OWEGO, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office recognized its members for outstanding service and longevity, while marking the Sheriff’s decades at the department.

The Sheriff’s Office held its annual awards ceremony yesterday.

Members of the patrol division were honored for their efforts in busting drug rings and investigating animal abuse.

Detectives were honored for solving a missing man cold case and bringing down a major methamphetamine operation.

And patrol deputies, investigators and corrections officers received pins for their years of service, including Sheriff Gary Howard who’s been with the department for 45 years.

He says recognizing his staff is important.

“Going a little bit beyond what they had to do. There are some investigations that they did that were quite intense, took a long time and a lot of work and I think they should be recognized for the time and effort that they put into these cases.”

Howard, who first took office in 2004, tells NewsChannel 34 that he intends to run again next year for a 6th and final term.