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Kiwanis honor members of criminal justice community at annual Law Day dinner

At the annual Kiwanis Club Law Day Dinner Thursday night at Terry Hills, Deputy Joseph Corona was among those in the local criminal justice community who were honored for their work. Corona received the Exceptional Service Award from GCASA. In 2013, Corona, who joined the Sheriff's Office in 2012, had the highest number of DWI arrests in the county. 

Also honored were Chief Deputy Jerome E. Brewster, Batavia Police Officer Kevin M. DeFelice, Theresa Asmus-Roth, Area Supervisor at RESTORE, the Justice for Children Advocacy Center (the first time an organization has been honored), District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, former Public Defender Gary Horton and the Byron-Bergen High School Mock Trial Team.

The keynote speaker (pictured below) was Michelle Y. Spahn, resident agent-in-charge for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration office in Buffalo.

Press release with details of the awards after the jump.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club President Pat Corona announced the awards during a dinner held at Terry Hills Restaurant on Thursday, May 1, 2014. The awards dinner was held in partnership with the Genesee County Bar Association during its observance of Law Day. The honored speaker at the dinner was Michelle Y. Spahn, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) resident agent-in-charge of the Buffalo office.

KIWANIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE AWARD
The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness of citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

2014 AWARD RECIPIENTS:
Chief Deputy Jerome E. Brewster, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Deputy Jerome E. Brewster has been a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for more than 39 years.  
He started his law enforcement career as a dispatcher in 1975 and was appointed a Deputy Sheriff (Jail) in 1977. In 1979, he was assigned to road patrol and in 1982 he was promoted to road patrol sergeant. However, his true talent and heart was in criminal investigations, and in 1988, he was appointed an investigator. In 1994, Jerry was promoted to Chief Deputy in charge of the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, a position he holds today. As Chief Deputy, he oversees not only the Criminal Investigation Division, but also the Youth Officers, Evidence Room, Pistol License Investigations and the Local Law Enforcement Drug Task Force. Chief Deputy Brewster has supervised several “high profile” criminal investigations for the Sheriff’s Office during his tenure and has represented the Sheriff’s Office on several matters related to criminal justice. He is the recipient of five Commendation awards, two Meritorious Service awards and was the Genesee County Sheriff’s Officer of the Year in 1993. Chief Deputy Brewster was nominated for this award by Sheriff Gary T. Maha.

Police Officer Kevin M. DeFelice, City of Batavia Police Department
Police Officer Kevin DeFelice is a six-year veteran of the City of Batavia Police Department. He is one of the most dedicated, conscientious, professional and community-relations-oriented officers of the Batavia Police Department. Kevin put forth great effort toward the establishment of a bicycle patrol, much on his own time and at his own expense. Officer DeFelice has provided Honor Guard duties for the Batavia Police Department at ceremonies and flag-raising events and again incurring personal expense. Kevin’s investigations are always thorough and complete, and he has successfully completed many complex and serious cases. He is always willing to put in the extra time and effort required to complete an investigation. Officer DeFelice is a Field Training Officer and is very fair and thorough with training new recruits. Kevin is a good example of what a police officer should be and sets a fine example for others to follow. Officer Kevin DeFelice was nominated for this award by Detective Sergeant Pat Corona and Detective Charles Dudek of the Batavia Police Department.

Theresa Asmus-Roth, Area Supervisor at RESTORE
Theresa Asmus-Roth started her distinguished service in Genesee County as an employee of Regional Action Phone (RAP). In 2001, she accepted a position as the Rape Crisis coordinator for Genesee County and was promoted to the position of coordinator for the GLOW region. Rape Crisis, now renamed RESTORE, provides various services to victims of sexual assaults. Theresa trains and mentors volunteers to cover a 24-hour hotline and was the catalyst for developing protocols with law enforcement on handling sexual assault cases. She has served as co-facilitator in working with male batterers and is one of the lead facilitators in training people in the “Darkness to Light” model to help keep children safe. Theresa is a passionate advocate for the Justice for Children Advocacy Center and has been the coordinator of the annual Genesee County Crime Victim’s Rights Week for several years. She has served as president of the Western New York Coalition for Crime Victims, was board member with the NYS Office of Victim Services and is current president of the Genesee County Inter-Agency Council. Theresa is the recipient of the 2012 NYS Mental Health Association Volunteer of the Year Award and will be the incoming president of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia. Theresa Asmus-Roth was nominated for this award by former Genesee County Jail Superintendent Ed Minardo.

