Medina Journal-Register — Medina Police Chief Jose Avila was named the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Eighth District American Legion at the district’s recent convention.
Prior to this award, Chief Avila was awarded the Orleans County American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. He was originally nominated for this award by Butts-Clark Post 204 in Medina.
This is awarded to an outstanding police officer who throughout his career has benefitted the community, state and nation.
Avilia has been in law enforcement in the village of Medina for the past 20 years. He has attended the Police Academy, various police schools including investigating crime scenes, management, US Drug Law Enforcement.
His military service includes U Coast Guard, 1981-1985, Loran Station, Nantucket, MA, Miami FL and Law Enforcement Patrol in the Caribbean.
Avila was born in Matanzas, Cuba, May 3, 1962. He immigrated to the US with his family in 1971 under the Freedom Flight Program, moving to Rochester where his uncle owned a furniture store. He graduated from Eastridge High School in 1981 and joined the US Coast Guard.
In the past Avila served as a police officer in Nantucket, MA, before returning to New York State to join the Holley Police Department in 1987. In May 1992 he was hired as a police officer in Medina by former Medina Police Chief Homer Phillips.
When he was named Medina police chief in 1998, Avila became the only Hispanic police chief in New York State.
In his remarks, Avila stated he was proud to be an American, thanked his family and the village of Medina for their support.
Letters of commendation were presented to Orleans County American Legion Law and Order Committee Chairman James Freas by former mayors of the village as well as current May Andrew Meier, former Orleans County Sheriffs, and various police agencies he has worked with through the years.