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Genesee County Sheriff's Department

September 19, 2021 - 6:23pm

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  During the course of events yesterday we had a technical issue with the website.  This caused us to copy the original post and headline and create a new post with the same information and then delete the old post.  When we did this, all the comments disappeared with the original post.  I just wanted readers to know that no comments were deliberately removed.

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A person is in custody after two shots were fired on Route 33 in the Town of Stafford, according to a report from Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, who is at the scene.

Owens reported at 6:12 p.m. that a silver Pontiac sedan was westbound into the City of Batavia on Route 33 and it was weaving.

Just after passing Mill Road, a Genesee County sheriff's deputy pulled the vehicle over and a black male driver got out of the car and ran across Route 33 into a corn field on the south side of the road.

About three or four minutes later, a shot was fired, Owens said, calling back to report that a second shot has been fired.

Two sheriff's deputies and a City of Batavia police officer are on the scene.

Updates:

UPDATE 11:57 p.m. (by Howard): Suspect in custody as of about 10 or 15 minutes ago.

UPDATE 9:36 p.m. (by Howard Owens):  At shortly before 6 p.m., while returning home from Rochester on Route 33, I noticed a silver Pontiac sedan weaving.  He crossed the center line and the fog line once each and then went straight for a while.  I didn't immediately call it in.  Then it weaved multiple times so at 6:04 p.m., I called dispatch completing the call as we approached Griswold Road.  A few seconds later, the car slowed to about 45 mph.  At Route 237 it slowed again.  Then about 1/4 of a mile later, it accelerated to 75 mph.  I called dispatch again.  As we approached Mill Road I spotted a deputy parked in a drive lane in a farm field on the right side of the road.  I slowed to allow him in behind the vehicle.  The vehicle pulled over as soon as the officer his emergency lights. I was not planning to stop but as soon as the Pontiac stopped, the driver bolted from the car.  He was a tall, thinnish, Black male dressed in all black. He ran in a laneway between rows of corn near where there is a corn-for-sale stand at the side of the road. The deputy pursued on foot but stopped when he got to the start of the cornfield and he drew his weapon.  I later heard him tell another officer that he had seen the man with a gun in his belt.  I walked back from the way we came (to me, it feels like north but I guess it's really east) to watch the open field on that end of the incident to see if I saw the man fleeing.  After a couple of minutes, I decided he was more likely to run toward the Thruway where there was more cover so I walked back to my car.  Just as I reached my car, I heard a gunshot.  I took cover behind my vehicle. I heard at least four more shots while in that position.  At that point, two deputies and a patrol vehicle pulled in behind my vehicle and asked me to get in the backseat of the patrol vehicle.  I did.  Then the female passenger from the sedan got in the back seat.  I asked her what was going on.  She said she didn't know and that she had just met the driver earlier today.  I was left with a Batavia police officer who was blocking traffic at Caswell and Route 33 until about 8:30 when the Sheriff's Office provided me a ride home.  The situation as far as I know remains unresolved.  I'm told not to  expect a press conference tonight.  Law enforcement is on a secure channel now so further updates are going to be difficult to obtain.

8:21 p.m. -- The New York State Thruway traffic is moving very slowly.

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Photo above taken at 7:55 p.m.

7:47 p.m. -- Situation continues as Monroe County Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team arrives.

7:35 p.m. -- Latest report from Owens: Monroe County Sheriff's Office drone operator is on the scene.

7:26 p.m. -- The New York State Police helicopter has arrived on the scene (photo below).

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7:17 p.m. -- Police are indicating that at least a dozen shots have been fired, all by the suspect. His location is believed to be in a wooded area behind a tree east of Mill Road near the New York State Thruway.

6:53 p.m. -- Genesee County's Emergency Response Team has been dispatched to the scene.

6:45 p.m. -- Owens reported that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officer has arrived with his K-9. He also said that a deputy reported that he saw a gun at the driver's waistline.

6:38 p.m. -- Police have ordered the scene to be evacuated, moving Owens east to Caswell Road. The driver of the car is still at large, with Owens indicating that all shots have been fired by the suspect.

6:30 p.m. -- A fourth shot has been fired. The person in custody is the female passenger in the car (photo above).

6:25 p.m. -- Multiple law enforcement vehicles are on the scene.

