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May 20, 2016 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement, pembroke, news.

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When GS-39 called in "out of service" at 3 p.m. today, the dispatcher thanked him for his 30 years of service to the people of Genesee County.

Sgt. Jim Meier said during an interview that morning that there is a bit of sadness that comes with drawing the curtain on his career in law enforcement. He's enjoyed the work and the people he worked with.

"I knew the day was coming sooner or later, but it's been 30 years and I feel like it was just yesterday when I started," Meier said. "I really do."

Meier began his career at the Sheriff's Office in 1986, working the jail for a year before moving into patrol work, after earning his degree in criminal justice from Genesee Community College.

He's a graduate of Pembroke High School.

"I don't know if there is anything specific (that inspired the career choice)," he said. "I looked at things I thought I was good at and went into criminal justice and I found it interesting and it just kind of progressed from there."

He never found the job particularly hard, he said.

"I mean, there are some things that we do, like when we're at the death of family members, it can be a bit taxing, but I never found anything difficult," he said. "It all came pretty naturally."

Asked for a key memory from 30 years with the Sherriff's Office, the first thing that came to mind was the passenger train derailment in Batavia in 1994.

"I think I was a week out of supervisor school and I can remember it like it was yesterday," Meier said. "It's amazing that nobody died in that derailment, but it was the most eerie thing in the world when you go to the scene and you don't know what to expect and all of the sudden you see the twisted metal all over the place. It was unbelievable."

There are a lot of young guys in local law enforcement now, and Meier encourages them to stick with it, even when the hours are long and the sacrifices pile up. It's worth it, he said.

"The advice I give all the young guys is this, when you start this job, you have to come in and do it with eyes wide open, meaning you're going to have to work midnights, you're going to have to work holidays, you're going to have to work weekends," Meier said. "You're going to have to sacrifice some things you may not want to sacrifice, but there's a lot of good things that you get from making those sacrifices."

April 25, 2016 - 11:42am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Sheriff's Office.

Upon completion of the Basic Civil School, Deputy Patrick Reeves (center) from Genesee County receives his certificate from Albany County Undersheriff William Cox (left) and Sheriffs’ Institute Executive Director Chris O’Brien (right).

Submitted photo and press release:

The New York State Sheriffs' Association Institute held a week‐long Basic School for deputy sheriffs and civilian staff of Sheriffs' civil divisions last week at the Albany County Courthouse in Albany. Deputies and other staff from Sheriffs' offices around the State attended the program, including Deputy Patrick Reeves from Genesee County.

Sponsored and organized by the Sheriffs’ Institute, the five‐day program provides participants with training in the latest advances in civil law enforcement and a forum to discuss current civil law enforcement issues and share best practices. All sheriffs have civil law enforcement functions, which include the service of process and enforcement of judgments and other court orders and mandates.

The school is required for counties seeking to earn accreditation of its civil office from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Civil Bureau is accredited.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc., established in 1979, provides the only statewide training program for civil deputies. The training is provided without charge to any civil personnel nominated for the school by a sheriff. Visit www.nysheriffsinstitute.org.

April 19, 2016 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.

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In the first quarter of 2016, the average population housed in the Genesee County Jail was 79, up from 60 in the first quarter of 2015.

The biggest impact on the county's budget with  an increased jail population, Sheriff Gary Maha said during his department review report to the County Legislature's Public Service Committee, is an increase in expenses for medication and medical care.

The majority of inmates have either substance abuse issues or mental health problems. This has been a growing trend in recent years.

The Sheriff's Office is also handling more female inmates, with an average of 18 this year compared to 11 last year.

Since the local jail can't house female inmates, they must be transported to and from jails in other counties in Western and Central New York willing to keep them. This is an added expense of the Sheriff's Office and takes deputies off of patrol.

Currently, staffing in the department is short five deputies. There are three new deputies going through the academy, but by the time the first one graduates, a current sergeant will retire and other retirements are anticipated this year.

The hiring and training process for a deputy, getting a deputy to the point where he or she can work a solo patrol, takes close to a year.

The department also lost a productive and dedicated deputy recently when Joseph Corona transferred to Monroe County. 

