History of the Sheriff's Office

Picture of James SeymourJames Seymour

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office was formed in 1821 with the appointment of Brockport merchant James Seymour as the first Sheriff. Seymour served a one-year term and was succeeded by John T. Patterson, who served from 1822 to 1825. In 1825 James Seymour would return to office, this time as the elected Sheriff. The three-year term of office would continue until 1980, at which time it was changed to a four-year term.

Numerous other distinguished citizens have served as Sheriff of Monroe County. Ezra M. Parsons, elected Sheriff in 1831, later became a prominent banker. At age 30, Elias Pond was the youngest Sheriff ever elected.

Picture of Darius PerrinDarius Perrin

Sheriff Darius Perrin, a former Postmaster, carried out the first death sentence in Monroe County. Perrin had the unenviable task of hanging a convicted murderer. He is the only Sheriff to conduct two executions during his tenure. In the late 1800s five other executions were carried out by Monroe County Sheriffs before the task of executions was turned over to the New York State prison system in 1888. The state adopted electrocution at that time.

Hiram Sibley

Hiram Sibley served as Sheriff from 1843 to 1846 and would later become one of the wealthiest people in the nation.

Willis Gillette

In 1908, Sheriff Willis K. Gillette was the first to put a sedan automobile on the road patrol.

Picture of Harley E. HamilHarley E. Hamil

Sheriff Harley E. Hamil experienced one of the most violent days in the history of the department when Deputy Simon J. Bermingham was killed by gunfire. Three other deputies were wounded in their attempt to arrest a suspect who had killed his father earlier in the day. Sheriff Hamil narrowly escaped death himself while trying to remove the body of Deputy Bermingham. The suspect was apprehended and was electrocuted at Auburn Prison 15 months after the murders of his father and Deputy Bermingham.

Picture of Franklin JudsonFranklin Judson

In 1922, Franklin W. Judson was elected Sheriff. A former New York State Assemblyman recalls that the Sheriff had three patrol cars for the whole county: one for east of the Genesee River, one for the west of the river and one for the Sheriff. Speeding became a major problem in the county and Judson was the first Sheriff to utilize motorcycles.

Picture of Albert H. BakerAlbert H. Baker

Albert H. Baker, elected in 1925, brought many innovations to the department including the appointment of the first Chief Deputy, initiation of day and night patrols, and fingerprinting and photographing of all inmates.

Picture of Albert W. SkinnerAlbert W. Skinner

Albert W. Skinner was elected Sheriff for the first of his 12 terms of office in 1938. Sheriff Skinner created the mounted patrol, bomb squad, and airport division. Perhaps one of the most trying times for Sheriff Skinner came in September of 1971, when he and a detachment of more than 40 deputies went to Attica Correctional Facility during the famous uprising that resulted in the deaths of many inmates and prison personnel.

Sheriff Skinner's incredible career came to an end in 1973 with the election of William Lombard as Sheriff. On October 27, 1975, Sheriff Skinner passed away at the age of 81. The man who defeated Skinner in 1974, William Lombard, was a former New York State Trooper and Rochester City Police Chief.

Picture of William LombardWilliam Lombard

Upon his election, Sheriff Lombard instituted a series of changes that affected the department for decades to come. For the first time, deputies were dispersed into three substations or zones to quicken response time. He was the first Sheriff to utilize part-time deputies to patrol the parks, waterways and airport. Lombard began the first Trainee Program directed at area college criminal justice students. To combat drunk driving, Lombard began the Sheriff's Tactical Accident Reduction Unit.

Picture of Andrew P. MeloniAndrew P. Meloni

In 1980 Andrew P. Meloni was elected Sheriff. He had previously served in the department for 18 years in a variety of positions including Undersheriff. Taking office in 1980, Meloni was faced with an inmate population of 289 that swelled to 872 in just 10 years, and he embarked on an ambitious program of jail expansion.

In the course of his career as Sheriff, two crimes will forever be etched in his mind. On June 26, 1990, there was a $10.8 million armored car robbery in the Town of Henrietta. To date no arrests have been made. The second crime took place on May 23, 1994, when the disappearance of a blond-haired, 4-year-old girl named Kali Ann Poulton touched off the largest investigative force in the history of the county. The case was solved with the discovery of the body of the little girl and the arrest of a neighbor.

Picture of Patrick M. O'FlynnPatrick M. O'Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn began his career in the Office of the Sheriff as a Trainee in 1976. He would later accept a position as a Part-Time Deputy working in the County Parks during the season and in the Records Unit during the off season. He would later be accepted in the Road Patrol Academy, graduating in April of 1978. O'Flynn was promoted to Sergeant, Lieutenant, and in 1998, Undersheriff by Sheriff Andrew P. Meloni. Sheriff Meloni would later retire, and Undersheriff O’Flynn would be appointed Sheriff by Governor George Pataki. Sheriff O’Flynn would subsequently be elected and reelected Sheriff several times.

During his tenure, the Office of Sheriff received many awards and accolades as being one of the best Sheriff’s Offices in the United States for many innovative programs. Sheriff O'Flynn instituted the Core Values of the Agency, those being Respect, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence (R.I.T.E.) and introduced programs such as the Clergy Academy, the Citizens Academy and the Teen Police Academy.

Sheriff O’Flynn would be defeated during the 2017 election by Todd K. Baxter who would become this agency’s 50th Sheriff on January 1st, 2018.

Image of Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. BaxterTodd K. Baxter

Current Monroe County Sheriff