Board of Directors | About Us

About Us

The Sheriffs Institute Team

Board of Directors

  • William E. Yessman

    William E. Yessman , Vice Chairman

    Schuyler County Sheriff

    Sheriff William E. Yessman, Jr. began his law enforcement career in 1985, working in both the Schuyler County Jail and the Emergency Dispatch Center. After completing the basic police course at the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy, he was promoted to the Sheriff’s Road Patrol. In 1991, Bill Yessman was promoted to Sergeant and five years later promoted to Lieutenant. He became Sheriff Mike Maloney’s Undersheriff in 2001 and took on the additional responsibilities as Schuyler County’s STOP DWI Coordinator as well.
    Sheriff Yessman has attended numerous law enforcement and corrections schools and earned his A.A.S. Degree in Criminal Justice. His commitment to education influenced his development as an instructor at the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy and various law enforcement conferences and seminars.
    Sheriff Yessman also serves as Law Enforcement Coordinator at the Watkins Glen International Racetrack, which draws over two hundred thousand spectators annually.
    Schuyler County has a population of 19,600 and is 331 square miles in size.

  • David E. Harder

    David E. Harder

    Broome County Sheriff

    Sheriff David E. Harder has been a member of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office since January 1, 1964. Sheriff Harder was Broome County’s first Warrant Officer, as well as the County’s first Narcotics Officer. Before being elected to the Office of Sheriff in 1998, Harder was a Sheriff’s Detective for over 25 years and attained the rank of Detective Sergeant. Sheriff Harder, in conjunction with the Division of Criminal Justice Services, has been instrumental in developing and implementing numerous statewide reporting procedures such as the Standardized Incident Report, the Standardized Arrest Report, and the Standardized Domestic Incident Report. He has also been on the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary committee for over 10 years. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Boy Scouts of America, Baden-Powell Council and also serves as a member of SEPP, Inc. (Serving the Elderly through Project Planning).  In 2002, Governor Pataki appointed Sheriff Harder to the New York State Arson Board. Harder is a past recipient of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association’s Carl F. Draxler Award. He has also been honored several times by the American Legion as the State, County and Local Policeman of the Year. The Sheriff also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in the 48th Rifle Company. Broome County has a population of 197,000 and encompasses 850 square miles.

  • Adrian H. Anderson

    Adrian H. Anderson

    Dutchess County Sheriff

    Adrian “Butch” Anderson began his law enforcement career in 1970, when he was appointed Deputy Sheriff in Dutchess County. After spending a short time in uniformed patrol, he was promoted to Detective and responsible for the Major Cases Squad. He was appointed Undersheriff in 1993 and first elected Sheriff of Dutchess County in 1999. Sheriff Anderson has an outstanding resume in professional training and as an instructor, highlighted by his graduation from the 110th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff Anderson has been awarded numerous “in-the-line of service” citations, including five Combat Crosses. He has always been active in civic and community affairs, was recipient of the 2004 Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce’s Commitment to Community Award, the 2004 Boy Scouts of America-Hudson Valley Distinguished Citizen Award, and serves as Chairman of numerous organizations, such as the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes and is a founding board member of the McElroy Kids With Cancer-Make A Wish Foundation. Sheriff Anderson was named an Ambassador For Peace by the Federation For World Peace Council and received an award from the Temple of I-CHENG for Wisdom Is Better Than Weapons Of War. Rev. Rosie Jackson, Pastor, also presented the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award to Sheriff Anderson at St. Mark A.M.E. Zion Church. Sheriff Anderson heads an Office of 550 employees. The County has a population of 315,000 and an area of 816 square miles.

  • Timothy B. Howard

    Timothy B. Howard

    Erie County Sheriff

    Sheriff Timothy B. Howard is a 40 year law enforcement veteran, including 24 years with the New York State Police. He has served in various assignments across the State, including Buffalo, Long Island, the Adirondacks and the Southern Tier. As a Staff Inspector in the State Police, he was responsible for the coordination of services in the State Police Forensic Investigation Center; he supervised the Planning and Research Section.

