Ron Winkley, director of Niagara University’s master’s program in criminal justice administration, will be named the 2016 Town of Lewiston Citizen of the Year during the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual Chamber Awards Gala Friday, April 29.
Winkley has served the town and village in several leadership positions and the community is grateful for his willingness to go above and beyond in all aspects of serving.
Having finished a two-month role as supervisor in 2015 following years of serving as a town councilman and village trustee, Winkley is now enjoying elected official retirement. Having seen him in the town and village chambers since 2007, residents will now find him spending time tackling his yardwork, kayaking, spending time with his wife, Laurene, and son, Brandon, and preparing for his daughter Amanda’s wedding next year.
Winkley served as a Village of Lewiston trustee in 2007, and then moved to the Town of Lewiston Council in 2010. Over the past six years as a town councilman, with the remaining two months as supervisor, Winkley has worked closely with many community organizations to improve the quality of life for residents.
Winkley has been involved with Artpark, the Sanborn Area Historical Society, the Sanborn Business & Professional Association, the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, the Town Recreation Department, and area libraries, among others. He was often found flipping hamburgers or selling pumpkins at events at the Sanborn Museum. His presence at the monthly SBPA meetings helped businesses understand how the town was working within the community. Winkley also worked with the fire and police departments to make sure communication between the two entities and the town was constant.
Winkley began his criminal justice career by working summers at the Niagara County Jail. He then attended Niagara County Community College, followed by the Rochester Institute of Technology and Niagara University, where he earned a master’s degree in criminal justice administration in 2003. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Having spent 26 years on the police force, Winkley is still referred to as “Chief.” He was instrumental in the consolidation of the Village and Town of Lewiston police departments in 1996. Many students went through his D.A.R.E. program. It was through this program that Winkley helped keep many youths drug free, while earning their admiration and respect.
Winkley was involved in the Niagara County WNY Chiefs and also served as a liaison for the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy. He retired from the police force in 2007, while serving as a Village trustee and commencing a full-time teaching career at Niagara University.
In 2007, Winkley was honored at the Chamber Awards Gala as the Village of Lewiston Citizen of the Year. His accolades also include Moose of the Year in 1995, and the Lewiston Porter United Teachers Association’s “Friend of Education” Award in 1994 and 2004. He was also honored by Buffalo State Collage as an Outstanding Professional in the Criminal Justice Field, and Niagara County Community College honored him as a distinguished alumnus.