An interview with Gene Conway

— Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Gene Conway, Dewitt Police Chief, to learn more about him. What I found out was that Gene is a dedicated policeman and capable administrator. He knows that the police are extensions of the public, as are all government employees. Being a policeman is unique in that sometimes contact with the public is unpleasant, but that a policeman should not be unpleasant.

Gene Conway is a private man dedicated to police work, public service and his family. He was raised in Warners and attended West Genesee Schools. He had his first law enforcement job in North Syracuse in 1977 and left that for a career as a deputy sheriff. He remained there until his retirement in 2002. In 2002 he was selected as the Dewitt Police Chief. He has done nearly every task that police officers are called upon to do, including some undercover work, while constantly studying police sciences, trying to become the best in his field.

As a Dewitt resident I have grown to respect our police force and their efficiency, and above all their civility and politeness. I am convinced that this is largely due to Conway’s leadership. Naturally, this led to a question.

Can you have this type of ethic in an organization as large as the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department?

Conway’s answer was simple and direct: “The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department has great people and for the most part they are already behaving this way. It isn’t the people we need to change, it is more a matter of changing the way the administrators guide their people.

The larger issue is becoming fiscally responsible. I believe we can improve how assets are allocated and more effectively used.”

Sheriff Walsh has had some difficult dealings over the years with the legislature. Do you believe you can reverse this situation?

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