OLEAN – A scholarship that was started in memory of a canine officer with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office will be getting some help from the Cattaraugus Region Community Fund.
The Wayne Krieger Memorial Scholarship is available to any graduating senior studying criminal justice at Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Education Services, and who plans to continue studying law enforcement in college.
The scholarship was established by Krieger’s family, who organizes an annual fundraising event each year to help fund three scholarships – one at each of the BOCES sites where Krieger taught. This year each scholarship will be $750. Applications for the award are available through BOCES.
“It is truly special for our family to see the outpouring of love and support from the community that Deputy Krieger loved to serve,” said his daughter, Christa Heckathorn, a current Cattaraugus County sheriff’s deputy. “Since Dad’s passing in 2010, this scholarship has awarded $5,000 to area youth. We are excited about collaborating with the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation for many more years of Wayne’s legacy and ‘Paying It Forward.’ ”
Krieger, who passed away in 2010, was a sheriff’s deputy from 1976 until 2000. In that time, he served as the agency’s first canine officer, with his bloodhound, Sadie, by his side.
Over the time he served, he and his four-legged partners took part in several high-profile cases, incldung a Depew bank robbery in 1986 that resulted in Kreiger taking the witness stand in a federal court case.
Others included the rescue of a young boy in Chaffee in 1983, when the boy got trapped in quicksand, and was also credited with saving the life of a girl that had become lost near Cattaraugus Creek in Delevan in 1999.
Krieger continued to serve the law enforcement community, teaching criminal justice to the next generation at BOCES campuses in Belmont, Ellicottville and Olean. He also served the youth of the county as a DARE officer from 1995 until he retired in 2000.
“He was a mentor to community youth for many years,” Sheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb, said. “His picture is proudly displayed on the wall in my office. I call it the Wall of Fame. Military personnel or law enforcement officers who have had a significant influence on my life are placed on my Wall. The only other prerequisite to get on the Wall is you need to die.
“Eight men are on it so far; Wayne is one of them. Hope the list doesn’t grow too fast.”
The Wayne Krieger Memorial Scholarship committee will be holding a comedy musical dinner theater fundraiser in April. “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” will be performed April 26, at Old Library Events in Olean.
The musical is being presented by Dramatists Play Service, of New York City, and directed by Nathan H. Bell. Limited seating is available. For tickets ($50 includes dinner and show) or more information, call (716) 474-7235 or email Christa2076@gmail.com.
Donations to the scholarship can now be made directly to the fund in care of the Community Foundation at 120 N. Union St. Olean, NY 14760-2735 and online at www.cattfoundation.org.