BY JOHN ANDERSON
After working for years in local police departments in Allegany County, a New York State Police trooper and eventually a senior investigator with the bureau of criminal investigation (BCI), it was time for retirement for Wellsville’s Scott Cicirello.
However, in 1984, he went door-to-door with his father, Jim (or Jac), attended parades and meetings, and watched his dad run for Allegany County Sheriff. A well-liked and knowledgeable police officer and administrator, the Cicirello family expected Jim to be elected chief.
When he wasn’t, Scott made his dad a promise he would be the sheriff someday of Allegany County.
Tuesday night, the residents of the county made sure to keep that promise as well.
Scott Cicirello was elected with 99.53% of the votes and earned 12,538 votes.
Another sign of respect: He ran unopposed. There have been primaries with up to four qualified candidates running for the office. The current Allegany County Sheriff, Ricky L. Whitney, is retiring after a long career which has seen the Bolivar resident bring the jail to compliance standards, reduce financial issues and he served as a trustee with the state sheriff’s association.
“I think very highly of Rick, he reminds me a lot of my father which is probably the best accolade I could give him,” Cicrello said. “What more can you say? 47 years of law enforcement experience, the last 12 years as sheriff. He has really done a good job getting everyone together, getting this office fiscally responsible, getting the jail aspect and jail side accredited, which was a huge, huge accomplishment. He has done a lot of tremendous things here and my goal is to build on what he has accomplished.”
Cicirello, who is currently the undersheriff, finally had reality sink in this week as Election Day was close. He said talking about his dad and the memories of campaigning and talking to him about law enforcement was emotional (story HERE).
“It’s kind of a culmination of 30 years of law enforcement. It has been a goal of mine since I was a little boy. So it means a lot to me, it means a lot to my family, it’s always something I aspired to do,” he said. “It was very emotional, a lot of great memories as a kid having my father involved in law enforcement for 35-plus years. The chief of police, he really wanted to be sheriff and in 1984 we were sure he was going to win and he didn’t. Things changed quite a bit for us at that point, but it was also the start of a life-long goal and that was to end up here as Sheriff of this office, so I couldn’t be more proud.”
Cicirello has worked at each level in the county and that experience, knowing the struggles, and the help each agency needs, could mean a more cohesive relationship when it comes to police work.
“I come from the school that we are all police officers, we just wear different uniforms,” Cicirello said. “Working municipal law enforcement and being with the state police for as long as I was and now being here, I feel it’s a bridge to every agency.I think it will bring some positive things down the road for us.”
Cicirello put in a full shift on Tuesday and spent Election Night at home celebrating with his family. He was back to work on Wednesday and even cut off his victory interview when he was called into action. Work, family and dedication to law enforcement. If keeping a promise to his father was the goal, mission accomplished.