BATH - Steuben County Sheriff David Cole served his final day on the job Friday after more than four decades in law enforcement, putting a stamp on a long and distinguished career in public service with time spent throughout several local communities.

Officers from various law enforcement departments throughout the county stood at attention one last time to salute the long-time deputy Friday afternoon. Sheriff Cole then made his way down the line of officers, shaking hands with his soon-to-be former colleagues one-by-one.

He spent numerous years working alongside many of them.

“It’s been a privilege working for the community,” Cole said.

Cole’s retirement caps off an illustrious career in law enforcement and public service that spanned 41 years. He began his public service career in 1975.

His expansive resume includes service with the Wayland Village Police Department, the New York State Police, Addison Village Police Department and of course the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. Cole served nine years as the county undersheriff before his four-year post as county sheriff.

Cole has expressed his thanks to all of the officers and colleagues throughout his career for “their service and dedication” to the community, and also thanked the citizens of Steuben County for “the trust and confidence they have given to him and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.”

Steuben County Undersheriff Jim Allard expressed admiration for Sheriff Cole’s accomplishments and said it was a privilege to work with him.

“It’s an honor to have worked with Sheriff Cole,” he said. “Not too many people have a 40-year legacy to public service.”

Allard - a 28-year Steuben County law enforcement veteran - will replace Cole as county sheriff. Cole endorsed Allard’s bid to become his successor.

“I have very big shoes to fill,” Allard said.

Allard will be sworn in as Steuben County Sheriff on Sunday.