CORTLAND-- The Baden-Powell Council, Boy Scouts of America has announced that Deputy Chief Paul Sandy and Officer Jesse Abbott are this year’s recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Citizen of the Year award for Cortland County.
Abbott and Sandy will be honored at a dinner to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 at the Hathaway House in McGraw. Both were instrumental in bringing a 9/11 Memorial to our own Courthouse Park.
This is the 25th Annual Distinguished Citizen of the Year dinner benefiting the local Scouting program. Each year the Scouts recognize a local community leader for their outstanding contribution to the betterment of the community and service to their fellow citizens. Selection was made for the award by a committee of local citizens which includes past recipients. Last year’s recipient was John Eves.
Deputy Chief Paul Sandy was appointed as a Patrolman for the City of Cortland Police Department on November 19, 1985, where he later became one of the founding members of the department’s Tactical Response Unit and later initiated the Bicycle Patrol. DC Sandy was promoted to the rank of Uniform Sergeant in 1993 and then reassigned to the Detective Bureau in 1995, as a member of the Cortland County Drug Task Force. He remained in the Detective Bureau until his promotion to Detective Lieutenant in 2003, where he became the agency’s Public Information Officer and Field Information Officer within Counter Terrorism Zone 6. On August 28, 2009, he was promoted to Deputy Chief. Throughout his law enforcement career DC Sandy has received a number of awards, letters, and commendations from local, state, and federal agencies., including 2001 Lawman of the Year award.
Always having a passion to help others, Officer Abbott decided at a young age to follow in his father's and grandfather's footsteps by entering the field of law enforcement at the age of 22. With no interest in the corporate world and sitting behind a desk day after day, Jesse felt compelled to be out on the streets protecting and serving the community he grew up in. Forever the team player, Jesse found working for the Cortland Police Department to be his calling.
At the end of 2016, the Cortland Police Department was one of two departments in New York State to receive a federal grant in community policing from the C.O.P.S. Office. Jesse commenced his duties as the new Community Oriented Police officer in January 2017 where he has held several "Coffee With a Cop" events around downtown Cortland, organized the Emergency Services Appreciation Day, a bike registration program, and the Neighbors on Watch Program.
Reservations for the event may be made by contacting the Baden-Powell Council service center at 607-648-7888 or toll free at 1-877-674-8876 and asking for information on the Cortland Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner. Seating is limited.
The Baden-Powell Council, Boy Scouts of America served over 800 youth members within Taughannock district in 2018. Locally, the Boy Scout program does not receive government funding. The yearly cost to the Council for each youth in the program is $180. Scout leaders hope to raise $5,000 of the current year’s budget from this dinner to support local Scouts. Deputy Chief Sandy and Officer Abbott encourage the citizens of Cortland County to join them in their efforts to support the local scouts.