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Genesee County Sheriff's Office

December 2, 2022 - 1:34pm

Press release:

Caring about the community’s wellness is the underlying theme of a joint effort of the City of Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to conduct alcohol compliance checks at retail businesses this month.

“Our department continues to partner with prevention educators at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse to provide this service to ensure that vendors are attentive to properly identifying the age of those purchasing alcohol,” said Assistant Police Chief Chris Camp. “Abuse of alcohol by underage individuals is a cause of accidents and other poor choices for this age group.”

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Brian Frieday echoed Camp’s sentiments, adding, that “compliance checks demonstrate to vendors and young people, alike, that this community cares about the wellness of its citizens.”

This round of compliance checks – which are funded through a grant from GCASA -- will take place in December, prior to Christmas, and will focus on off-premise establishments only (supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores).

“We are planning to check off-premise establishments at this time because our data shows that kids are not drinking in bars or restaurants,” said Shannon Ford, GCASA’s director of Communications & Development and director of Prevention. “We are hoping to not find anyone out of compliance, but will offer Responsible Server Training to anyone who is caught or for those who would like to be proactive.”

October 18, 2022 - 2:57pm


Those on the front lines in the battle against the opioid epidemic are unified in their message: Fentanyl is wreaking havoc across the United States, including right here in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

“We’re seeing the human toll that fentanyl is having on our communities,” said Investigator Ryan DeLong of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, one of four speakers at Tuesday morning’s GOW Opioid Task Force meeting. “Probably everyone in this room has been affected (by substance use) by a family member or friend.”

DeLong and Deputy Ken Quackenbush, both trained as Drug Recognition Experts, spoke on what local law enforcement is dealing with as the scourge of fentanyl – a synthetic, prescription opioid that is 50 times stronger that heroin – has found its way, mostly from Rochester, into the rural counties.

They were joined by Emily Penrose, an epidemiologist with the Genesee County Health Department, who reported data on opioid-related deaths in Genesee and Orleans, and Christen Foley, task force coordinator, who described the basics of fentanyl and the telling signs of an overdose.

About 35 people attended the quarterly meeting at The Recovery Station, operated by Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, on Clinton Street Road.

DeLong and Quackenbush said that they are encountering scores of people using fentanyl through their road patrols and other drug crackdown initiatives. DeLong noted that the opioid is usually packaged in a wax envelope, about an inch square, but recently, they are finding it mixed with other substances for smoking purposes.

While police used to deal with heroin and other stimulants, Quackenbush said that he has “never seen heroin or seen heroin come back on a toxicology report” in his six years with the sheriff’s office.

“It’s always fentanyl,” he said.

Fentanyl is being distributed in both powder and pill form, with some pills in bright colors to mimic candy, the officers said. DeLong said fentanyl is much cheaper than heroin – a factor leading to its widespread use.  Last year, more than 100,000 Americans died of opioid overdose.

DeLong explained that law enforcement is staying up to date in several ways on the drugs coming into the United States:

  • Through regular emails from the federal government on packaging, quantities, forms and trends;
  • Through communication among all local and regional police agencies;
  • Through pro-active policing such as traffic stops and field testing of seizures (confirmed by lab results);
  • Through narcotics trainings at both the “macro and local levels.”

“Every deputy carries and is trained in the administration of Naloxone (popular brand name, Narcan) and we respond to overdose calls for service along with EMS (Emergency Management Services) and fire (personnel),” DeLong said. “We’re also involved in the Public Safety Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, where we link individuals to services through GCASA peer recovery advocates (without criminal implications) and conduct Drug Take-Back programs throughout the year.”

Penrose presented charts that showed a spike in opioid deaths in both Genesee and Orleans counties in 2017 and 2018 – both rates per 100,000 people well above the national average. She said the rate has decreased in the past three years but continues to be cause for concern.

“We’ve seen a big raise in fentanyl-related deaths since 2014, where before that, the overdose deaths mostly stemmed from heroin,” she said. “Additionally, we’ve seen fentanyl in stimulants such as cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and bath salts.”

As far as leading causes of death in the U.S., unintentional injuries – including poisoning from alcohol and drugs – is the leading cause of death in every age group from 1 through 44.

“When you look deeper into unintentional injuries, we see that poisoning is the No. 1 cause for the 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 age groups – and that’s fentanyl,” she stated.

The health department is currently involved in a new initiative, HEALing Genesee, which is working to prevent overdose death through education and awareness, increasing access to Naloxone (which saves the lives of people experiencing an overdose) and safe prescribing practices.

The GOW Opioid Task Force, in conjunction with GCASA, regularly schedules trainings in Naloxone administration, Foley said.

“We encourage as many people as possible to get trained in how to administer Naloxone,” she said, noting that just 2 milligrams of fentanyl is considered a lethal dose in most people. “It’s important to know the signs of an overdose, which including drowsiness or unconsciousness, slow or shallow breathing, choking sounds or skin tone changes.”

