Feb. 25, 1953 – Jan. 24, 2014
Ronald E. Fuller, an Amherst police officer who served as a liaison to Amherst and Williamsville courts, died Friday in Amherst. He was 60.
Mr. Fuller, of East Amherst, was credited by colleagues as instrumental in helping to form the Amherst Drug Court in 1996, when he worked with Amherst Town Justice Mark G. Farrell to develop the first suburban drug court in the United States.
Amherst Town Justice Geoff Klein called Mr. Fuller “forward thinking” and said he helped convince the Amherst Police Department to try the new approach to treating drug defendants.
“Without his ability to convince the Amherst Police to try this new approach, the drug court may never have been possible,” Klein said. “He also had a unique ability to connect with youthful participants in the courts and would often sit with them in his office and talk to them.”
Mr. Fuller was recognized in 2006 for his contributions by the Amherst Drug Court Foundation.
A graduate of the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical College in Alfred, Mr. Fuller began working for the Amherst Police Department in 1977. In addition to working as a patrol officer and a field training officer, he was assigned as a court liaison officer to the Amherst and Williamsville courts for more than 20 years.
Mr. Fuller also helped developed and operate other therapeutic courts in Amherst, including the Domestic Violence Court in 1997 and the Gambling Treatment Court in 2001. He was also involved in the DWI Victim Impact Panel for Amherst courts.
Mr. Fuller’s family described him as a “true family man” who would often cheer ringside at his daughter’s horse shows and used vintage police car lights at his sons’ hockey games when goals were scored. He purchased property in Andover, where he hunted with his father, Robert Fuller, and later built a cabin by hand. It was there that he passed on his love of wildlife to his wife, Julia, his three children and a nephew, David, family said.
Mr. Fuller was raised in Clarence, where he raised black Angus and participated in 4-H. He had a passion for restoring classic cars, including a 1965 blue GTO.
In addition to his wife, the former Julia Schintzius, he is survived by his mother, Genevieve Fuller; three children, Robert, Jennifer and Michael; and two brothers, Russell and Robert. Friends and family will celebrate his life during a brunch Jan. 31.