James DeFilipps, NYS deputy of the year in 2015, retires from Sheriff’s Office

Provided photos: Orleans County Deputy James DeFilipps speaks on June 18, 2016 in front of 1,100 law enforcement officers at the Policeman’s Ball in Rochester. At right, Deputy DeFilipps is shown with Chris Bourke, the county sheriff.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2022 at 2:57 pm

ALBION – Jim DeFilipps, who was recognized as the deputy of the year in New York State in 2015, has retired after a 22-year career in law enforcement.

He started with the Holley Police Department in 2000 and moved to the Sheriff’s Office in 2002.

On March 21, 2015, DeFilipps was critically injured when he was shot twice in a shootout at 3 a.m. following a high-speed chase with James Ellis of Wyoming County. DeFilipps was the first police officer on scene when Ellis wrecked his vehicle in Clarendon on Route 31A.

Police were pursuing Ellis after a 911 call when he threatened an ex-girlfriend in Shelby with a gun. Ellis had fled to a nearby wooded area in Clarendon and opened fire on DeFilipps and other deputies and police to arrive on the scene.

DeFilipps, despite getting hit twice by gunfire, shot Ellis, killing him and ending his threat. For his acts of valor, DeFilipps was named Deputy of the Year for 2015 by the New York State Sheriff’s Association.

DeFilipps returned to work and supervised the Marine Patrol Division and then was back on the midnight shift, where he concluded his career.

“Sheriff Christopher M. Bourke and Undersheriff Jeffrey A. Gifaldi would like to congratulate Deputy James DeFilipps on his retirement after 22 years of outstanding service,” Bourke and Gifaldi said in a news release today. “Deputy DeFilipps is a friend and mentor to many. Congratulations and enjoy your well-deserved retirement!”