A legislature asked if that was because of better pay in Monroe County and Maha said that while the pay is better, and retirement benefits are better, Corona also had family and personal reasons for making the transfer and that a larger department offers greater opportunity for career advancement.

That said, Maha said, historically, the Sheriff's Office hasn't lost many deputies to other departments, so he doesn't anticipate this signaling a trend. 

The turnover is high in the Sheriff's Office because there just happens to be a lot of retirements hitting at the same time. Eventually, that should even out.

The emergency center call volume is up about 8.5 percent, but this largely reflects structural changes, not an increase in more calls for service.

Calls get logged when additional fire units are dispatched on calls, for example, and increasingly, multiple departments are being dispatched for calls in volunteer fire districts, so a call for service that was once counted as one logged dispatch is now logged as two.

The Sheriff's Office now also handles dispatch for State Police Troop A, which means more calls and traffic stops logged. 

Theresa Asmus-Roth, program coordinator for Genesee Justice, is anticipating a 15-percent increase in funding from a federal grant.

Bail evaluations have increased 22 percent over last year, with the cases being handled by one full-time staff member and one part-time, and they're managing to keep pace with the case load.

"We certainly appreciate having that second person," Asmus-Roth said. "(Bail evaluation) is quite an involved process."

The Child Advocacy Center handled 241 cases in 2015.

The Sheriff's Office is participating in Project Live Saver, which provides tracking bracelets to children who might wander off, and 14 disabled children wear the bracelets currently.

Earlier this week, a 79-year-old woman with dementia wandered off from her home, leading to a multi-patrol search for her, and Maha said potential grants might help expand the program to other people who might wander off.

April 12, 2016 - 4:33pm

Press release:

In 1991, a formal Congressional resolution acknowledged the vital role that telecommunicators play in emergency situations by proclaiming the second week in April as a week of annual recognition in their honor. National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week is a time to thank these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the public.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recognizes and commends the County’s 9-1-1 dispatchers for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to public service.

9-1-1 dispatchers are there 24/7,365 days a year for first responders and the public in time of need. Many people do not think about these seemingly nameless, faceless individuals until they experience actual emergencies themselves. In many instances, 9-1-1 dispatchers make the difference between life and death.

More than 82,000 events were dispatched in 2015, a daily average of 224, and 134,937 telephone calls were handled last year, which is an average of 369 calls per day. The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center (Public Safety Answering Point-PSAP) is comprised of 24 men and women who dispatch to five local police agencies/New York State Police; 19 fire departments/Emergency Management Service; three ambulance services; as well as 41 other local, county, state, regional, and federal agencies.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recognizes these public safety professionals who have worked so hard during this past year. Every day, citizens depend on the skill, expertise and commitment of the 9-1-1 dispatchers. They are the first to take that phone call; the first to provide basic life support in a medical emergency, and also the first to dispatch needed fire, police or EMS responders for the call. They are to be recognized and commended.

February 19, 2016 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Sheriff's Office, William Sheron.

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Press release:

Undersheriff William A. Sheron Jr., who recently announced his intention to seek the Republican endorsement for this fall’s election to Genesee County Sheriff, announced today that Sergeant Gregory H. Walker will join him as his Undersheriff.

Walker, 50, has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, serving two years with the Attica Police Department before joining the Genesee County Sheriff’ s Office in October 1987. Over the course of his 28-year career with the Sheriff’s Office, Walker has served in the ranks of Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol, Investigator, Sergeant-Road Patrol and his current position of Sergeant-Criminal Investigation Division.

Sergeant Walker is a graduate of the Monroe Community College Public Safety Training Academy-Basic Course for Police Officers, New York State Municipal Police Training Council on Police Supervision Course, United States Drug Enforcement Agency Drug Law Enforcement Course, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Field Training Officer, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services General Topics Instructor, the International Association of Chiefs of Police/National Highway Traffic Safety Association Drug Recognition Expert Instructor and the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Va.

