Genesee County law enforcement agencies, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department, and LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.
The statewide STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign runs: Oct. 27 – 31.
Designate a driver. Don’t let alcohol take the wheel. When it comes to impaired driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While families spend time with their children trick or treating and hosting parties with loved ones, law enforcement officers and STOP-DWI programs across New York State will participate in special efforts to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries, and save lives.
The STOP-DWI Halloween High Visibility Engagement Campaign is one of many statewide initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.
Impaired driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning.
Sheriff’s deputies encounter a lot of different scenarios when out on patrol, and after a weeklong training on various mental health issues, several of them will be more versed to handle crisis intervention training in this area as well, county Mental Health Director Lynda Battaglia says.
Battaglia and co-facilitator David Moore, an investigator with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, wrapped up the 40-hour course with eight graduates Friday at Genesee Community College.
“It’s a co-instructor, co-facilitated course taught by law enforcement and mental health to really bring the disciplines together. We know that law enforcement responds quite frequently to individuals that are in crisis — emotional crisis, or they have mental health concerns -- and law enforcement needs to be prepared on how to, you know, appropriately respond and assist the individual with the help that they need,” Battaglia said. “We do scenario-based training, we do a lot of education on mental health. We talk about Alzheimer's, we talk about developmental disabilities, we talk about substance use, adolescents, juveniles -- we bring in family members and consumers or individuals who are in recovery. We brought in community resources this week. And it was a great opportunity to connect law enforcement with mental health so that they know that we are here for them, and vice versa.”
The course had been offered some years ago, and more recently, police agencies have been sending their employees to similar training in other counties, Moore said. He and Battaglia just completed an instructor’s course to be able to offer it here, and they plan to do so regularly for the Sheriff’s Office, and Batavia and Le Roy police departments.
“And it's been, I think, a really great experience for our people too, because it's been tough to almost establish and build that relationship with our mental health professionals in the area. And I think that this was a great opportunity to educate them on exactly what resources we have available,” Moore said. “And in doing so, I mean, putting faces with law enforcement and mental health in this area, and actually being able to come together and work together to provide that better experience and a higher level of care for the residents in Genesee County. So, I think that this has been fantastic for our guys, and I look forward to continuing to do that for other members in this county too.
“So ultimately, we are public servants. We do have to provide a service to Genesee County residents, and as work professionals, we need to be held to that standard. So I think this is definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.
Battaglia added that it’s an opportunity to “really transform” the county’s crisis response system. Law enforcement may go out on a call, and mental health responds with some additional assistance to law enforcement and the community “so that they have a well-rounded approach when somebody calls in distress,” she said.
For example, if deputies go out for someone who seems a bit incoherent or disoriented and is a little lost, “then you know, part of this training is to equip law enforcement with slowing things down and remembering you’re working with everybody, so this could be somebody with Alzheimer’s and how do you approach that using the appropriate tools and skill set to handle the situation,” Battaglia said.
The course not only went into specifics, but there was also a section about what is mental illness, and the variety of different factors involved, she said.
“You could have a mental illness and substance use addiction as well as medical problems,” she said. “So, that's a lot for one person to handle. So you know, equipping law enforcement with the tools on how to respond appropriately to somebody who has a whole host of issues and concerns that they need help with just better equips police.”
What did the class members walk away with? Sergeant Kyle Krzemien has learned a lot from prior training and being on the job, but he did pick up a valuable reminder when dealing with folks he sees who are typically going through some type of crisis.
“Whether it's small or big, it's really big to them. And just finding a way to slow down and just have a conversation with people and be a good listener, tends to help people out,” he said. “So just slowing down and being a good listener and finding ways to deal with certain types of disorders that people have. There's ways to … talk to people with schizophrenia and stuff like that.”
Monroe County emergency dispatch received a call on a non-emergency number Monday afternoon reporting a murder-suicide at 3865 Countyline Road in Darien.
Genesee County Sheriff's Office and State Police responded, along with Mercy EMS, and found a farm field at that address. They checked three neighboring residents near that address and didn't find any issues. Patrols have cleared the scene.
"We checked residences out of an abundance of caution given that we had plotted the address to an empty field," Chief Deputy Joseph Graff said.
Graff said the call may have indicated that a person had shot his girlfriend and then killed himself and that a third person may have been involved.
According to Graff, the Orleans County Sheriff's Office checked a similar address in Orleans County and also found no incident.
Officials are calling this a swatting incident.
Graff said prank calls such as this are a danger to law enforcement, other first responders, and the community.
"I think the danger is just evident," Graff said. "We have law enforcement resources responding in an emergency fashion to essentially check out a false report. Not only does that endanger the law enforcement individuals who are responding, but also the community at large."
Since these sorts of incidents have helped elsewhere in the county, law enforcement has learned, Graff said, to hold some resources back so there are still patrols available in other parts of the jurisdiction.
