Cole: Better relationships needed
With this week’s uncontested election behind him, Dave Cole will be the next sheriff in Steuben County.
Cole, a former state trooper who served as the county’s undersheriff from 1999-2008, unsuccessfully ran for sheriff four years ago. He lost to then-Chief Deputy Joel Ordway, who announced earlier this year he would not seek a second term.
This time around, the 64-year-old Cole ran unopposed for sheriff and coasted to an easy victory.
Cole said he hopes to make improvements at the sheriff’s office.
“I want to have a better working relationship with the state police - better cooperation with equipment and manpower - and a better working relationship with (municipal law enforcement),” Cole said, adding that he believes he can make it happen. “A lot of people I worked for at the state police now work in management. I have a good rapport with them. All the chiefs of police met with me several times. They endorsed me for sheriff. I personally know all of them.”
When asked if he believes the current sheriff’s office currently lacks those relationships, Cole said, “Yes, I do.”
Discontent at the sheriff’s office has been a common theme over the years, and it started well before Ordway became sheriff. Cole said he “lost touch” with the sheriff’s office after Ordway was elected sheriff, and Cole said he expects some personnel turnover when he takes office.
“I’m certain there will be some, but I’ll evaluate it after I take over,” Cole said.
Cole said he won’t advocate reducing the sheriff’s road patrol division, as has been suggested by some county leaders.
“I don’t think scaling it back would be right,” he said. “All the different avenues are necessary. I think what they have now is definitely necessary.”
As for the most pressing challenges currently facing the sheriff’s office, Cole said its an age-old problem.
“I think the challenges are in drug enforcement and the evolution and new types of drugs,” Cole said. “Drugs have to be looked closely.”
Although he’s been away from the sheriff’s office for four years, Cole said he expects a smooth transition - he has kept up with changes in law enforcement by working as the school resource officer in Addison.
“ I don’t anticipate any problems whatsoever,” he said.
Jim Allard, a former Corning police officer, will be Cole’s undersheriff.