First Responders Spotlight: Deputy goes from ‘court to court’ to help those with special needs

First Responders Spotlight

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Sarah Hartung works at the Hall of Justice downtown. Before the pandemic, Deputy Hartung could be found every Thursday night volunteering with a Special Olympics team in Chili. It’s for that work, going from legal court to the ball court, that she’s being honored. 

“It feels wonderful to be recognized for something that feels kind of natural,” she says, adding, “One day a week, I can do this… and the hustle and bustle of every week it became tough to squeeze in the schedule but once I was there I said this is the best hour of my week.”

Deputy Hartung worked for BOCES after high school and always thought she’d be doing something similar for a steady career. But the badge called her name. Hartung eventually managed to find a way back into the special needs community. Undersheriff Korey Brown says the act of giving back is a common theme with many in law enforcement. 

“Deputies don’t do it for any other reason than they just want to give back. So, they do. And they do it all throughout the community, doing all kinds of different things. Sarah is just another great example of that,” says Undersheriff Brown.

Chief Marvin Patterson says Hartung volunteering on the basketball court shows the community that deputies blue are people, too. “It’s great we’re able to show them that we care, and that we want to give back, and we enjoy doing what we’re doing,” says Chief Patterson.

And Deputy Hartung, thrilled with the goodies from our friends at Dunkin. But she says just doing her job is reward enough. “I do this to make a difference. That’s why I do this and that’s why I love it,” she says.

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