Walker became the first certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) in Genesee County and now serves as one of the lead instructors for the DRE program in New York State. He is also a Field Training Officer, Field Training Supervisor, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Instructor, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Instructor, Domestic Violence Resource Officer and Drug Impairment for Educational Professionals Instructor.

Over his career Walker has received numerous departmental awards including Officer of the Year in 1990; Meritorious Service in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2008, 2012; Commendation awards in 1992, 1994 and 2013; and Kiwanis Club Officer of the Year in 1991.

Sergeant Walker currently serves on the New York State Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and is a regional coordinator for the DRE program. Walker is an active member of the Le Roy Republican Committee.

Sergeant Walker is a resident of the Town of Le Roy. He is a graduate of Attica Central School and Genesee Community College with a degree in Criminal Justice. He and his wife, Michele, are parents to a family of five children and one grandchild.

“I could not ask for a better person to join me as my Undersheriff. Greg is an outstanding individual of the utmost integrity who is extremely well respected amongst the law enforcement community. Together we possess nearly 50 years of law enforcement administrative and supervisory experience, which is crucial in directing the operations of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Undersheriff Sheron.

February 1, 2016 - 5:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Elections, Chris Parker.
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Chris Parker

Press release:

Genesee County Deputy Sheriff, Christopher Parker, age 47, will be seeking the position of Sheriff in this year’s election.

Prior to his law enforcement career, he worked in the Buffalo area supervising dozens of employees in day to day operations before coming to the Sheriff’s Office in 1997. Parker is currently assigned to the Road Patrol on the day shift but also served in the courthouse prior. He graduated from Elba Central School earning a Regents Diploma in Math & Science going on to get his degree from Genesee Community College. After being hired, Parker went on to graduate from Erie County Central Police Services Basic Police Officer Training Academy.

Parker has been an active member of the Office’s Honor Guard since its inception and had the privilege of traveling to and participating in ceremonies in 2015 during National Police Week to honor America’s fallen officers and one of Genesee County’s own.

Parker has been a recipient of a certificate of appreciation, commendation, meritorious service and also distinguished service awards. He was a member of the flight crew for the New York State Police aviation unit until their hanger was moved from Batavia to Rochester. Parker has also received a MADD award for vigorous enforcement of intoxicated and impaired drivers.

In his role as a field training officer, he is involved in the training of newly appointed deputies and recruit graduates. 

“Being able to help train future deputies has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job," he said. "It’s great to see them develop into someone that represents us at the Sheriff’s Office and this county well. Someone that will be my backup or help a citizen in their time of need and bringing integrity to it."

Being a Drug Recognition Expert has been one of Parker’s proudest work accomplishments being one of only approximately 200 so qualified officers in the entire state. He also just underwent training in Albany to become an instructor.

Parker's experience has included training of educational professionals in several counties on drug impairments and also with the Safe School Initiative to keep our most precious resource, our children, safe. He is also a member of the Oakfield-Alabama Central School safety team.  Reenactment DWI drills in schools throughout the county for over a decade has also been a rewarding experience.

“If we can stop even just one tragedy, it will have been worth all the time and energy that the fire departments, EMS and we as law enforcement dedicate to empower your children to make the right decision not to drink and drive,” Parker said.

Along with training Sheriff’s Office personnel on standardized field sobriety testing, Parker has assisted at the Monroe County Basic Police Academy in training recruit officers on the proper implementation of the tests. He is also a Leadership Genesee 2016 class participant.

“As Sheriff, I hope to bring loyalty, honesty and integrity to the position and make this county we live in as safe as can be. As a lifelong resident in the county, I plan to be here with my family and work with the residents here to make all of our families safer.”

January 23, 2016 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement.

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Deputy Jason Saile, a 10-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was named Officer of the Year by Sheriff Gary Maha during the department's annual awards luncheon yesterday at the Sheriff's Office on Park Road.

Dispatcher Jason W. Holman received the Distinguished Service Award.

The top longevity awards went to Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster and Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, at 40 years each. Also awarded was Youth Officer John Dehm, who has been with the office for 35 years.

