dinners sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batavia and held at Batavia Country Club.

For details on the awards, click here.

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Batavia Police Officer James M. DeFreze, nominated by the YWCA (Director Jeanne Walton, who is also this year's president of the Kiwanis, in the background) for his work with victims of domestic violence.

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State Police investigators Ronald Wilson and Michael Sims were honored for their work on a four-county burglary investigation. Also pictured, in the middle, Lt. Martin McKee, who presented the award.

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Chaplain Allen A. Werk, was honored for his countless hours of volunteer service to local law enforcement and the families he is sometimes called on to serve through the Sheriff's Office.

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Sarah Palermo received an Exceptional Service Award from GCASA for her volunteer work on the DWI Victims' Impact Panel.

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David Saleh was honored for his years of volunteer coaching with mock trial teams.

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The keynote speech was delivered by Thomas A. Belein, chairman of the NYS Commission of Corrections.

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Attorney Ben Bonarigo, president of the Genesee County Bar Association, was emcee.

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The Pembroke Mock Trial Team, which won this year's competition.

April 29, 2016 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in criminal justice awards, batavia kiwanis, batavia, news.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club President Jeanne Walton and Genesee County Bar Association Benjamin Bonarigo, Sr. announced the awards during an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 28, 2016.  The speaker at the dinner was Hon. Thomas A. Belein, Chairman of the New York State Commission of Correction.

 

Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

THE 2016 AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE:

Sheriff Gary T. Maha, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Gary T. Maha has been a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for over 49 years.  He started his law enforcement career as a dispatcher for the New York State Police in 1966 and became a Deputy Sheriff in 1967.  He was promoted to a Senior Investigator on July 16, 1969, and then promoted to Chief Deputy on June 4, 1977.  In 1988, he became Sheriff of Genesee County and has been ever since.  Sheriff Maha is very disciplined, beyond reproach, has served well as the commander in chief of a quasi-military organization, has adapted well to five decades of technological and other advancements in law enforcement and has been actively involved in his community as a member of the Kiwanis Club, serving as the Club President, a member of the Board of Directors and a pancake maker at the annual Pancake Days, along with many other projects.  He has earned the respect of his employees, the other professionals he works with in the Criminal justice System, his colleagues throughout NYS and the citizens of Genesee County.  Sheriff Maha was nominated for this award by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

 

Police Officer James M. DeFreze, City of Batavia Police Department
Police Officer James M. DeFreze has been a member of the City of Batavia Police Department since 2010.  He serves as a Field Training Officer and Crisis negotiator while remaining very active with all of the department’s community events.  This past December, Officer DeFreze spearheaded and helped organize the department’s first ever Shop-with-a-Cop Event in conjunction with Wal-Mart of Batavia.  The event was a huge success and reached every school district in the county.  Officer DeFreze has gone above and beyond routine assistance to
not only respond to victims of domestic violence but to make them comfortable and secure with the way in which he treats them.  Officer DeFreze has demonstrated a depth of knowledge and understanding of the very dynamics of domestic violence.  This has enabled him to appropriately respond to each victim’s fragile emotions with amazing sensitivity, tact and patience.  His concern for domestic violence victims is unsurpassed.  Police Officer DeFreze was nominated for this award by Justina Garner, YWCA Program Manager for Domestic Violence, and Holly Baxter, YWCA Program Manager – Care & Crisis Helpline. 

 

Investigators Ronald W. Wilson and Michael D. Sims, New York State Police

In August of 2015, the State Police BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigations) adopted a burglary investigation in the Town of Darien.  Throughout the following weeks, additional burglaries were reported to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office as well as the New York State Police.  Investigators Wilson and Sims worked diligently on all of the complaints in an effort to connect them and identify the perpetrators through evidence, interviews, and the sharing of intelligence with their counterparts at the Sheriff’s Office.  Similar daytime residential burglaries were occurring in Erie and Niagara Counties.  Wilson and Sims met with representatives of the agencies involved and together they formulated a plan to monitor and eventually arrest the suspects.  In October, four suspects were arrested and charged with more than 30 residential burglaries spanning four counties in Western New York.  Two of the defendants were additionally charged for their confession to an armed robbery that occurred earlier in the year.  Investigators Ronald W. Wilson and Michael D. Sims were nominated for this award by Major Steven A. Nigrelli, Troop Commander, Troop A.

Chaplain Allen A. Werk, Genesee County Sheriff’s Offic

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Pembroke High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2016 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament.  The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen”, Mr. Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death nine years ago.  The Pembroke High School team members honored at the dinner include:  Alison Reiner, Kilian Lewis, Matthew Reeb, Sophia Zwolinski, Samuel Lang, Kassandra Sanner, Seth Librock, Tyler Wood, Johnathon Doud, Bethany Zwolinski, Eli Fox and Coach Paul L. Schuler, Jr.  Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, and Genesee County Bar Association President Benjamin Bonarigo, Sr. presented the award.

 

Genesee County Bar Association SPECIAL PRESENTATION

David Saleh

Attorney Mary Ann Wiater made a special presentation to David Saleh on behalf of the Genesee County Bar Association.  Mr. Saleh has been a mock trial coach at Pembroke since the high school first started to compete.  The success of a high school team many times is determined by attorney coaches who dedicate valuable time, spending innumerable evening hours and countless weekends to assist the team of students.  The students of Pembroke high school are very fortunate to have had the dedication from David who is one of the finest advocates in the legal profession.  He coached his children when they attended high school, and even though his children have long since graduated, David continues to coach.  David believes in the Mock Trial program and in the value it provides to the students of Pembroke.  Because of David, Pembroke has never been without an attorney coach, and under his tutelage, Pembroke has made it to the regional competition twice. 

Genesee/Orleans Council on Substance Abuse (GCASA) Award

Exceptional Service Award – Sarah Palermo

Sheila Harding, Prevention Educator/VIP Coordinator for GCASA, presented the Exceptional Service Award to Sarah Palermo.  Sarah attends almost every monthly DWI/Victim Impact Panel as a member where she shares her experiences and personal story of her daughter being a victim of a drunk driving crash.  Sarah not only speaks on the Genesee County Panel but on other surrounding county panels.  She demonstrates respect and genuine kindness towards GCASA staff and the offenders who attend the panel.  Sarah is always willing to volunteer her time to speak for the panel, and speakers like her are the true reason why our DWI/Victim Impact Panel makes an impact in our community.  

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