6:24 p.m. -- A third shot has been fired.

6:20 p.m. -- Route 33 is closed.

Photos by Howard Owens.

January 5, 2021 - 12:27pm

Antiquated. Obsolete. Restrictive. Unfair.

Those were some of the adjectives used by members of the Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative to describe the New York State Department of Civil Service during its meeting on Monday night via Zoom videoconferencing.

And, going beyond sharing their opinions of Civil Service, the committee agreed that now may be the “perfect opportunity” to reform the system that administers tests for government jobs.

“There has been a push throughout New York State for years now about reforming the Civil Service requirements and the testing procedures,” Sheriff William Sheron said, responding to a question from committee member Julie Carasone about changing the procedure to ensure more diversity in hiring. “I guess my best answer to that is to push on our state senator and assemblyman to try to change that or put pressure on New York State to change their Civil Service regulations.”

Sheron said he is speaking on behalf of administrators in various job sectors who are hamstrung by Civil Service’s restrictive guidelines.

“That you have to select from the top three individuals, to me, makes no sense in the world. I think there should be more of a test and interview process rather than a guarantee that if you’re in the top three – that we have to try to choose from the top three,” he said. “Many times, the individuals that you have to choose from are not satisfactory but it’s very difficult to get them removed from the list.”

The sheriff said it would take a unified front consisting of government, municipal and community leaders to put pressure on Albany, noting that “it’s definitely time for some type of Civil Service reform.”

Committee Member Gregory Post, who is the Batavia Town supervisor, said it was his belief that Civil Service “hasn’t had a total rehab since Teddy Roosevelt was president.”

Post: Collaboration Can Make a Difference

“But, that being said, this is the perfect opportunity now because there has always been, in my 45 years in the public sector, one component -- which is generally the employers or the management side petitioning the governor and Albany and some of the more partisan politicians on the east and Downstate to amend Civil Service policies to address our reality.”

“This opportunity that has been presented to us in the past year, I think for the first time in several decades, empowers this organization to ally with the constituents and in a combined manner (with) all parties involved …working collaboratively. It shouldn’t just be county officials and legislators. They’ve been asking for this for a hundred years.”

Post said he would like to see a partnership involving “constituents who are most impacted and most benefitted from this change, and the only way we can do that is to involve them and engage them, and I think we need to invite the press to be participatory in that. … Being in the top three has not served us as well as trusting our instincts and giving people a chance that otherwise wouldn’t have one.”

Sheron noted that a deputy sheriff’s position is opening soon and said his plan is to get the notice out to the public as quickly as possible, working with Human Resources to reach the minority communities. He also said he is enlisting the services of the Genesee County Career Center to help those interested in taking the test, including resume preparation and interviewing techniques.

Sheron and County Manager Matt Landers concurred that the county’s ability – or inability -- to find worthy minority candidates for law enforcement and other positions has been a stumbling block.

“I think the starting point for us is to trying to go down the avenue of getting the word out about our test coming up and providing individuals the education and the tools to be able to be successful in taking the tests,” Sheron said, adding that only a few members of the minority community have taken the deputy sheriff’s test and even fewer have passed it.

Landers: We Can Do Better

Landers said finding a path to change Civil Service would be a major challenge, considering the bureaucracy involved, but emphasized that he didn’t want to downplay the effort to reform it.

“But at the same time, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we can do better with our recruitment and advertising efforts,” he said, “I think that’s something that we control in our own hands that we don’t need outside help with. We can try to reach out to segments of our population and do a better job of education and better job of notification.

“We can change the rules all we want -- from (the top) three to five to 100 – but if we don’t get diversity in people in taking the test, then it doesn’t do any good at all.”

Landers also criticized the time gap in the Civil Service process, noting that it sometime takes up to year to fill the position after the taking of the test.

“The way Civil Service works – it’s kind of a unique situation – a person signs up for a test, it’s taken three months later and the results come out three months later – where an opportunity might open up six months later,” he advised. “It’s such an antiquate process, in general, that it’s kind of like a secret in some ways that people have to be planning way ahead.”

As far as reaching the minority population, he suggested that the sheriff reach out to groups such as Just Kings in the City of Batavia to “spread the word and that might have more of an immediate effect.”

