ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – Each week WETM recognizes first responders from around our area who work hard every day to keep us safe and healthy. This week we would like to thank a responder that has put in over 5 years of service to our community. This week our nominee comes from the City of Elmira.

This week we recognize Chief Anthony Alvernaz, from the Elmira Police Department. Chief Alvernaz has been with the Elmira Police Department since 1996 and has worked his way from Patrol Officer up through the ranks to being named Chief of Police in July of 2021.

Men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of their communities.

This past week was an example of when Chief Alvernaz made the decision to intervene when he could have easily just driven past. Chief Alvernaz was in an unmarked car, and in plain clothes when he saw an incident beginning to turn violent. Instead of just passing by, as he could have easily done, without anyone knowing, he placed himself in the way of harm to deescalate the incident.

This is just one example of things that officers do, that they do not have to.

Nomination comment

It really wasn’t anything all that special.  Our officers encounter these types of incidents every day.  I was simply fortunate enough to be presented with a situation where I could emulate the work they do.  

Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz

Coffee with the Chief is also an initiative that Chief Alvernaz has begun to allow the public to interact with him, and improve community outreach.

During an interview for the first Coffee with the Chief of this year, Chief Alvernaz said this wouldn’t be a one-time thing. “It shouldn’t be something that’s done for PR… I think it’s extremely important for any police department to be doing some kind of community outreach on a regular basis.” According to Alvernaz, getting the PD’s finger on the pulse of the community is the best way to improve and connect with the people they serve. Above all… “we just want to be approachable.”

The most recent Coffee with the Chief was held at Wisner Park this past Thursday.

Thank you for your service and dedication to our community!

If you know of a hero, (First Responder) that you would like to see recognized, you can nominate them at the link below.

Each Tuesday during 18 News at 5:30 we will highlight First Responders from viewer submissions. You can nominate a First Responder by clicking on this link.