Commendations were awarded to Sgt. Eric Seppala, deputies Chad Cummings, Joseph Loftus Michael Lute, Andrew Hale, dispatchers Peggy Richardson, Steve Robinson, Michale Sheflin, corrections officers Kevin Thomas, Michale Cox, Peter Hoy and investigators Tim Weis and Kris Kautz.

Meritorious Service awards: Correction Officer Michael E. Glow, Sgt. Brian M. Frieday, Sgt. Jon R. Szumigala, Genesee Justice Case Manager Cathy T. Uhly, Sgt. James M. Meier, Sgt. Ronald E. Meides.

Weis and Szumigala were at the luncheon on their final days of duty before retirement.

Certificates of Appreciation were handed out to Julie A. Walsh, Mental Health clinical therapist for the JFCAC, Volunteer for Animals,Le Roy Officer Ryan W. Young (now a deputy),Szumigala, Weis and confidential secretary Carolyn A. Della Penna.

Here are the narratives for the awards to Saile and Holman:

OFFICER OF THE YEAR – DEPUTY SHERIFF JASON E. SAILE
Deputy Jason E. Saile has distinguished himself as a proactive, dedicated and enthusiastic Deputy Sheriff leading the “A” line shift for many years in DWI enforcement. During 2015, his 10th year with the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Saile had his best all-around year, not solely because he continued to be proactive in his enforcement, but because he emerged as a well-rounded, knowledgeable officer who is able to look beyond the laws and regulations to find answers and relief for the citizens and victims he encounters.  Deputy Saile made himself available for extra duty at a time when patrol strength was seriously depleted. He has used his certifications as a Crash Manager and Field Training Officer to enhance the services of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Saile commands respect with his knowledge, physical presence and his ability to empathize with the victims he encounters. His work has been exceptional. Deputy Jason E. Saile has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and most deserves to be named Officer of the Year.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDSENIOR EMERGENCY SERVICES DISPATCHER JASON W. HOLMAN
Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman has distinguished himself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. For several years, Senior Dispatcher Holman has provided critical insight and assistance with upgrades, maintenance, and operational configurations of the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center computer-aided dispatch program, phone systems, and radio consoles. Senior Dispatcher Holman worked closely with the Genesee County Mutual Aid Fire Advisory Board to develop new policies and procedures to enhance and improve communications. His work handling concerns and working with the fire and emergency medical services to find workable solutions has been instrumental in the implementation of new technologies. Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher

Jason W. Holman reflects great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

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Jason Holman

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Hale, Loftus and Seppala receiving their awards for their conduct on the scene of the alleged murder and arson on Selden Road the morning of Dec. 1.

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Robison and Sheflin receiving their awards for their conduct as dispatchers the morning of Dec. 1.

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Cummings and Lute receiving their awards for rescuing a man from the storm drains under the Batavia Town Square parking lot in November.

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Weis receiving his retirement badge and ID.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

January 7, 2016 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gary Maha, Sheriff's Office.
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     Gary Maha

Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha announced this morning that he will not seek reelection for another term.

Maha intends to finish his current term, which expires Dec. 31, and is expected to retire, ending a 27-year run as Genesee County's top cop.

That is the longest tenure for a sheriff in county history, and Maha is currently the longest-serving sheriff in the state.

Maha started his career with the Sheriff's Office in 1967 and moved up through the ranks until his appointment as sheriff in 1988 by then Gov. Mario Cuomo.

 

 

 

December 22, 2015 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement.

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Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office was awarded reaccreditation of its law enforcement bureau by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services during the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Council meeting in Albany on Dec. 17.

The Sheriff’s Office went through an extensive reaccreditation audit back in October and was found to be in compliance with the program’s 133 standards. An accredited law enforcement agency is reassessed every five years and must show they have been in compliance with the standards during that time period. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received its initial accreditation in year 2000.

The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program provides agencies with a method for developing and adhering to the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness within the field of law enforcement and to provide formal recognition of that excellence. The Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is voluntary. Of the approximately 550 law enforcement agencies within New York State, approximately 145 agencies are accredited.

“This is a testament of the professionalism of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Gary T. Maha.

October 21, 2015 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement.

Via our news partner, WBTA.

Bodycams may be in the future for Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies.

Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha proposed the idea to the Public Service Committee for recommendation Tuesday. The Sheriff said the department "has been researching the implementation of a body camera program for our officers for about two years."    

There’s room in the department’s budget for the $495 bodycams according to the Sheriff, with a total cost of $42,000 for the 32 deputies.

Sheriff Maha also remarked that "Some people tend to act differently when they know they are being recorded and that's also a benefit to our people out in the field."

The cameras would record both audio and video and could potentially be used as evidence for both prosecution and defense.

September 30, 2015 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, crime.

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Long and lean, this silver streak of a machine practically still has that new car smell with only 28,000 miles on it.

And it could be yours, if you're the highest bidder in an online auction that will open Oct. 6.

The 1999 Corvette was surrendered by its former owner, Anthony A. Leone, a 47-year-old former Jackson Street resident who is currently in prison. Leone signed over the car to the county under forfeiture laws pertaining to drug possession. Leone was stopped by a Le Roy police officer while driving the car and a subsequent investigation, which included the Local Drug Task Force, found a quantity of crack cocaine and pills in the vehicle. 

Since the Sheriff's Office has no legitimate law enforcement use for the Corvette, the county is putting it up for sale. The proceeds will be shared by the agencies that comprise the local Drug Task Force -- Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, and Le Roy PD. The money can only be used for law enforcement purposes and only for expeditures beyond normal annual budget spending. For example, if the county wanted to buy new surveillance cameras for the task force, but those cameras aren't an otherwise anticipated purchase, the money could be used for that purpose.

Pictured with the car are Undersheriff William Sheron and Sheriff Gary Maha.

The auction site is www.teitsworth.com Bidding opens Oct. 6 and closes Oct. 13. The minimum bid is $15,500.

The car can be viewed by potential bidders at the Sheriff's Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia. For an appointment, contact Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3503.

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July 23, 2015 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office.

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Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has filled two vacant Deputy Sheriff positions with the hiring of Chad P. Cummings and Richard S. Schildwaster.

Deputy Cummings is an Army veteran and is a 1996 high school graduate from BMC Durfee High School in Fall River, Mass. Following high school, Deputy Cummings enlisted in the Army from 1998 to 2008 and held the position of platoon sergeant and earned several commendations and awards. He began his college education at Jefferson Community College while stationed at Fort Drum and transferred to Genesee Community College, earning an A.A.S Degree in Criminal Justice in 2011. Deputy Cummings was previously employed by the NYS Thruway Authority and the Valley Metro-Barbosa Group.

Deputy Schildwaster is a Navy veteran. While enlisted, he held the positions of mechanic, military police and recruiter and earned several medals. Deputy Schildwaster attended Genesee Community College for studies in Criminal Justice. He was previously employed by the Air Force and Veterans’ Affairs as a police officer.

Deputy Cummings and Schildwaster recently graduated from the Monroe County Law Enforcement Academy at Monroe Community College on July 10. Deputy Cummings was class platoon lieutenant. The keynote speaker at the graduation was Brockport Police Department Chief Daniel Varrenti.

Sheriff Gary Maha stated, “Deputy Cummings and Deputy Schildwaster have completed our 14-week field-training program and performed exceptionally well. They are great additions to our road patrol.”

July 9, 2015 - 8:00am
posted by Traci Turner in Sheriff's Office, Badge of Honor Association.

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Working midnight shifts in the days before he died of a heart attack, Deputy Frank Bordonaro handled some very stressful calls -- a fire where he may have saved the life of a homeowner and a farm-vehicle accident that took the life of a 22-year-old man. 

People don't realize it, but stress and motor-vehicle accidents claim the lives of more police officers than crimes of violence, said Gary Pullen, of the Badge of Honor Association.

Bordonaro was honored today by the Badge of Honor Association in a sign dedication outside the Sheriff's Office headquarters on Park Road, Batavia.

A few tears were shed as Bordonaro's two sons, Bryce and Chase, stood solemnly with their heads bowed and unveiled the sign dedicated to their father. Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of his death. Bordonaro died unexpectedly of a heart attack after handling several high-stress calls. 