Sheron: Let's Put it in the Report

While Genesee County ramps up its effort to reach a more diverse audience, Sheron said it is important that this committee include its evaluation of the Civil Service process in the report it will send to New York State by April 1.

“We recognize that there are problems with Civil Service and should incorporate it right into our report to the state,” he said.

Post agreed, adding that the chance to see a change would be possible “if we can get 5 percent (of Genesee County residents) to support some kind of petition to address this as a vital component of what they’re asking us to do here. We need to strike while the iron is hot … as the whole system is corrupt and obsolete.”

County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein said she supports moving on this immediately.

“Right now is the time, with the leadership in Albany, to grab a hold of this and update the entire process of Civil Service,” she said.

Committee member Gary Maha, former Genesee County sheriff, said Civil Service would be a “very difficult nut to crack” and called upon the New York State Association of Counties, Conference of Mayors, county managers and city managers … “to get the attention of our (state) legislature.”

Sheron and Undersheriff Brad Mazur opened the meeting by presenting an outline of three areas mentioned in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order on police reform – Violence Prevention & Reduction Intervention, Model Policies and Guidelines Promulgated by the NYS Municipal Police Training Council, and Standards Promulgated by the NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

  • Violence Prevention & Intervention

This involves removing or reducing underlying causes and risk factors, such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gang activity, illegal weapons possession and domestic conflicts.

The sheriff’s office currently works with professionals from several sectors in this effort, including the YWCA, Genesee County Mental Health, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, school resource officers, Crisis Intervention Team, PAARI (Public Safety Assisted Addiction and Recover Initiative), Independent Living Continuum of Care and Criminal Justice Advisory Council.

  • Model Policies & Guidelines

The sheriff’s office follows Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) model policy – as well as policies of other accredited law enforcement agencies -- in various aspects of police operation.

Not every model policy is suited to adoption by every agency, Sheron said. Many agencies develop their own policies and procedures by studying model policies from many sources, and by studying actual policies being successfully used by other law enforcement agencies around the country.

  • Standards Promulgated by the NYS Accreditation

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department has been an accredited agency with the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Council (LEAAC) since 2000, and currently is accredited through November 2025.

The sheriff's office has developed a Citizen Comment Form for positive comments, as well as legitimate concerns and/or constructive criticism, regarding the Sheriff’s Office or Sheriff’s personnel. 

The next meeting of the Genesee County Police Reform Collaborative is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 19.

December 22, 2020 - 12:11pm

As the Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative checks off the items it needs to cover per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203 on community policing, Sheriff William Sheron is taking it a step further by adding increased community input to the list.

Sheron addressed three more topics mandated in the executive order during Monday night’s Zoom videoconference meeting – hot spot policing, focused deterrence and crime prevention through environmental design – but also spoke at length about his department’s need to connect with the public.

“One of the things that needs to come out of this project is to develop a program to meet on a regular basis with the citizens of our county to identify their concerns about criminal activity,” Sheron said.

During the 40-minute meeting, the sheriff outlined several areas that could be improved by regular communication with government and civic leaders as well as residents.

  • Annual Crime Statistics Report

Sheron said the plan is to put out a report within the next few months for 2020, detailing the types of crimes by town.

“I think it is very important that we get that out there so the citizens have a clear understanding of what the community is like, what kind of crimes that we are investigating. It’s transparency and I hope to resurrect that for 2020.”

  • Regular Town Hall Meetings

Sheron said he looks to meet with community leaders and citizens to find what areas the community would like officers to focus on.

“We don’t formally hold meetings, but again that is an area of improvement. Typically, (we connect through) phone calls, emails, posting on our Facebook page or web page.”

  • Speaking at Town & Village Board Meetings

Sheron said he hopes to contact town and village boards to have a spot on their meeting agendas to let them know what activities that are going on in their communities and to get some feedback and suggestions.

“That is something that I would include in the report (to the state by April 1) as that’s an area where we can improve,” he noted.

  • Promoting the Tipline ((585) 343-3020) and a Webpage Link for Suggestions

The sheriff said the department receives calls on a regular basis about drug activity and other crimes, but agreed that it needs to be reinforced through public service announcements and other initiatives.

He also said that prior to the next committee meeting on Jan. 4, a link will be added to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department website that citizens may utilize to submit comments, suggestions, complaints, etc., directly to the agency.

