Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Personnel Recognized for Heroic Life-Saving Efforts

Submitted by Justin Gould on Mon, 01/22/2024 - 10:34



(Deputy Brian Hanner awarded the inaugural Sheriff Ronald Spike School Resource Officer of the Year Award.)

MAYVILLE, NY – In a commendable display of bravery and quick thinking, a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer (SRO) and two Correction Officers (CO) have been honored for their life-saving actions, including the rescue of a local student.

Recently, the New York State Sheriff’s Association bestowed awards upon SRO Deputy Brian Hanner, CO Tara Graves, and CO Keri Genthner for their exceptional service.

Deputy Brian Hanner, serving as the SRO at a local school district, was awarded the inaugural Sheriff Ronald Spike School Resource Officer of the Year Award. Presented for the first time in January 2024, the award recognizes Deputy Hanner's quick thinking and empathetic actions.

In May 2023, Deputy Hanner received distressing information about a student. Reacting with unparalleled dedication, Deputy Hanner, alongside the school's principal, rushed to the student's residence. Deputy Hanner's immediate response and life-saving efforts underscored the depth of his commitment to the well-being of the student.

Sheriff James Quattrone commended Deputy Hanner, stating, “Deputy Hanner’s depth of knowledge of the students in his school, his immediate thought pattern, willingness to engage the situation immediately and effectively, and ability to problem solve and remain calm, undoubtedly saved a child’s life.”


(CO Keri Genthner honored as the Correction Officer of the Year)

CO Keri Genthner was awarded the Correction Officer of the Year accolade. Over her decade-long career, Genthner displayed courage and compassion, saving lives during critical incidents, including preventing suicides and overdoses within the facility.

Sheriff Quattrone acknowledged CO Genthner's exceptional career, saying, "Over the course of a decade, CO Genthner's has been primarily responsible for saving at least a half a dozen lives. She constantly and continuously responds with compassion, courage, and professionalism."

The Sheriff elaborated on CO Genthner's noteworthy incidents, detailing her response to an inmate attempting self-harm. CO Genthner's quick assessment, call for medical assistance, and securing of the scene showcased her ability to handle critical situations under intense pressure.


(CO Tara Graves honored with The Carl Draxler Award)

CO Tara Graves was honored with The Carl Draxler Award, recognizing her outstanding career at the Chautauqua County Jail. CO Graves has consistently displayed heroism, professionalism, and dedication, often in challenging circumstances.

In March 2009, CO Graves identified signs of choking during a routine mealtime and performed the Heimlich maneuver to save an inmate. In April 2016, her quick response to a colleague's stroke resulted in timely medical assistance, minimizing long-term effects. CO Graves also demonstrated remarkable composure in diffusing a potentially harmful situation involving an inmate nearly three times her size in December 2019.

“In addition to her professionalism on the job, Graves has shown devotion towards her co-workers too,” explained Sheriff Quattrone. “She participates in fundraisers for fellow officers battling various medical issues. Specifically in 2023, CO Graves employed her talents as a base guitar player and lead vocalist for her band to help raise over $200,000 over the course of several fundraisers.”

Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel praised the officers for their dedication and highlighted their role in fostering a sense of security within our community. The County Executive emphasized the importance of acknowledging the selfless efforts of law enforcement in ensuring the safety and well-being of Chautauqua County residents.

“On behalf of Chautauqua County residents, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to CO Tara Graves, CO Keri Genthner, Deputy Brian Hanner, and the entire Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office for the sacrifices made on a daily basis to ensure the safety of our community,” said Wendel. “Your commitment and hard work do not go unnoticed, and we are proud to have such exemplary individuals as part of our law enforcement team.”

The awards bestowed upon CO Graves, CO Genthner, and Deputy Hanner highlight the sensitive and compassionate approach taken by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office personnel when dealing with mental health crises and underscore their commitment to preserving life. These exceptional individuals serve as beacons of hope and exemplify the spirit of compassionate public service in the face of adversity.


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