Four members of the county's law enforcement community will be honored next month at the 10th annual Community Service Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation.
Awards will be presented to:
East Aurora Police Department Detective Lt. Steven Bierut.
Retired Technical Sgt. Robert F. Phillips and his partner, Technical Sgt. Martin R. Wolinski, of the Erie County Sheriff's Office Weapons and Ordinance Unit.
Edward E. Walgate, the statewide director of enforcement for the State Liquor Authority.
The awards, honoring the men for their contributions to criminal justice in Western New York, will be presented during the event, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Road, Town of Lancaster.
Bierut, who was recently promoted, is a 20-year veteran of police work. He is noted for solving a number of high-profile crimes in East Aurora, including a December 1997 homicide, the first such crime of its kind in the village in 18 years.
Bierut also is a narcotics investigator, crime-scene coordinator, agency historian, fatal accident investigator, evidence technician, grant writer and official photographer for the East Aurora Police Department.
He is a member of the Six Towns Youth Court, adviser to the Law Enforcement Explorer Post 436, liaison to the local Kiwanis Club and successfully completed the highly accredited Col. Hank Williams homicide seminar at the New York State Police Academy in Albany.
Phillips and Wolinski teamed up to serve the Erie County Sheriff's Department for more than two decades as certified firearms instructors and as the only two authorized bomb technicians for the region, graduating from the Hazardous Devices School at the Redstone Arsenal.
Well known throughout the eight counties of Western New York, Phillips and Wolinski manned the only "bomb squad" in the western portion of the state and assisted all police agencies that called on them for the disposal of any explosive device, including the area's December 1993 package bombings that killed five and injured two. The two were able to track the maker of the killer bombs by tracing the components of unexploded devices that were recovered.
Walgate, who is responsible for the administration of the enforcement bureau of the State Liquor Authority, oversees the licensing and enforcement of the state's liquor laws and regulations.
Beginning his career in 1958 with the State Parkway Police-Niagara Region, Walgate worked his way through the ranks.
He was instrumental in developing enforcement programs across 19 counties. He has assisted numerous municipalities and county and state law enforcement agencies with investigations of drinking establishments, trained local police officers in the intricacies of state liquor laws and was part of a group that founded the Buffalo State College Criminal Justice Alumni Association.