“I think that’s a great idea,” he said. “(Now, we really don’t have an area for suggestions and complaints. We will have a link on there for citizens to ask questions and provide information – good, bad and indifferent – and then we can follow up on that.”

HOT SPOT POLICING

Sheron defined hot spot policing as identifying and analyzing specific crime problems and locations and targeting resources toward solving those problems.

“We’re a little bit different in that we cover mostly a rural area opposed to an urban area, so our hot spot policing usually gets developed from citizen complaints – many to do with drug activity, a lot of vehicle and traffic complaints, or that we may be seeing an increase of burglaries or so forth,” he said.

Tools used in this regard, he said, including the Genesee County Drug Task Force (in conjunction with the other county police agencies), confidential informants, the City of Batavia Neighborhood and Enforcement Team, Police Traffic Safety grants, STOP-DWI, Monroe Crime Analysis Center and dedicated patrols in areas of potentially high drug, theft and traffic activity.

“We also have a patrol assigned to a 'hot spot' which is the core detail – Veterans Memorial (Drive) and that area with all the big box stores … where there is tremendous amount of traffic and considerable amount of theft in that area,” he offered.

“Again, this is much different than what you would see in an urban area like Rochester or Buffalo, where they have concentrations on violent crimes, shootings. We don’t have that in this area, thank God, but we do have ‘hot spot’ policing for specific situations."

FOCUSED DETERRENCE

Focused deterrence is a crime-reduction strategy, which aims to deter crime by increasing the swiftness, severity and certainty of punishment, usually directed at a specific crime problem such as gun violence, and primarily administered through prosecution and the courts, Sheron said.

Initiatives utilized in this area include KOPER Patrol, officers assigned to specific areas of suspected criminal activity; cooperation with the district attorney’s office, and the Genesee County Drug Task Force.

“Over the years, county court judges have been harsh with their punishment -- very stern with their sentences – and it sends a message clearly to those individuals that are coming in from outside this area to deal drugs in our communities,” he said.

CRIME PREVENTION/ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

The sheriff explained that attention to environmental design can help to increase the probability that an offender will be caught. Studies show that increased probability of capture tends to deter the commission of crime.

Examples of crime prevention through environmental design would be better lighting in crime-prone areas, conspicuous placement of security cameras with attendant conspicuous signage, elimination of shrubbery where it could serve as a hiding place for an attacker, etc.

In Genesee County, the Sheriff’s Office works with businesses, schools and individuals on crime prevention and personal safety issues; employs Civilian Response to Active Shooter Training, Neighborhood Watch, school resource officers, information about scams against the public, compliance checks at establishments that sell or serve alcohol and responsible server training.

He mentioned that cooperation among all law enforcement agencies in Genesee County goes a long way in the success of these programs.

“We do have a tremendous sharing of information and cooperation between the city and county,” Sheron said. “Genesee County as a whole … I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the cooperation as good as it is now.”

November 16, 2020 - 9:59pm

Implicit bias is, according to dictionary.com, a predisposition that results from the tendency to process information based on unconscious associations and feelings, even when these are contrary to one’s conscious or declared beliefs.

That concept has been widely discussed and analyzed in recent weeks in the context of social justice and policing, and it came up tonight during a meeting of the Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative via Zoom videoconferencing.

Laura Williams, a Social Studies teacher at Elba Central School and committee member, asked Sheriff William Sheron if his department is doing anything to address implicit bias.

“As part of being a teacher, I feel like I have very open blinders and I have for many years, and since March, I have been doing a lot of reading about this movement of Black Lives Matter and police force … (and) one thing that I dove very deep into is this notion of implicit bias and it really opened my eyes, even though I thought my eyes were very open about this notion of implicit bias,” Williams said.

“Is there any more training that you’re doing with your staff and everybody in your department to revisit again this idea that we all have this bias and we all need to reimagine everything the way that we address every single issue that we’re handling?”

Sheron, after noting that Julie Carasone, another committee member, did a presentation for county management people on bias, said that “is an area where we could definitely use more training.”

Mandatory Training in the Works

“The officers do receive training in the basic academy … and there’s really not much follow-up to it. So, we have mentioned that as one of the things – and I am sure the Division of Criminal Justice Services, through the Municipal Police Training Council, is going to make that a mandatory in-service training, probably on an annual basis,” he said. “It’s absolutely an area we need to focus on as we move forward.”