For more information about Naloxone training or the task force, contact Foley at 585-815-1863.

Photo: Speakers at the GOW Opioid Task Force meeting on Tuesday are, from left, Christen Foley, Emily Penrose, Deputy Ken Quackenbush and Investigator Ryan DeLong. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

DISCLOSURE: Mike Pettinella is the media specialist at GCASA.

July 23, 2022 - 10:09pm


The Genesee County Sheriff's Office Teen Academy Class of 2022 graduated 14 members on Friday afternoon at the Conable Technology Building at Genesee Community College in Batavia. 

Filling in for Sheriff William Sheron who is under the weather,  Chief Deputy Brian Frieday started the ceremony with a moment of silence for a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, who was ambushed by gunfire overnight in the City of Rochester and lost his life in the line of duty.

"This serves as a reminder that, unfortunately, there is danger in police work; not trying to push you away, that is the reality of the job," Frieday told the graduates.

After a pause in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the Teen Academy was moved to GCC and is now being run by Academy Director Deputy Richard Schildwaster. Deputy Matthew Butler started the program as the School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School in 2018, and in 2019 Butler retired.

"Many people and organizations make this work, it's not put together in a week or even a month, this has been worked on for several months," Schildwaster said.

Frieday thanked GCC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Karen Wicka for helping coordinate and provide the facilities, along with Genesee County Stop DWI for the funding and the county Legislature for supporting the Academy.

Frieday told students he was very thankful they chose to get involved in the criminal justice system.

"Without you guys we wouldn't have this program. You volunteer your time, take time out of your summer. It's nice and sunny out there, who wants to be running in 90-degree heat," he said. "You put forth the time and hard work and you came together as a team. Thank you for participating, it's what makes this a sucess."



Top photo: Celebrating their status as Teen Academy graduates are, from left to right front row: Quinn Woeller, Wendy Lagunas Perez, Kaylee Tundo, Mary Engelhardt, Lea Donofrio, Michael Ehrmentraut, Hannah Spencer and Grace Slocum, and left to right back row: Lukas Volkmar, Christopher Zastrocky, Ian Kepple, Halie Deville, Joey Schnitzer and Michael Covert. Genesee County Legislators Rochelle Stein and Gary Maha, also former county Sheriff, in the front row during a portion of the Teen Academy Friday, and a group of students listen during a related class at GCC. Photos by Alecia Kaus.



July 20, 2022 - 9:39pm


There are 13 students participating in the third annual week-long Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy at Genesee Community College this week. The program was started by Deputy Matthew Butler in 2018 while he was a School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School. Butler retired in 2019, and the academy was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

This is the first year the program has been at Genesee Community College, which organizers chose for its central location in Genesee County.

“Byron-Bergen was a great host, but we received feedback that the location was a long haul for some. GCC is a central location, and it is readily available for kids from every school district in Genesee County,” says Deputy/SRO Rich Schildwaster, who is now Lead Deputy of the Teen Academy.

GCC also offers virtual technology, which is new to the program this year.

“We did not have this option a couple of years ago and its one of the things we have been able to add because GCC has a simulator here as part of their criminal justice program,” Schildwaster said.

Students walk into a virtual reality and have a scenario going on in front of them where they interact with people on the screen.

“The scenario can go in different directions. They may be presented with a deadly force encounter, or they may not. They have to make that judgement. It gives them that perspective. Scenarios range from a traffic stop where you walk up to a car and deal with a person to maybe an active shooter situation where you show up in front of the building and people are running out, and you go in and you have to appropriately handle that or try and make decisions like a law enforcement officer would.”

The VirTra Training simulator at GCC has also been used by local law enforcement agencies over the past few years to help prepare law enforcement officers for real-life incidents and different scenarios.

The goal of the Teen Academy is to attract good candidates to the law enforcement field. The academy is run like an actual police academy. Each day begins with physical training like CrossFit, which Deputy Chad Cummings and Investigator Chad Minuto organize.


Students have attended instructional classes on investigations, penal law, traffic stops, defensive tactics and a Stop the Bleed class where students can recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively.

On the last day of the academy, students will tour the jail, the courthouse, the Sheriff’s Office, dispatch center, view an ERT demonstration and attend communications and jail staff presentations. Students will take a final PT test, final exam, and attend a review followed by an afternoon graduation ceremony.

Schildwaster says his first year organizing the academy has been a great experience and the local community has stepped up to assist.

“We have a great community here, not all of our instructors are from the Sheriff’s Office. Everyone in the community has jumped on this whole-heartedly and embraced us. Everybody’s dedication makes all this come together because everyone believes in it and is excited to do this. It’s a good program for the kids.”