On July 5, Bordonaro responded to a house fire on North Road in Le Roy. He saved one of homeowners from reentering the fire to rescue his dog. On July 6, he responded to a farm accident involving a pea combine and a car. Carmelo Rivera, 22, of Holley, was pronounced dead at the scene after he crossed the center line on Route 19 near Bissell Road in Bergen and struck a pea combine head on. Bordonaro completed both the investigations himself and worked his last shift on July 7, a night of heavy rains.

Bordonaro's family, officers from throughout the county, state troopers and members of the community attended the ceremony to remember a heroic comrade. The Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the Badge of Honor Association worked together to plan the sign dedication and memorial site. 

The association, a group of volunteers, many of whom are police officers, travel all over the state to put up memorial signs for officers who die in the line of duty. According to President Justin Collins, they have dedicated 150 signs in Upstate and Western New York. 

Next to the sign, a tree and flowers were planted. Bubba's Landscaping donated all the work and materials.

A tree was chosen to be planted for several reasons. The roots on the tree symbolize Bordonaro's roots as an officer. The trunk stands for the foundation and strength of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. The leaves are living proof that Bordonaro's roots will carry on.

Sheriff Gary Maha remembered Bordonaro as a hard worker who was dedicated to serving the community. He served at the Sheriff's Office for 19 years. According to Maha, he put the safety of other officers before his own and would always be the first one to knock down the door and enter a dangerous situation. 

"He was there to back up his guys," Maha said. "He was a mentor for many of the young officers and you could depend on Frank."

Bordonaro's wife, Robin, is grateful for the tribute the Badge of Honor Association and Sheriff's Office dedicated to her husband. She knows her husband will never be forgotten and his memory will last among the department.

"The whole Sheriff's Department has been amazing to us and has treated us like family this whole time," Robin Bordonaro said. "They are our extended family and it's a brotherhood and we're still a part of it and they still will always be a part of us."

Robin Bordonaro urges people to consider the extensive amount of stress officers have to endure and the toll it takes on their health. Her husband had investigated several high-stress calls including a house fire and fatal motor-vehicle accident days before he took a heart attack and died. According to reports from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the risk for cardiovascular disease is higher among law enforcement officers than for the rest of the population.

"I wish more people would realize throughout the county agencies that a line-of-duty death is more than just being shot and killed on the job," Frank's widow said. "The stresses of the job can cause heart attacks and take them away from their families and the county doesn't want to realize that. They are fighting us on that and it's a shame."

In addition to the sign dedication, the Badge of Honor Association is setting up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the Bordonaro family.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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July 8, 2015 - 8:24am
posted by Traci Turner in Sheriff's Office, Genesee ARC, Project Lifesaver.

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(Deputy Kevin McCarthy shows parent Kari Powers how to use the tracking bracelet.)

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The Genesee County Sheriff's Office partnered with Genesee ARC to provide tracking bracelets to children with disabilities and reassure parents that their child can be safely located.

Twelve children with disabilities were fitted for tracking bracelets today. Transmitters inside the bracelet emit signals and the Sheriff's Office can pick up the the signals with a receiver. The missing child can be located within 15 minutes. 

Sheriff Gary Maha has been trying to implement Project Lifesaver, an program that provides equipment to police officers to locate children who are at risk of wandering, in the county for several years. However, Maha was not able to get the funding until recently. The Sheriff's Office received the equipment through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service. The 13 transmitters and two receivers they were given cost approximately $7,500. Each transmitter is worth $350 plus the cost of batteries, which need to be replaced every month.

"I think it's important because there are children out there with disabilities including autism and Down Syndrome and many of these children have a tendency to wander," Maha said. "We have met with parents and they are overjoyed that we were able to get Project Lifesaver here in the county."

The Sheriff's Office worked with the Genesee ARC to help them implement the project. The ARC reached out to the families and assisted them with the process.

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Morgan Powers, an 8-year-old with autism, was one of the children who received a bracelet. Her parents, Brian and Kari Powers, were relieved their daughter was getting a bracelet because she has wandered off several times and safety is their biggest concern.