Justice for Children Advocacy Center
The Genesee County Justice for Children Advocacy Center and its staff are being recognized by the Kiwanis Club of Batavia for the great work they do with providing services to children who have been physically or sexually abused. Not only are services provided to the child victim, but also to the victim’s family. Services such as counseling, emotional support and assistance with the legal process are provided on a daily basis. Forensic interviews and medical examinations provided at the Child Advocacy Center are invaluable during the prosecution of a sexual abuser, along with the expert testimony offered by the forensic interviewer. Justice for Children Advocacy Center team members Shannon Ford, director of Genesee Justice; Anne Bezon, CAC supervisor; Erin Martin, victim advocate; Jack Coyne, M.D.; Cecelia Lyons, P.N.P; Amy Hayward, nurse; Donna Harris, financial management assistant/victim advocate; Julie Walsh, therapist; and forensic interviewers Kathy Colgan and Laura Keleman are to be commended. This nomination was made by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

CHARLES L. MANCUSO MOCK TRIAL AWARD
The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Byron-Bergen High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2014 GLOWS (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming and Steuben counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament. The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen”, Mr. Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death seven years ago. The Byron-Bergen High School team members honored at the dinner include:  Kaleb Bobzien, Christine Burke, A.J. DiQuattro, Bethany Ezard, Noelle Ferris, Milton Griffin, Meghan Johnson, Ashley Montgomery, Laura Redinger, Amanda Streeter and Dakota Zambito. Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, who serves as coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, and Genesee County Bar Association president Mary Kay Yanik presented the award.

GENESEE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION AWARDS
Appreciation Award - District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Esq.
Mary Kay Yanik, president of the Genesee County Bar Association presented the Appreciation Award to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Esq., in grateful appreciation for his years of outstanding dedication and commitment as Genesee County Mock Trial coordinator. The Mock Trial Program is sponsored by the New York Bar Association and is a statewide program. Under Mr. Friedman's tenure, Genesee County joined with Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties in competitions so that the students would be able to have additional teams to compete against. Mr. Friedman is retiring from this role as coordinator and Kristie DeFreze, Esq., an associate at the Bonarigo & McCutcheon, L.L.P., law firm will now take over that role.

Unsung Hero Award - Gary Horton, Esq.
Mary Kay Yanik, president of the Genesee County Bar Association, presented the Unsung Hero Award to Gary Horton, Esq., for his tireless dedication in providing quality, professional legal services to the indigent people of Genesee County. This award was last given in 2009. Mr. Horton has spent the majority of his career in working as a public defender eventually being named as the head of the Genesee County Public Defender's Office, which provides services to indigent criminal defendants as well as litigants in Family Court. Mr. Horton has retired from the Genesee County Public Defender's Office and will now be working as head of a legal services organization, here in Batavia, representing veterans.

GENESEE/ORLEANS COUNCIL ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE (GCASA) AWARD
Exceptional Service Award - Deputy Sheriff Joseph A. Corona. Bethany Iacucci, prevention educator for GCASA, presented the Exceptional Service Award to Deputy Sheriff Joseph A. Corona from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Corona started his career here in Genesee County on July 20, 2012, right out of the academy. He had the highest number of DWI arrests for 2013 and continues to lead again this year. He was instrumental in implementing the use of the Alco-Sensor for GCASA’s DWI Victim Impact Panel in January of this year. Deputy Corona not only assisted in creating the procedure but also went above and beyond to assure that every panel assignee was treated equally and with respect. When there were disruptive attendees, he assisted with defusing the situation. He demonstrates respect toward participants and GCASA staff, and goes out of his way to insure that our speakers feel comfortable and safe.

Phil Ricci
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Great event that was shared by awesome community members, honoring some pretty incredible individuals!!!

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