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The Sun election 2013 coverage: Erie County sheriff

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard
Timothy Howard
Erie County Sheriff

Sheriff Timothy Howard has been involved in law enforcement for more than 40 years, 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.

One of his brothers recently retired as the chief of police in Eden; another is a retired lieutenant from the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department; a third is a retired senior investigator with the NYSP and is now a town justice. Howard’s sister is married to a NYS correctional officer. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and two of his nephews are NYS troopers, while another nephew is a deputy sheriff.

As undersheriff, Howard oversaw the eight chiefs who directed the daily operation of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and its more than 1,000 employees. He was appointed Erie County sheriff upon Patrick Gallivan’s resignation, and was elected to office in 2005 and reelected in 2009.

As a staff inspector of 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 and conducted internal affairs investigations.

Howard received the Brummer Award from the NYS Police Department, as a result of his actions during a 1982 domestic dispute in which his partner, Trooper Gary Kubasiak, was killed. He received a New York State Legislative Proclamation for his work with school violence and has also received the Superintendent’s Unit Citation for his leadership role in the Sara Ann Woods search in the Adirondacks.

He received the Hero’s Award from the 100 Club of Buffalo in 1982, the Erie County Law Enforcement Award in 1998, the Judges and Police Conference Outstanding Law Enforcement Award in 2007 and the Attorney General’s Award in 2008. He served as president of the Judges and Police Conference of Erie County in 2005.

He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2000 and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany. He has taught at the State Police Academy in Albany and in the Criminal Justice Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is also the cochairman of Homeland Security Zone 15.

Among his most recent accomplishments was the formation and guidance of the Bike Path Rape/Murder Task Force, which led to the arrest of Altemio Sanchez and the closure of three homicides and as many as two dozen rapes.

Howard has three daughters, two sons and six grandchildren. He lives in South Wales.

He has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

Bert Dunn
Bert Dunn
Erie County Sheriff

Democrat Bert Dunn is running for Erie County Sheriff. He is endorsed by the last Democratic sheriff, Tom Higgins, and the Law & Order Party.

Dunn is a current lieutenant and day watch commander at the Erie County Sheriff’s Office; he is also a former sergeant and deputy. He is the president of Bert’s Bikes and Fitness. He was a former patrolman in the town of Hamburg.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, and his master’s degree from Canisius College.

Dunn said that, as the son of a Buffalo firefighter, he “knows the value of hard work,” is committed to working with families of Erie County and will make the area “safer for all.” He said that he has the ability to take a non-political approach in managing a $100 million budget and added that he considers his education and his experience with his bicycle business to be a sustainable background for the job.

“The people of Erie County deserve a sheriff who is passionate about the sheriff’s office, who is skilled in managing budgets and delivering quality services, understands and embraces technology and plans for the future,” he said.

For more information about this candidate, visit

Richard Dobson Sr.
Erie County Sheriff

Richard Dobson Sr. has been endorsed for Erie County sheriff by the Democratic Party.


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