Interim Sheriff Phil Povero says it was difficult to say ‘no’ when leaders in Ontario County asked him to return to the sheriff’s office.
His career in law enforcement spanned nearly five decades, with 27 of them coming as sheriff in Ontario County.
“It’s difficult to say no to an organization that has been a very important part of my life,” Povero said earlier this week. The 70-year-old took the oath of office, succeeding Kevin Henderson, who abruptly resigned earlier this fall after allegations of a hostile work environment. His undersheriff also resigned.
Povero’s wife was crucial in his decision. “The support that is most important to me is my wife Cindy,” he explained. She’s a cancer survivor. “She has been an inspiration to me. We had to change some personal plans, so her support means everything to me.”
As for the department itself, and challenges it faces – Povero is still sold that the agency can move forward successfully.
“I’m not going to reflect on what has happened here over the last three years. I still feel very strongly that this is a 100%, top-flight organization with dedicated staff,” he said. “Their input is needed for the health of this organization. The staff is our most valuable asset. I’m convinced there is so much talent within these walls.”
Povero noted that it’s a difficult time for law enforcement across the board, but noted optimism about the future of the department as he leads it through 2022.
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