    Sheriff Howard is a recipient of the Brummer Award, the highest award given by the New York State Police as a result of his actions during a 1982 domestic dispute in which his partner, Trooper Gary Kubasiak, was tragically killed. He is unquestionably a member of the “law enforcement family.” One of his brothers retired as the Chief of Police in Eden, Erie County; another, a retired Lieutenant from the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department; while a third is a retired Senior Investigator with the NY State Police, and now a Town Justice. Tim’s sister is married to a NY State Correction Officer. His two sons, daughter-in-law and two nephews are NY State Troopers while another is a Deputy Sheriff.  In 1998, he was appointed Erie County Undersheriff where he personally oversaw the eight Division Chiefs who direct the daily operation of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. He was elected Sheriff in 2006.  Sheriff Howard is a 2000 graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Albany. He has taught extensively at the State Police Academy in Albany and in the Criminal Justice Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Sheriff Howard serves on the Board of Directors of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association Institute. Erie County has a population of 921,390 and an area of 1,046 square miles

  • Karl G. Abrams

    Karl G. Abrams

    Hamilton County Sheriff

    Sheriff Karl G. Abrams was elected Sheriff of Hamilton County in 2009, and commenced his first term of office on January 1, 2010. Sheriff Abrams started his law enforcement career in June of 1992. He was hired as a Navigational Officer to patrol the numerous lakes in the southern portion of Hamilton County. In the fall of 1992, he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff and was assigned to County court security and inmate transports. In January 1993 he attended the Zone 9 Police Academy in Plattsburgh, NY. After graduating from the academy he was assigned to the road patrol.

    In 1997, upon the retirement of the Undersheriff, he was promoted to Lieutenant and Undersheriff. He currently holds numerous dive certificates and still is the diver for the Sheriff's Office. He holds an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Mohawk Valley Community College. He has attended numerous in-service training courses, including the Sheriff's Association Civil School. He still patrols, handles complaints and conducts accident investigations.

    Hamilton County is the 3rd largest county in New York State with roughly 1800 square miles and has a resident population of approximately 5100.

  • Gary W. Howard

    Gary W. Howard

    Tioga County Sheriff

    Sheriff Gary W. Howard is serving his 2nd term, and has over 30 years of experience with the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to being elected Sheriff in 2004, he served as a Corrections Officer; Road Patrol Deputy; Patrol Shift Supervisor; Criminal Investigator and Senior Investigator. Sheriff Howard is also an Army Veteran, having served three years in the U.S. Army, assigned as a Military Police Sergeant with the 287th MP Company at Check Point Charlie, Berlin, Germany. He has attended the National Sheriffs’ Institute, and serves on the New York State e-Justice Advisory Board and is a member of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute Board of Directors.
    Tioga County has an estimated population of 51,784 and an area of 518 square miles.

  • Philip C. Povero

    Philip C. Povero , Secretary

    Ontario County Sheriff

    Philip C. Povero is a graduate of Geneva High School, Finger Lakes Community College and the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He began his career with the Sheriff’s office in 1972 as a corrections and communications officer. In January, 1973, he was assigned to the Sheriff’s Road Patrol. From 1977 to 1990, he served as an investigator in the Criminal Investigation Division. He was elected to the Office of Sheriff in 1990. During his tenure, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office has acquired state accreditation for its law enforcement, corrections, emergency communications, civil, and court security divisions, plus correctional health care accreditation with National Commission on Correctional Health Care. The Sheriff has implemented the D.A.R.E. Program and provided School Resource Officers to Ontario County school districts. In 2005, “Project Life Saver,” a radio system to locate missing Alzheimer patients was implemented by the Sheriff. Sheriff Povero is past President of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and  current Secretary of the New York State Sheriffs' Institute. In addition, he is Chairman of the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy Board of Directors. He is a co-chairman of the New York State Law Enforcement Executive Committee on Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. Ontario County has a population of 110,000 and an area of 644 square miles.

  • Kevin M. Wells

    Kevin M. Wells

    St. Lawrence County Sheriff

    Kevin Wells has been a career member of the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, serving since 1984.  He has held the rank of Deputy Sheriff Patrol Officer and Sergeant and has worked within the Criminal Division (DARE Officer) and in 1999 was selected as Undersheriff by Sheriff Gary Jarvis.  Upon Sheriff Jarvis’ retirement (2007), Kevin Wells was elected by the people of St. Lawrence County to be their Sheriff.  St. Lawrence County completed construction of a new 164 bed County Correctional Facility in 2009.  The Sheriff’s Office is a fully operational Sheriff’s Office with a Criminal Division that includes a county wide Drug Task Force actively working in this International border county.  The Sheriff’s Office holds accreditation status in both their Civil and Criminal Divisions and are striving to meet all criteria for full accreditation status.  Sheriff Wells holds an AAS Degree from SUNY Canton (1981) and a BPS Degree from SUNY Utica-Rome (1983) both in Criminal Justice.  The Sheriff is a certified Police Instructor and evaluator and has received hundreds of hours of training and specialized certifications throughout his career.  Sheriff Wells has two children and four grandchildren.  He and his companion Mary B. Curran reside in the Town of Canton.  St. Lawrence County has a population of 110,000 residents and consists of 2,840 square miles.

