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Genesee County Sheriff

February 16, 2016 - 4:55pm

Submitted photo: Sheriff Gary Maha of Genesee County, center, proudly displays the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award. He is only the fifth Sheriff to receive this prestigious statewide award. Sheriff James Voutour of Niagara County, left, and Sheriff Ron Spike of Yates County made the presentation on behalf of the Sheriffs’ Institute.

Press release:

Sheriff Gary Maha of Genesee County has received the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute's most prestigious award, the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award.

On only five occasions has the Sheriffs’ Institute leadership presented the highest honor that can be given a sitting New York State Sheriff -- the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award.

The previous winners – in order – are Sheriff James Bowen, Saratoga County, Sheriff John York, Livingston County, Sheriff Kevin Walsh, Onondaga County and Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike. (All but Sheriff Spike are retired.) Between those four men, they have served almost 125 years in the Office of Sheriff. When you add Sheriff Maha’s tenure as Sheriff the total jumps to over 150 years in the Office of Sheriff.

Maha became a Genesee County Deputy Sheriff in 1967. Two years later he was promoted to Senior Investigator. In 1977, he was promoted to Chief Deputy in charge of criminal investigations. In January of 1988, he was appointed interim Sheriff. He has since been elected to seven terms as Sheriff.

His accomplishments and contributions to public safety are not limited to Genesee County. Sheriff Maha has been very active in both state and national issues dealing with public safety.

On the local level particularly noticeable contributions under Sheriff Maha’s tenure has been the implementation of the state-of-the-art Enhanced 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center, the very effective joint drug task force with the City of Batavia and Village of Le Roy police departments and the positive culture of cooperation that has been built amongst all the county law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers working in Genesee County.

Sheriff Maha is a past president of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and currently serves as chairman of that organization’s Executive Committee. Governors from both parties have appointed him to criminal justice committee’s and councils including the Law Enforcement Accreditation Council, New York State Interoperable & Emergency Communications Board and the New York State Committee on Counter Terrorism.

On the national level Sheriff Maha is very active with the National Sheriffs’ Association. He serves as vice-chair of the National Sheriffs’ Criminal Justice Information/Technology Committee and is a member of the organization’s Homeland Security Committee.

Sheriff Maha is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. He holds an associates degree in Political Science and bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

“Sheriff Gary Maha, who is the state’s longest-tenured Sheriff, is known not only in New York State, but at the national level as a 'Sheriff's Sheriff', said Sheriff Ron Spike, Yates County, upon presenting the Sheriff Grover Cleveland Award to Sheriff Maha.

(Maha announced last month that he will not seek reelection when his term expires Dec. 31, ending his 27-year run as Genesee County's top cop.)

June 4, 2009 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Sheriff, dispatch.


Today, I toured the Sheriff's Office with Sheriff Gary Maha and got to hang out in the high-tech dispatch center for a good deal of time, learning all about both the technology and work flow. It was very imformative. Steve Sharpe, director of emergency communications, provided great insight into dispatch operations. I spend a lot of time listening to the scanner and I depend on the dispatch center for news, so it was useful to see how it actually works and meet the people behind the professional-sounding voices I hear every day.

April 27, 2009 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee County Sheriff.

So we here on The Batavian, had some debate over the past day or two about the need/wisdom for hands-free driving rules, whether New York should have outlawed cellphone use while driving.

And that prompted me to note that I've seen a few cops in Monroe County, at least, but none so far in Genesee County, gabbing on mobile phones will driving patrol cars.

That's always bugged me.  I've never gotten a ticket for such an offense, but friends have, and if cops are going to enforce a law, they should obey it.

So I contacted Sheriff Gary Maha and Batavia Chief Randy Baker to see what the local policies are -- not the most earth shaking issue to raise with local law enforcement, but still good information to know.

Sheriff Maha responded via e-mail:

We do have a written policy (copy attached).  Keep in mind  police officers, a peace officer, a member of a fire department, or an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle are exempt from this law when acting in the performance of their duties.

Download the PDF of the policy here.

I caught up with Chief Baker after the City Council meeting. He said Batavia PD has no written policy, but he's verbally and strongly encouraged Batavia PD officers to avoid using mobile phones while driving for personal use.

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