He then mentioned systematic racial bias, stating that although he had no studies specific to Genesee County to report, he didn’t think his agency has the “degree of issues that maybe your inner city or your larger city departments have.”

“I think that not only the Sheriff’s Office but the Batavia PD, Le Roy PD – we’re very well supervised and scrutinized, and quite frankly, officers don’t put up with that.”

Still, he said he believes that increased awareness and education regarding implicit and racial bias should be part of ongoing in-service training.

Williams commended Sheron on running a department that has taken steps to foster community relationships.

“I have been having those conversations with friends of mine in Le Roy and in Elba, where I work, that the reason that it is so difficult for many of us in Genesee County to grasp the conflicts going on across the country is because, I think, we really don’t have this enormous issue with our police force and our Sheriff’s department,” she offered.

Very Few Complaints Against Officers

Sheron said he has received very few – “seven or eight this year,” he said – complaints about officer behavior and very few, if any, about excessive force.

On interaction with the public, he acknowledged that there is always room for improvement.

“Some officers have a very good demeanor with the public; some officers can use improvement,” he said. “Again, it’s give-and-take. You give respect; you get respect. But even if you don’t get that respect, you (police officer) still have to be professional and just do your job.”

He said complaints are dealt with immediately.

“We have a complaint form that is given to the individual to file a complaint and we start looking at the body cam video right away. We do not accept performance by an officer that is less than par,” he said.

Rachel Gelabale, international student at GCC and committee member, asked about the Sheriff’s Office’s interaction with the community through activities and events, particularly a shopping day with kids around the Christmas season.

“Yes, we do. That’s called Shop with the Cop,” Sheron said. “We’ve always hooked up with Walmart to do that for the kids. Unfortunately, from what I’m being told, this year Walmart will not be taking part in that.

Program for Needy Kids is on 'Target'

“However, Target has a program that they have started, called Stuff the Cruiser, and each of the police agencies here in Genesee County will have a patrol vehicle out in front of Target and individuals can buy toys and so forth for the needy here in the county and we will distribute them.”

Tonight’s meeting also touched upon de-escalation training and practices, and law enforcement assisted diversion programs.

Sheron said his department doesn’t have a de-escalation policy, but refers to guidelines in the use of force policy.

“I believe the DCJS and MPTC is going to come out with a mandatory in-service training for a year,” he said. “We do go through a use of force training every year in conjunction with our firearms training.”

The ability of deputies on road patrol to bring a situation under control is vital to successful police work, Sheron said.

“Genesee County is very rural and our patrols are spread thin. It’s well known and accepted by our officers out there on the street that they better be able to de-escalate because their backup may be 15 to 20 minutes away. And they’re very good at it,” he said. “I always say you’re going to do more with your mouth than you’ll do with your fist. They need to talk. They need to communicate with people.”

He said his agency will be forming a de-escalation policy after receiving a model policy from New York State.

“As an accredited agency, it’s much easier to follow exactly what they want us to do and the boilerplate they give us to work with than to try and reinvent the wheel,” he said.

A Model for Restorative Justice

Genesee Justice has been a model for restorative justice and diversion for many years, and continues to play a huge role in the community, said Catherine Uhly, the agency’s director.

Uhly outlined through PowerPoint slides the various components of the program that utilizes community sectors to ensure that the victim is heard and the offender has a chance to make amends, in most cases, without being incarcerated.

“You’re giving the voice to the victim, you’re giving the offender some accountability for what they have done, but you’re also giving them some competency development,” she said. “Our program is not just punishment … go to jail and you get out. Our programs try to develop some competency in the offender so they go on in their lives and do not recommit crimes. And encompassing it all is community safety.”

Uhly said Genesee Justice currently is working with 439 victims, including a large group affected by a breach-of-services case of a local funeral home director.

Genesee Justice also is working with 127 people in the DWI Conditional Discharge program for first-time offenders, 60 people in the Released Under Supervision and another 25 in the Pre-Trial Release programs (both alternatives to jail time) and 49 people in Ignition Interlock Supervision that aren’t part of DWI Conditional Discharge.

Community service is a longstanding part of Genesee Justice, with 165 offenders -- including those in the DWI Conditional Discharge track -- currently performing volunteer hours at nonprofit organizations throughout the county.