"We are very excited to be here," Kari Powers said. "It has been a couple of months since we found out about the program and we are very strong advocates for it. Morgan is a risk taker. She does a lot of wandering off especially these past two weeks since she has been out of school."

Maha hopes the Sheriff's Office can get more funding in the future to continue the program every year.

June 30, 2015 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Genesee ARC.

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Press release:

For many families who have children diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities, including autism, Project Lifesaver is viewed as exactly that – a LIFESAVER!

Genesee ARC has partnered with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department in support of their effort to bring the Project Lifesaver program to Genesee County. 

The program is part of Project Lifesaver International, a nonprofit organization that bridges the technological gap for “at risk” populations and public safety agencies. It provides police, fire/rescue and other first responders with a comprehensive program including equipment and training to quickly locate and rescue individuals with cognitive disorders who are at risk due to behaviors of wandering and other safety concerns. 

Project Lifesaver has more than 1,400 participating member agencies throughout 48 states in the United States, six provinces in Canada, and Australia, and has performed 3,016 searches over the last 16 years with no serious injuries or fatalities ever reported.

The Genesee County’s Sheriff’s Office has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse for the implementation of the Project Lifesaver program, which provides equipment, training, certification and support to law enforcement, public safety organizations and community groups.

Children identified and their families will participate in training and receive their Project Lifesaver bracelets at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in July. The program is overseen by Sheriff’s deputies trained in the Project Lifesaver program.

For more information on Project Lifesaver, visit www.projectlifesaver.org.

April 24, 2015 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

Genesee County Deputy Sheriff Joseph A. Corona has been selected by the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) New York State to receive its “2014 Recognition Award."

Deputy Corona was nominated by Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha for his very aggressive DWI enforcement during 2014. Deputy Corona made 43 alcohol-related arrests (38 DWI, three DWI Drugs and two DWAI) and also made 30 arrests for unlawful possession of an alcoholic beverage with intent to consume by persons under the age of 21. In May 2014, Deputy Corona was awarded an Exceptional Service Award by the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) for his efforts in combating DWI. 

The award was presented to Deputy Corona during a luncheon held in Schenectady on April 23 (see attached photo). He was one of among only 23 individuals statewide to be selected for this award. Attending the luncheon were Sheriff Maha, Chief Deputy Gordon L. Dibble and Genesee County Stop DWI coordinator Matt Landers.

April 14, 2015 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Genesee County Jail.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recently filled four vacant Correction Officer positions with the hiring of Eric T. Hayes, James M. Smart, Brett J. Peters, and Kevin P. Thomas. 

These four Correction Officers graduated in a class of 19 on Thursday, April 2, 2015, from the Erie County Basic Corrections six-week Academy that was held at the Erie County Training Facility. Speakers at the graduation were Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha and Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory J. Rudolph.  Training at the academy included instruction in the care and custody of inmates, inmate supervision, defensive tactics, firearms training, and other topics pertaining to corrections.

Sheriff Maha stated, “Correction officers Hayes, Smart, Peters and Thomas will be great assets to the Jail Bureau and excelled at the Corrections Academy."

April 14, 2015 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office.

The number of incidents handled by Sheriff's deputies during the first quarter of 2015 reflect a 19-percent increase over the same time period of 2014, according to a department review delivered by Sheriff Gary Maha to county legislators.

There were more felony investigations; the jail population was down during the first quarter of 2015, according to Maha.

There were complicating factors during the first three months of the year.

Dispatchers handled more calls, medical expenses rose for the jail, and the department has operated with fewer deputies following some key departures.

Jail Superintendent William Zipfel said the jail population is older and substance abuse problems are more complicated, leading to increased medical expenses.

While there were only 11 female inmates during the first quarter, some of them were harder to place in area facilities that can handle female prisoners. Some jails don't want to take on some of the kind of substance abuse issues some inmates have, and while the local jail is careful to keep pharmacy expenses down, other jails don't necessarily seek out generic prescriptions for inmates with health problems.

Some female inmates have monthly pharmacy bills of $3,000 to $5,000 per month.

Deputies made 470 prisoner transports compared to 465 a year ago.

