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Never Forget

11/15/17, by Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour

We recently sat down with Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour to talk about the business of being sheriff. During the interview, he shared stories that have shaped him and his law enforcement career. An excerpt from that interview follows:

Never Forget

Any cop can tell you about the cases and people who have helped to shape them—their attitudes, beliefs, and the ones that push you to do better every day. Back in 1982 in Niagara County, a little boy named Russell Mort went missing. He has never been found, and no one has been convicted of his kidnapping. Although this crime happened long before Sheriff Voutour was an officer, it’s still an open, active case the Niagara County Sheriff's Office (NCSO) works on to this day. 

“Russel was only 2 years-old when he went missing,” said Sheriff Voutour. “Before I leave office, I’d really like to see us be able to give some peace to his family.”

To survive the things they see day in and day out, cops need to be tough and somewhat callous.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t care—it’s self-preservation really,” said Sheriff Voutour. “You learn to compartmentalize and not get personally involved because you know that the next day there will be another case that needs your attention and you’ll need to move on. It’s not heartless. You just can’t bring everything home.”

Still there are the cases and incidents you can’t shake. Russell Mort is one of those cases. So is what happened to NCSO Deputy Jeffrey Incardona.

Deputy Incardona was killed on July 22, 1993 when a distress call came into the communications center from a Lockport city police officer who had been shot. Incardona raced to the scene to help. It is believed that a defective manhole cover caused him to lose control of his vehicle. The patrol car struck a utility pole and burst into flames. Sheriff Voutour was hired as a Deputy in his spot.

He said, “I never take for granted the privilege to serve, the danger associated with the job, or the honor it is to be a part of the NCSO.”

Read the complete interview with Sheriff Voutour here

For more information, visit the Niagara County Sheriff's Office website or follow Sheriff Voutour and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office on Twitter (@NiagaraSheriff, @sheriffvoutour), Facebook and Instagram (niagarasheriff).

Never Forget