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BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | December 27, 2012

“She was first of all a very tough woman to come into police work when she did. It really required strength and character and she flourished,” said Cheektowaga Police Captain Jim Speyer.

Cheektowaga Police Lieutenant Cheryl Rucinski sadly lost her battle to cancer Saturday, Dec. 22. Rucinski joined the police force Dec. 7, 1977 and was promoted to sergeant in 1987, where she was responsible for the supervision of all communications, dispatchers, cellblocks, and security.

In 1989 she was promoted to patrol lieutenant where she supervised the day-to-day events on the road and in 2002 she became the information technology and finance lieutenant. From there she changed the department’s system to completely electronic transactions. Rucinski knew how to locate files from the record system with ease and fellow employees would always come to her for guidance to solve a problem.

Unfortunately in 2009, Rucinski was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. While fighting the illness, Rucinski remained strong and continued to work in the department. She received numerous awards like the Theodore Roosevelt Association Police Award. This award is given to a police officer that overcomes a handicap and continues to work in the department. Speyer said that very few people knew of her struggles and even if she could not make it to the office, she remained committed by working from home.

She is also the first inductee to the Cheektowaga Central School wall of fame for being a role model to women wishing to enter law enforcement. Rucinski’s hard work and dedication set the bar high for future employees. According to fellow police officers, Rucinski was essential to the work place and will be greatly missed.

“She was an integral part of this department and changed this department in many ways. She leaves a huge void professionally and personally. I don’t know how we will replace her to be honest with you,” said Speyer.

Rucinski is survived by her two devoted children, Brittany and Justin. Services are being held in her honor this weekend.

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