Uhly said GJ has a “high success rate” when it comes to those not violating while under supervision, but she did not have statistics on the rate of re-offending after completing the program.

When moderator Robert Bausch asked for some suggestions about how police officers can improve community relations, the subject of school resource officers came up.

SROs Forging Positive Relationships

“I think that is one of the big things with the SRO program,” Sheron said. “The relationships that we have made in the schools … sometimes you have to lay the law down, but more often than not, the relationships that we have made with the children are just phenomenal.

“They look up to the police officers again and they recognize that we are human beings and that we have families, too, and that we have made mistakes in our lives – and there’s really nothing we can’t get through if we all work together.”

He said all schools except Elba have SROs, and he speculated that cost could be a contributing factor in that district’s decision to not have one.

That prompted Williams to express her opinion on the matter.

“I work at that school and I think that that is part of it, but I also think that there’s a whole other aspect that’s sort of along the lines of what we are talking about here,” she said. “I think there are two methods of approaching this and bridging the gap between officers and, in this case, kids.

“… I think there’s a whole other audience we need to tap into as well. I think that there are some people who are hesitant to bring officers into a building for fear of scaring kids rather than acclimating kids to the positives that can come out of having an officer more directly in their lives. I’d be willing to help you with that.”

Sheron said he would appreciate any help.

“What you said, yes, I have heard that,” he said. “I was hoping that the SRO pretty much sells itself -- once you get the officer in there and they see what a good service it is, and how much the kids really enjoy it. And there’s the safety factor also.”

The group’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7, with discussion expected to revolve around restorative justice practices, community-based outreach and conflict resolution, and problem-oriented policing.

October 2, 2020 - 6:26pm

Now that a police collaboration advisory group is ready to address policies and procedures of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein says she is confident of a successful response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reform.

Stein, speaking by telephone this afternoon, said the level of participation and the fact that the sheriff’s agency is an accredited law enforcement bureau in New York State put the county in excellent position to draft a plan and submit to director of the Division of the Budget by April 1.

“I am extremely pleased with the number of people that have indicated their interest in serving and their commitment to making sure that our process is full and robust,” Stein said. “I think that the fact that the State of New York has already reviewed and approved our policies and procedures in the sheriff’s department, gaining that accreditation puts us well ahead … in the process.

“New York State has already seen our policies and procedures, and have already said that they are all within good policing process. I am really grateful for that process – the accreditation that happened previously and the reaccreditation that just finished up in September.”

Last week, Sheriff William Sheron Jr. announced that his department completed the reaccreditation audit in compliance with a mandate that stipulates that an accredited law enforcement agency be reassessed every five years and must show that it has followed the 133 standards during that time period.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received its initial accreditation in year 2000.

Stein and County Manager Matt Landers today released the list of members of their Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative:

  • Community members – Julie Carasone, Perez Dinkins, Leandro Mateos, Barb Starowitz, Tyrone Woods.
  • Genesee Community College student – TBA. (Stein said a person has been identified but not yet confirmed).
  • Nonprofit Community Groups -- Lynda Battaglia, Genesee County Community Mental Health Services; John Bennett, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse; Millie Tomidy-Pepper, YWCA of Genesee County.
  • Faith-Based Leader -- John Keller, Northgate Free Methodist Church.
  • Educational Group -- Rachel Siebert, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.
  • Local Elected Official – Gregory Post, Town of Batavia supervisor.
  • Genesee County Public Defender – Jerry Ader.
  • Genesee County District Attorney – Lawrence Friedman.
  • Genesee County Sheriff’s Department – Sheriff William Sheron, Undersheriff Bradley Mazur, Youth Officer Howard Carlson.
  • Genesee County Manager – Matt Landers.
  • Genesee County Legislature – Rochelle Stein.

Former Legislature Chair Robert Bausch will serve as the moderator.

Landers said he anticipates a resident of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation to join the group, which will include several persons of color.

Stein said all committee members are invited to attend a presentation by Sheron at a full meeting of the legislature at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Old County Courthouse. She said a “meet-and-greet” – likely via Zoom videoconferencing – will take place prior to Oct. 28 but the date and time have yet to be determined.