Since the call didn't come in on an emergency line, there was no immediate caller ID information available, Graff said, but authorities will be working to identify the caller. Criminal charges are possible.
"The caller could be charged with filing a false report or falsely reporting an incident; those are the first two that come to mind," Graff said.
Either can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The severity of the charge would depend on the actual statements made by the caller, Graff said.
Asked what motivates these types of calls, Graff said, "I wish I knew the answer to that. I don't know."
“The Fourth Annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy was another great success. The academy was held July 17 – 21 at Genesee Community College. This academy was made possible with the support of Genesee County STOP DWI, the Genesee County Legislature, and Genesee Community College. The students were provided with the opportunity to experience the various roles of law enforcement in our community, and they eagerly embraced all aspects of the curriculum. I want to thank the students for their hard work and dedication and all those that provided instruction throughout this week-long program. A special thank you to the Academy Director, Deputy/SRO Joshua A. Brabon, and all the Deputies, School Resource Officers, and Investigators for their assistance and efforts in coordinating such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the students. We look forward to continuing this annual event for students throughout Genesee County for many more years to come,” stated Sheriff Sheron.
The following participants are graduates of the Fourth Annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy:
Robert Villano - Squad Leader
Submitted photos courtesy of Genesee County Sheriff Office.
Frankie, the faithful K-9 used for tracking and other law enforcement duties for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for the last four years, will now follow in his handler’s footsteps.
Deputy Sheriff Andrew Mullen resigned his position and has asked to take Frankie with him, Sheriff William Sheron said during Monday’s Public Service Committee meeting.
Mullen has been Frankie’s handler for about three years, and the dog apparently has some separation anxiety and has suffered other past medical issues, Sheron said.
“Our handler has resigned; he's going to be moving out of state. He's asked that he be able to retain Frankie as a pet,” Sheron said. “We looked at it very long and thoroughly, and Frankie is now over seven years old. The duration for a canine is roughly six to nine years. By the time we try to train him with another handler and the past experience we've had with Frankie, with some health issues he has, actually anxiety, we had to spend quite a bit of money because the handler went away for a couple of weeks and the dog actually had issues, we feel it's best that we retire Frankie and turn him over to him.”
He asked that Frankie be retired from police work and donated as a pet to Mullen, with the understanding that Frankie will not be involved in any future police work at any law enforcement agency.
Sheron was asked if he planned to replace Frankie.
“Possibly in the future, not immediately,” he said.
Committee members agreed with the request, and it will be passed on to the Ways and Means Committee and to the county Legislature for final approval.
Frankie was named in honor of Deputy Frank G. Bordonaro, who died on July 8, 2014. In addition to proving skilled as a tracker, Frankie was also trained in narcotics detection, evidence recovery, building searches and apprehension and handler protection.
A Belgian Malinois assigned to Mullen in September 2020, Frankie suffered a fractured tooth during his time with the sheriff’s office and was out of commission for a few weeks after it was removed, and he got an infection.Frankie's first assignment was with Deputy Chris Erion starting in 2019. Erion retired in July 2020.
Over the years, Frankie and his fellow K-9s have drawn attention from fans through demonstrations of their intense training and donations to help offset costs for an obstacle course, protective vests, physical therapy and other veterinarian needs that have gone into a K-9 Donation Reserve Account.
From now on, Frankie will be taking it easy with his best friend and not worrying so much about the bad guys.
As part of the official protocol, the county attorney has been consulted with regard to this disposition of K-9 Frankie, and a memorandum of understanding and release was prepared to properly outline this disposition, the resolution states. There is no cost associated with the donation of K-9 Frankie.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Batavia Police Department will be stepping up patrols and participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.
The statewide STOP-DWI efforts start July 10 and will continue thru July 11. New York State Police, County Sheriffs, and municipal law enforcement agencies will be out in force during this across-the-board effort.
Incidents of drugged driving are on the rise. Even though some marijuana laws have changed. It is still illegal and unsafe to drive while impaired by marijuana and other drugs. Drugs impair your ability to drive safely and make it just as dangerous as driving drunk. “Have a Plan” to get a safe ride because impaired driving is completely preventable – all it takes is a little planning. Visit www.stopdwi.org for more information.
Following an extensive application and site review process, National Children’s Alliance recognizes the Justice for Children Advocacy Center (JFCAC) for its delivery of high-quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation.
As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with the National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.
The Justice for Children Advocacy Center has a long and successful history of providing services to children and families in the GLOW region. In 1992, Genesee Justice, a department of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, helped establish a multidisciplinary team to serve the unique needs of children that have been physically or sexually abused.
With the support of many dedicated members of the community and the multidisciplinary team, the Justice for Children Advocacy Center opened its doors in Batavia in 1998. As the program grew, satellite offices in Albion and Warsaw were opened in 2017. The goal of the Justice for Children Advocacy Center is to provide a child-friendly location where highly trained professionals provide forensic interviews, medical examinations, mental health counseling, and advocacy services to children from birth to age 18 and their non-offending family members regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or financial status.
