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May 12, 2006

Oswego County Sheriff's Deputy Named 2005 Deputy of the Year

Deputy Plyler Award

(From left are: Assemblyman David Townsend, Assemblyman Robert Oaks, Legislator Barry Leemann, Legislature Chairman Russ Johnson, Deputy Jeremy Plyler, Sheriff Reuel Todd, Legislator Tom Bullard, and Assemblyman William Barclay.)

Members of the New York State Deputies’ Association, Inc. recently selected an Oswego County Sheriff’s Deputy to receive an annual award, which was created to recognize and publicize the contributions that deputies make to the people of New York State. Deputy Jeremy L. Plyler was co-named 2005 Deputy of the Year, an honor he shared with Sgt. Kevin D. Owens of Ontario County. The Officers were honored on May 8, 2006 at a Legislative reception held at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY, for their heroic efforts.

Deputy Plyler was chosen for his courageous actions in attempting to save the life of a Baldwinsville woman whose vehicle plunged into the frigid water of the Oneida River last fall. Henrietta Otter was traveling on County Route 12 in the Town of Schroeppel on November 24, 2005, on her way to Thanksgiving dinner with her family when she lost control of her car. Arriving at the scene, Deputy Plyler observed air bubbles rising to the surface of the water. Without hesitation or regard for his own life, he dove into the water in full uniform. Reaching the vehicle, unable to open the vehicle’s locked door, and unsuccessfully attempting to use a window punch, he punched the window out with his bare hand to gain entry. Reaching inside and bringing the victim through the window, he was able to bring her back to the surface and to shore. Despite Deputy Plyler’s efforts, he was unable to save Mrs. Otter.

Deputy Plyler is a four-year veteran of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office having joined Road Patrol on 4/15/02. He and his wife, Heather, have two children, Jonathan, and Madison, who were present at the reception, along with Deputy Plyler’s mother, Karen.

William A. Barclay, Assemblyman representing the 124th District, presented Deputy Plyler with a New York State Assembly Citation for outstanding citizenship and exemplary contributions and service to the citizens of New York State. Collectively, Assemblyman Barclay, Robert C. Oaks, representing the 128th District; and David R. Townsend, Jr., 115th District, presented Deputy Plyler and the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office with a State of New York Resolution honoring him for his heroic efforts.

Local attendees were Reuel A. Todd, Sheriff of Oswego County; Lt. Emerson J. Dillon, Oswego County Sheriff’s Office; Russ W. Johnson, Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature; Tom Bullard, Chair of the Oswego County Legislative Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee; and Barry Leeman, District 4.

Sgt. Owens was honored for his heroic efforts while investigating a reported bank robbery at the Ontario National Bank in Phelps, NY, on April 13, 2005. Sgt. Owens was pursuing a suspect, who had left the scene. Following a short chase, the suspect crashed his vehicle into a utility pole, exited the vehicle, and shot Sgt. Owens in the leg. Sgt. Owens returned gunfire, killing the suspect.

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