Stakeholder groups such as these are being formed by municipal law enforcement agencies throughout the state following Cuomo’s Executive Order issued on June 12. The governor’s mandate requires the chief executive to consult with local community stakeholders and develop a reform plan to address policing procedures. The City of Batavia and Le Roy police departments previously announced their groups, developments that have been reported on The Batavian.

Landers said that group members will convene to “openly discuss public safety needs in Genesee County, and policies will be developed that allow for police to protect the public while meeting our local needs.”

Other community members will be invited to join the panel as the process evolves, he said, and all meetings of the committee will be open to the public.

“We look forward to open and respectful dialogue among members,” Stein said, “and see this as an opportunity to collaborate and better understand others’ points of view resulting in updated and new policies that offer fair justice for all.”

September 23, 2020 - 6:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Sheriff's Department.

sheriff_week.jpg

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In top photo, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department employees and county legislators gather on the steps of the Old County Courthouse in recognition lawmakers declaring Sept. 20-26, 2020 as Sheriff’s Week in Genesee County.

In bottom photo, Legislator Andrew Young, chair of the Public Service Committee, presents the proclamation to Sheriff William Sheron.

The proclamation read, in part, that the Office of Sheriff, established in Genesee County in 1802, "has evolved into a modern, professionally accredited, full-service law enforcement and public safety agency, manned by fully trained police and peace officers, as well as civilians using state-of-the-art technology and applying the latest and most-advanced theories and practices in the criminal justice, civil process, corrections, 911 communications, and court security fields."

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

September 23, 2020 - 6:35pm

The Genesee County Legislature today approved a resolution authorizing changes to a pair of projects designed to increase the county’s water supply capacity under Phase 2 of the Countywide Water Supply Program.

Passage of the measure took place at the legislature's monthly meeting at the Old County Courthouse, following adoption of a proclamation designating Sept. 20-26 as Sheriff's Week in Genesee County.

The first adds $125,000 to a contract with Randsco Pipeline Inc., of Macedon, for the installation of reinforcing sleeves on five tangential tee connections along the transmission main on North Road in the Town of Le Roy. It raises the total contract amount to $5,657,030.60.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said this change order, coupled with a previous change to zinc-coated pipe and other related items totaling $190,285, raises the total contract amount to $5,601,485.

Hens said that the latest modification is to reinforce the five tangential tees or hydrant assemblies off the 36-inch main on North Road and to prevent any future leaks at the tees due to settlement or car accidents involving hydrants.

The second, which has no financial impact, allows Villager Construction Inc., of Macedon, to take up to 90 more days to perform installation work, primarily at the Chestnut Ridge water transmission main in the Town of Chili and the pump station offsite water mains in Mumford and Churchville. Delays in the project were due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount of that contract stands at $4,942,165.

Both projects are part of a $23.5 million initiative that is intended to add 2.4 million gallons per day to the county’s water supply from Monroe County Water Authority sources, essentially doubling the current output of 2.5 million gallons per day, Hens said.

“Several Genesee County funded projects are occurring in Monroe County to get the water to our border and several are occurring in Genesee County as well,” he said. “The county is also assisting several municipal projects in Genesee County.”

In other action, the legislature approved a year extension a telephone system maintenance contract with Meridian IT of Rochester to provide continuous monitoring, remote and on-site service of all equipment, including handsets and incremental software upgrades for the IP Office servers installed at every County location.

The contract amount is not to exceed $24,943.

Per the resolution, Meridian IT “provides a level of expertise that in-house staff do not have. The telephone system is a critical component to supporting county departments and this outsourced service is necessary to ensure its availability and reliability.”

June 11, 2020 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Genesee County Sheriff's Department, ATVs, dirt bikes.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints regarding the unlawful operation of ATVs and dirt bikes throughout the county.

In particular, there have been complaints of groups of ATVs operating on roads and on old railroad rights of way.

This is a reminder that it is unlawful to operate an ATV, UTV or side by side on a highway, public lands (unless designated for ATV use), or lands of another person without permission.

All ATVs (dirt bikes are considered an ATV) must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles if they are operated anywhere in NY State, including on the owner’s property.

They must also be insured except when being ridden on your own property.

A USDOT-approved helmet must be worn whenever operating an ATV or riding as a passenger.

There are several other laws and restrictions, including information for junior operators.

These and more information can be found here.

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