The Windham County Sheriff's Office, located in the county seat of Newfane, Vermont, provides a variety of services and programs to the citizens of Windham County and it's visitors. From policing to service of civil documents, we pride ourselves as being the most versatile agency in Windham County.
The Windham County Sheriff’s Office’s mission is to provide effective, ethical and affordable policing.
TheWindham County Sheriff’s Department will be recognized as the county’s premier law enforcement agency providing innovative programs, cutting edge technologies, and high quality services throughout all of Windham County while retaining the Department’s reputation for being respectful,compassionate, fair and ethical.
Sheriff William Graham
William, "Bill" Graham, Jr., 79, of Bellows Falls Road, former longtime Windham County Sheriff, died Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. the result of a head injury he sustained following an accidental fall at his camp in Bradford.
Bill was born in Springfield Gardens, Long Island, N.Y. on February 20, 1931, the son of William and Adath (Shelley) Graham.
At the age of eight he moved to Putney with his family where he was raised and educated, graduating from Brattleboro High School, Class of 1948. He later attended Champlain College where he majored in Criminal Justice. Bill was a graduate of the Vermont State Police Basic Training Academy, graduated with the 89th session of the FBI National Academy and was also a graduate of the National Sheriff's Institute.
For 33 years he served as Windham County Sheriff initially appointed to his position by then Governor Deane Davis in 1969. He retired from his position in February 2002. Prior to his appointment as Sheriff he served as Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer for six years working in the agency's Brattleboro office.
From 1954 to 1963 he served with the Vermont State Police working out of the Fairlee Outpost, covering fourteen towns from White River Jct. north to St. Johnsbury.
In his earlier years following high school he worked for Basketville in Putney as manager of the company's production department. For many years, on a part-time basis he worked for the State of Vermont (Orange County) Fish & Game Department as a game warden.
Active civically, positions he held in Putney included, member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, town agent, town grand juror, town lister, and town constable. He also served on and was chairman of the school board in Putney.
Bill was a Director of Bellows Falls Trust Co., was a member of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, served on the Vermont Detective Licensing Board as well as on the Governor's Crime Commission. He was also a Trustee with the Family Child Guidance, Youth services.
Professional memberships he was active in included, International Chiefs of Police, National Sheriff's Association where he served as state director since 1971, and Vermont Sheriff's Association where he served as President for six years. He held membership in the Vermont Chiefs of Police Association, the American Society of Industrial Security and was a former member of the Aircraft Owner & Pilots Association.
He was the first chairman of the Windham County Greenup Committee 1979-1981, was a member of the Criminal Court Coordinating Committee and served as Coordinator of Police services for Disaster Situations in Windham County.
Active fraternally, he was a member of the Brattleboro Shrine Club, Cairo Shrine Temple of Rutland, F&AM, Golden Rule Lodge #32 in Putney, Putney Lion's Club and held membership in the Putney Historical Society.
Bill received a special commendation in 1994 from President Clinton at the White House for Courage and Commitment to the safety of others and dedication to the community exemplifying the finest tradition of law enforcement in America. He was also the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, from the Boy Scouts of America.
On October 9, 1958, in Chicago, IL he was married to Phyllis Austin who survives.
Besides his faithful and loving wife of 51 years, he leaves one daughter, Kimberlee Denning and her husband Jeffrey of Weare N.H., three grandchildren, Michael, Aleesha and Matthew Denning, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
He was predeceased by one sister, Ethel Sauer.
Medal of Valor
The Medal of Valor may be awarded to a sworn deputy who, in the performance of his/her duty in a situation of extreme danger to the Deputy, and where strong possibility exists that serious injury or death to the Deputy at the time, and the act of valor, bravery or courage is beyond normal expectations.
The Sheriff’s Cross shall be awarded to a sworn deputy, who in the performance of his/her duty was killed or sustained permanent serious bodily injury.
Distinguished Service Medal
The Distinguished Service Medal may be awarded to a sworn deputy who intelligently performs acts of outstanding personal bravery at imminent personal hazard to life under circumstances demonstrating a disregard of personal consequences.
Deputy Mark H. Dooley Award
The Deputy Mark H. Dooley Award may be awarded to a sworn deputy who demonstrates dedication, compassion, enthusiasm and initiative in policing. This award is limited to one deputy in a calendar year.
The Sheriff’s Star shall be awarded to any employee upon honorable separation, including death, which has accumulated 20 or more years of service with the Windham County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Star may be awarded posthumously to a deputy who dies while employed by the Office, regardless of years of service.
Life Saving Award
The Life Saving Award shall be awarded to any employee who provides, or is directly responsible for, life saving actions for a condition of which a high probability exists that a person will suffer serious bodily injury or death without the employee’s intervention.
Deputy of the Year
The Deputy of the Year shall be selected based on excellent, unusual or continued dedication to the Office and to Windham County, as recognized by superiors, peers and the public as measured across the calendar year.