The department currently has six fewer deputies following retirements, a medical injury to one deputy and the death of Frank Bordonaro. The Crash Management Team is down an investigator.

Two more deputies may retire this year.

Three new deputies are in training and there are two background investigations under way for potential candidates.

As the number of calls for service keeps increasing in the county, Maha is considering a request for more personnel in the 2016 budget.

Since 2009, the number of calls in to the dispatch center has increased 38.8 percent. There were more than 75,000 calls in 2014.

The calls are increasingly complex and require more staff time to handle.

The department will likely need to add a senior dispatch position in 2016.

Deputies responded to 7,197 incidents during the first quarter, a 19-percent increase from a year ago.

There were 58 felony cases handled by investigators during the quarter, compared to 70 a year ago.

Investigations have grown more complicated with the rise of identity theft and computer fraud.

There is an increase in felonies committed by people outside of Genesee County.

Genesee Justice handled 145 release under supervision cases in the first quarter, significantly more than the typical 100 per quarter in previous years.

The department is dealing with more opiate addictions, which complicates supervision.

The DWI caseload has remained steady, the reports says.

March 25, 2015 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in law enforcement, Le Roy, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

Sheriff Gary T. Maha has been informed by the Board of Directors of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund that Deputy Frank Bordonaro’s name has been approved for inclusion on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Frank passed away a few hours after his night shift ended on July 8, 2014, after 19 years of service with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. His name will be formally dedicated, along with other fallen officers during 2014, on May 13, 2015, during the 27th Annual Candlelight Vigil held during National Police Week in Washington, D.C.  

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts tens of thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers each year to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others that share a common brotherhood. 

“Several officers from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office are planning on attending this event to pay tribute to Deputy Bordonaro,” stated Sheriff Maha.

February 27, 2015 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office.

Here are some statistical highlights from the annual report of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office for 2014:

There were 28,518 total calls for service.

Jail Bureau: Total bookings, 1,200. Highest single day population, 57; lowest, 54; average female population (housed at other facilities) 16.6; total meals served 75,987; inmate food expenses, $124,279.30; inmate medical expenses, $221,114.58.

Civil Bureau: Subpoenas served, 560; family court summons, 1,220; evictions, 123

Road Patrol: Training hours, 5,346

Warrant Activity: 345 cleared; 11 out-of-state warrant arrests

Safe Child IDs processed: 267

DWI arrests: 165; 58 were between midnight and 3 a.m.; 50 were on Saturdays, 40 on Sundays; 128 arrestees were male; 80 were age 21 to 35; nine were underage, including two under age 18; 35 were with a BAC of .18 or higher; 32 were felony DWI; 17 were ability impaired by drugs; 17 refused breath test; there was one BAC at least .31.

There were five fatal accidents in 2014. 

There were 206 personal injury accidents handled by the Sheriff's Office, 475 property damage accidents and eight involving pedestrians or bicyclists. Of the accidents, 114 were hit-and-run.

There were 579 motor-vehicle accidents involving animals.

Fifty-three of the accidents reported involved alcohol, and of the accidents, 560 resulted in arrests.

Of the fatal accidents, only one involved alcohol.

There were 321 citations issued involving vehicle inspection or insurance violations. 

Total equipment violations: 364

License and registration: 717

There were 857 citations issued for moving violations. Of those, 258 for disobeying traffic control device, 92 for failure to keep right, 42 for driving left of pavement markings, 89 for moving from lane unsafely, 61 for following too closely, and 94 for failure to stop for stop sign.

In all, 947 speeders were cited.

There were 403 total alcohol-related violations.

The total number of seat belt violations, 194, with 18 related to improper restraints for a child.

The total DWI arrests included 37 felony arrests and 122 misdemeanor arrests.

On the criminal front, there were 180 felony charges against arrestees, 503 misdemeanors and 1,036 violations.

Charges included 152 for burglary, 102 for criminal mischief, 103 for grand larceny, 137 for harassment, 319 for larceny, 343 for liquor law violations, 138 for unlawful possession of marijuana.

The office took 182 non-criminal reports, 437 domestic incident reports and 86 mental health complaints.

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