Sheriff gearing up for summer concert season, seeks five more seasonal deputies
In recent years, the number of seasonal deputies working during concerts at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center has increased from 10 to 15 and in 2019, 20.
It's not just that there are more concerts at Darien Lake, or the addition of concerts at Batavia Downs has increased demand, Sheriff William Sheron said at yesterday's Public Service Committee meeting. The Sheriff just needs a bigger pool of qualified deputies to draw from to ensure adequate staffing for each event.
There's no additional cost for the county since the cost is offset by fees paid by the concert venue for security on show nights.
Sheron said he wants more officers deputized for concerts because none of the men and women who work the shows on a part-time basis are able to make every show.
"This will give us a bigger pool to draw from," Sheron said.
Seasonal deputies must be sworn peace officers and must live in Genesee County. They can be current or retired Batavia PD or Le Roy PD officers, or retired from the Sheriff's Office or State Police.
Regardless of current or former affiliation, they are sworn in as deputies for their seasonal duty and wear Sheriff's deputies' uniforms.
The Sheriff's Office currently has five deputies going through training and expects five more to start training in the fall to replace deputies who have retired. The retirements have left the Sheriff's Office a bit short staffed, which will mean a little more demand for seasonal deputies at Darien Lake.
Those who retired from the Sheriff's Office can also help with traffic control since they already have training for the duty at the park.
Deputies also assist with traffic control during concerts at Batavia Downs while Batavia PD handles security inside the venue.
The Sheriff is gearing up for 20 to 25 concerts at Darien Lake and another 10 at Batavia Downs. Concerts also return to the Ridge NY in Le Roy, but Sheron acknowledged there is seldom a need for a law enforcement presence at those shows.
"Each concert venue brings a different client of patrons," Sheron said. "Some of those individuals get rowdy at times and we have issues, but on the other hand we have many concerts where we don't have any difficulties at all; but you still need a police presence."
The Public Service Committee voted unanimously to send the recommendation to the full Legislature for approval.