Dispatcher of the Year
The Dispatcher of the Year shall be selected based on excellent, unusual or continued dedication to the Department and to Windham County, as recognized by superiors, peers and the public as measured across the calendar year.
Sheriff's Merit Award
The Sheriff's Merit Award shall be awarded to a sworn deputy that has demonstrated unusual devotion to duty or valor, over a continual and recognized period of time.
Volunteer Service Award
The Volunteer Service Award shall be awarded to the top 10% of employees who volunteers their time in the performance of a coordinated Office event.
The Distinguished Accomplishment award shall be awarded to any employee, who provides an outstanding or meritorious service, product or program that reflects positively on the Office that demonstrates unusual thoroughness, conscientiousness, determination and initiative. It may be awarded to an employee who has performed an efficient and valuable service to the Office, either in carrying out a specific task or in the performance of general duties over an extended period of time, that wouldn’t be eligible for a higher award.
Exemplary Service Award
The Exemplary Service Award shall be awarded to any employee, who demonstrates exemplary service in job performance, citizen contacts, and overall attitude and has three occurrences or less of lost time in a year (excluding injured or maternity time) and no sustained disciplinary action for a period of two years.
Distinguished Employee Award
The Distinguished Employee Award is given to an employee who demonstrates unusual flexibility, positive attitude, commitment and professionalism to the Windham County Sheriff's Office over a continued period of time.
Five Year Service Award
Awarded to employees who have worked for the Windham County Sheriff's Office for five continuous years.
Ten Year Service Award
Awarded to employees who have worked for the Windham County Sheriff's Office for ten continuous years.
Fifteen Year Service Award
Awarded to employees who have worked for the Windham County Sheriff's Office for fifteen continuous years.
History of the Office of the Sheriff
The first of two important characteristics that distinguish the Office
of Sheriff from other law enforcement units is its historical roots. In
England, the sheriff came into existence around the 9th century. This
makes the sheriff the oldest continuing, non-military, law enforcement
entity in history. In early England the land was divided into geographic
areas between a few individual kings – these geographic areas were
called shires. Within each shire there was an individual called a reeve,
which meant guardian. This individual was originally selected by the
serfs to be their informal social and governmental leader. The kings
observed how influential this individual was within the serf community
and soon incorporated that position into the governmental structure. The
reeve soon became the Kings appointed representative to protect the
King’s interest and act as mediator with people of his particular shire.
Through time and usage the words shire and reeve came together to be
shire-reeve, guardian of the shire and eventually the word sheriff, as
we know it today.
The Office of Sheriff grew in importance with increasing
responsibilities up to and through the Norman invasion of England in
1066. The duties of the sheriff included keeping the peace, collecting
taxes, maintaining jails, arresting fugitives, maintaining a list of
wanted criminals, and serving orders and writs for the Kings Court. Most
of those duties are still the foundation of the sheriff’s
responsibilities in the United States. The responsibilities of the
Office of Sheriff in England ebbed and flowed, depending on the mood and
needs of kings and government. In 1215 the great document of freedom,
the Magna Carta, was reluctantly signed by King John. This document had
63 clauses, 27 of which are related to the restrictions upon, as well
as, the responsibilities of the sheriff. Through the passage of time,
the English sheriff began to lose responsibility and power, and by the
early 1800’s it became largely ceremonial, as it remains today.
The concept of sheriff, because of the vast British Empire, was
exported to places such as Canada, Australia, India, and, of course, the
American Colonies. In America, the office was modified over a period of
time to fit democratic ideals. The Dutch settled the area called New
Amsterdam (what is now New York City) in 1626. The Dutch version of the
sheriff was called a “schout.” When the English claimed the land, the
schout became the sheriff. In the other American colonies, following the
pattern of English government, sheriffs were appointed. The first
sheriff in America is believed to be Captain William Stone, appointed in
1634 for the Shire of Northampton in the colony of Virginia. The first
elected sheriff was William Waters in 1652 in the same shire (shire was
used in many of the colonies, before the word county replaced it.)
The sheriff’s office in America was much less social, had less
judicial influence, and was much more responsive to individuals than the
English Sheriff. The duties of the early American Sheriff were similar
in many ways to its English forerunner, centering on court related
duties such as security and warrants, protection of citizens,
maintaining the jail, and collecting taxes. As the nation expanded
westward, the Office of Sheriff continued to be a significant part of
law enforcement. The elected sheriff is part of America’s democratic
fabric. In 1776 Pennsylvania and New Jersey adopted the Office of
Sheriff in their Constitution. The Ohio Constitution called for the
election of the county sheriff in 1802, and then state-by-state, the
democratic election of sheriff became not only a tradition, but in most
states a constitutional requirement. In the United States today, of the
3083 sheriffs, approximately 98 percent are elected by the citizens of
their counties or parishes. - National Sheriff's Association