Retiring Cayuga County sheriff reflects on 50 years of service

New Year’s Day 2007 ushered David Gould into both his first term as Cayuga County sheriff and his marriage to his wife, Suzanne. Twelve years later, the first day of 2019 will mark the end of Gould’s nearly 50-year law enforcement career.

When Gould went to college after graduating from high school in Union Springs in 1965, he planned to become a high school gym teacher or perhaps a college’s athletic director, he said. He had “no intentions in the world” of entering law enforcement. The career, instead, found him.

In 1967, Gould entered the U.S. Army and served for two years. While serving, his parents wrote to him about joining the state police as there was a publicity push encouraging people to take the test. He took it, and “was lucky enough to be smart enough” to be one of the 200 people hired in 1970 from the more than 40,000 people who took the test, Gould said.

Gould still remembers his first case as a police officer. A young boy’s bicycle was stolen, and he was able to find it and return it — the boy cried, so did he, he said, and he’ll never forget it.

“That changed my whole attitude of life. It’s the greatest occupation in the world, it just is. I wouldn’t change a day of my life being a police officer. It’s so rewarding. A police officer can make a difference in peoples’ lives every day,” he said. “And that’s what I’m all about.”

Gould said he learned his passion to help others and make a difference from his parents. When he and his brother were young, he said, they watched their parents canvas door-to-door in Cayuga County for the March of Dimes to combat polio, a disease his mother was born with in the 1920s.

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