Since 1998, approximately 4,500 children have received services at the Justice for Children Advocacy Center, and in 2022, 274 children benefitted from the services available. As an Accredited Member of the National Children’s Alliance, the Justice for Children Advocacy Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.
National Children’s Alliance awards accredited membership based on a CAC’s compliance with 10 national standards of accreditation to ensure effective, efficient, and consistent delivery of services to child abuse victims.
National Children’s Alliance updated these standards in 2017 to reflect the most recent evidence-based practices in the field of child abuse intervention and prevention. According to these standards, accredited members must utilize a functioning and effective multidisciplinary team approach to work collaboratively in child abuse investigation, prosecution, and treatment.
National Children’s Alliance also considers standards regarding a center’s cultural competency and diversity, forensic interviews, victim support and advocacy, medical evaluation, therapeutic intervention, and a child-focused setting.
“As a team of individuals who are fiercely devoted to professionally and compassionately responding to reports of child abuse, we strive to meet the highest standards of care for child victims and their loved ones. Accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance not only validates our organization’s proven effective approach to responding to allegations of child abuse but also provides consistency across the child advocacy center movement as a whole. A team response to child abuse is what we stand for, and it is our entire team that allows us to provide the highest level of care and service to children and families in our community,” said Theresa Roth, Justice for Children Advocacy Center Program Coordinator.
“The Justice for Children Advocacy Center is to be commended for its excellent work serving victims of child abuse. As the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers across the country, our goal is to ensure that every victim of child abuse has access to high-quality services that result from professional collaboration,” remarked Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance.
For more information about the Justice for Children Advocacy Center, visit them on Facebook @justiceforchildrencac.
The New York State Sheriffs' Institute's annual Honorary Membership drive has begun across New York State. Sheriff Sheron states that Honorary Membership invitations will be arriving in randomly selected mailboxes across Genesee County over the next two weeks. Sheriffs' Institute Honorary Membership dues help to support the Institute's robust programming for youth and sheriffs' offices which include the Sheriffs' Summer Camp, crime victim services, annual scholarship program, and education, training, and awards programs for Sheriffs' Office personnel.
The Sheriffs' Summer Camp is the Institute's flagship program located on Keuka Lake. Each summer, 840 economically challenged children from across New York State participate under the direct guidance of Sheriffs and Sheriffs' Office personnel who volunteer their time to help make the camp a success.
The Sheriffs' Summer Camp provides an opportunity to bring children together with Deputy Sheriffs in a positive and meaningful environment. The week-long camp directly benefits children in our own local communities who otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate in a summer camp experience.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office selects children from our local communities who benefit through the camp's summer recreation activities which are designed to teach an understanding of, and respect for, our laws and the men and women who enforce them. The strong camper-to-counselor ratio allows for individual attention with an emphasis on the development of self-esteem.
"The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is proud to support the Sheriffs' Institute and the excellent work they do in supporting our youth and personnel. The incredible summer camp experience and educational and training opportunities provided by the Institute are invaluable assets to our county residents and Sheriff’s Office. We encourage anyone who is interested to become an Honorary Member and help support these great programs," states Sheriff Sheron.
In addition to the Sheriffs' Summer Camp, the Sheriffs' Institute also provides an annual scholarship to each of New York State's Community College's Criminal Justice Programs. This scholarship program is designed to help attract the best and the brightest to the criminal justice vocation. Honorary Memberships help fund the Sheriffs' Camp and other New York State Sheriffs' Institute programs.
If you are an individual who would like to become an Honorary Member and did not receive a letter in the mail, please visit www.sheriffsinstitute.org. Your contribution is greatly appreciated and helps support youth, crime victims, and law enforcement in our local community through the Institute's programs.
Established in 1979, the Sheriffs' Institute is a not-for-profit corporation and tax-exempt organization. Contributions to the Institute are tax deductible, and the Institute is registered with the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Neither the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office nor the Institute solicits donations or memberships via telephone. For more information about the New York State Sheriffs' Institute's Summer Camp and other important programs, visit www.sheriffsinstitute.org.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy
Police Department will be stepping up patrols and participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI
program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.
The statewide STOP-DWI efforts begins Thursday and will continue through Friday. New York State Police, County Sheriffs and municipal law enforcement agencies will be out in force during this across the board effort. Incidents of drugged driving are on the rise. Even though some marijuana laws have changed. It is still illegal and unsafe to drive while impaired by marijuana and other drugs. Drugs impair your ability to drive safely and make it just as dangerous as driving drunk.
“Have a Plan” to get a safe ride because impaired driving is completely preventable – all it takes is a little
planning. Visit www.stopdwi.org for more information.