  • Michael H. Zurlo

    Michael H. Zurlo , Treasurer

    Saratoga County Sheriff

    Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo (R,I) was born and raised in the City of Mechanicville where he began his law-enforcement career with the Mechanicville Police department before transferring to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Zurlo worked for the Saratoga County Sheriff’s office for more than 30 years as a deputy, sergeant, lieutenant and senior criminal investigator. Prior to becoming Sheriff of Saratoga County, Michael Zurlo served as the Town Justice of the Town of Stillwater.

    Sheriff Zurlo was elected to serve Saratoga County on November 5, 2013.

    Saratoga County has a population of 219,607 and an area of 815 square miles.

  • Ronald G. Spike

    Ronald G. Spike , Chairman

    Yates County Sheriff

    Sheriff Ron Spike has been with the Yates County Sheriff’s Office since 1970.  He grew up living in the Sheriff’s residence, attached to the old 1904 county jail as his father George was Sheriff from 1958 to 1981. Upon graduation from Monroe Community College in 1970 Ron was hired as a deputy sheriff and did road and marine patrol and was the first agency youth officer. In 1973, he was promoted to Detective. In 1982, he was promoted to Chief Deputy Sheriff where he supervised  the law enforcement bureau and CID.  He was first elected Sheriff for a term beginning January 1, 1992 and re-elected five terms since.

    He has been honored with several awards in his career and was the 1981 New York State Sheriffs’ Association’s Deputy Sheriff of the Year for saving a life in a house fire. Spike has attended numerous training courses, including the 144th session of the FBI National Academy, the National Sheriffs’ Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NYSSA, FLLEA, DCJS, and the Rural Executive Institute. He is a graduate of the Pelletier County Government Institute at Cornell University. Sheriff Spike is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute. He was President of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association (NYSSA) in 2000 and continues as a Life Member. He represents NYSSA on the Board of Directors for the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and is a member of the Standards/Ethics/Training, Global Affairs, and Court Security/Civil Committees at the NSA. Sheriff Spike, a certified Police Instructor has held four Governors appointments on the NYS Municipal Police Training Council since 1997 and is the current Chairman. He also Chairs the Public Safety Committee for NYSAC.

    He is active in the Yates County community with several agencies and boards. He is a member of the United Methodist Church, and is Past President and currentSecretary of the Penn Yan Lions Club where he has been honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow. He and Sue, his wife of 43 years, have three children and seven grand children.

    Yates County is home to the NYS Sheriffs' Summer Camp on Keuka Lake, and has a population of 33,000 which doubles during the summer, and an area of 334 miles with 64 miles of shoreline on three Finger Lakes. 

  • Gregory Rudolph

    Gregory Rudolph

    Wyoming County Sheriff

    Education/Training: Greg holds an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice from Genesee Community College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1994-1997 most of which was aboard the USS John F. Kennedy. 

    Career: Gregory J. Rudolph was appointed by Sheriff Heimann on August 31, 2009.  Greg has been with the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office since 2001 with the last four years assigned as Patrol Sergeant. He started his law enforcement career at the Attica Police Department in 1997 and had a two year stint with the then Immigration and Naturalization Service as a Detention Enforcement Officer.  

    Honors and Achievements: In 2006, Greg was awarded the Law Enforcement Purple Heart by former Wyoming County Sheriff Farris Heimann. In 2007, Greg was honored by both the National Sheriffs' Association and the New York State Sheriffs' Association as "Deputy of the Year." At the National Sheriffs' Association ceremony he was also awarded the "Medal of Valor."  

    Personal: Greg is a member of SS Joachim and Anne Church in Attica, Attica Lions Club, American Legion Post in Attica and the Warsaw Veterans' Club. Greg and his wife, Pam have two children and reside in the Village of Attica. 

    County Seat: Warsaw, NY
    Population: 42,155
    Area: 596 square miles