Top photo: Paramedic Wade Schwab talks with students of the Teen Academy Wednesday morning at GCC. Students participate in the Stop the Bleed class; Investigator Joe Loftus teaches Defensive Tactics class on Wednesday afternoon; Investigator Kevin Forsyth also teaches Defensive Tactics class on Wednesday afternoon; Deputy SRO Jeremy McClellan with students on Wednesday morning; and Deputy Morgan Ewert, left, Paramedic Wade Schwab, center, and Deputy Jordan Alejandro, right, with students on Wednesday. Photos by Alecia Kaus.

April 18, 2022 - 8:08pm


The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will be reassigning its courthouse deputy positions in light of news that the New York State Office of Court Administration will be providing its own security team this summer.

County Sheriff William Sheron shared this during an update of his department today at a meeting of the County Legislature’s Public Service Committee at the Old Courthouse.

“The Office of Court Administration that oversees the (Genesee County) Court Facility … did put us on notice that they're going to have their own private security take over,” Sheron said. “The court security (change) originally was going to be April 1st, but that did not give us enough time for transition so they did agree to July 1st. That means the five court officers -- deputies and sergeant -- will be returning to the sheriff's office and assigned to various duties.”

Sheron said the court positions will be eliminated through attrition.

“Right now, we have two vacancies and we anticipate a third officer will be retiring in July,” he said. “Another officer (will retire) at the end of the year and a third officer, the first part of 2023.”

He said the court sergeant will return to road patrol and be assigned as an administrative sergeant.

“I do need some type of position … to take up some of these administrative duties that just got overwhelming over the last few years with discovery and body cam footage and so forth,” Sheron advised.

The sheriff reported that four deputies will be completing field training next month.

Additionally, two deputies came to the department as lateral transfers from Syracuse and the State Park Police, which will save the office “a little money … as they came to us fully trained,” he said.

Two other deputies are in law enforcement academies, with one in Erie County to be available for duty in December and the other in Niagara County to be available for duty in February 2023.

At least a half-dozen officers are in other types of training, Sheron said.

“We do have a young staff so we have a lot of in-service training for investigators -- anywhere from basic criminal investigations training to evidence collection and interview interrogation,” he said.

Included in that group are the office’s K9 patrol, Sheron said, noting that “both of our canines are doing very well – healthy at this time and are on patrol.”

The Sheriff’s Office school resource officer program is running smoothly, he said, adding that Pavilion Central School District recently voted to go from a 12-month contract to a 10-month contract that will take effect in September.

Sheron said he is having to deal with the excessive amount of time that it takes to deal with certain crimes, especially fraud cases.

“Everything’s requiring a subpoena or search warrant,” he said. “Banks just want more records. It's really taxing on our investigators. I just want to bring that to light because we are seeing more and more and more of this.”

Statistically, deputies are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of warrants served.

“Usually, we have 170 to 190 active warrants at a time. Right now, we’re running 325 to 350,” the sheriff said.

Some more statistics, as of April 1:

  • Felony investigations, 71.
  • Juvenile investigations, 8.
  • Drug task force investigation cases, 10.
  • Other investigations (misdemeanors, pistol permit, fatal traffic accidents), 167.
  • Items of evidence processed, 312.
  • Incidents, 7,799.
  • Background investigations, 11.
  • Motor vehicle accident reports, 324.
  • Motor vehicle accidents, 474.

The Sheriff’s Office oversees seven areas: jail, civil/records, criminal investigations, communications, road patrol (including animal control), Genesee Justice and Justice for Children Advocacy Center.

Department heads reported to the Public Service Committee in the following areas today:


Emergency Communications Director Steven Sharpe said his department is having difficulty filling four part-time dispatcher positions, citing qualifications, the “plug-in” nature of the shifts involved and the hourly wage being offered.

“We’ve got people who are on the Civil Service list but they don’t want to take a part-time job,” Sharpe said. “So, they also tie up the list. Part-timers that we do get – who are on the list – we can’t reach them when a full-time position opens. There are other people ahead of them on the list that won’t take the part-time job.”

In an effort to attract young people into emergency dispatch, Sharpe is trying to develop a curriculum at Genesee Community College, but acknowledged that it has yet to take hold.

Sheron also noted that starting pay for a dispatcher is $20.37, less than the $20.50 being offered to overnight stockers at Walmart.

“And it’s not just law enforcement, it’s everywhere,” he said. “We’re going to have to start looking at wages.”

Other communications highlights:

  • 2021 calls for service: 76,751 (consisting of 81,107 dispatch events for police, fire and EMS).
  • Molasses Hill Tower is complete and was funded by four different NYS Statewide Interoperable Communications Grants. The final acceptance occurred in February.
  • The Cedar Street Tower at County Highway department is significantly overloaded and will require replacement due to changing engineering standards. Ice loading requirements have been increased from a half-inch under previous standards to 1-3 inches. Sharpe is seeking budgetary quotes to submit a capital improvement project for 2024 at the latest.


Jail Superintendent William Zipfel said openings include a senior correction officer, part-time correction officer, registered professional nurse and, as of this month, six correction officers (four to replace the officers assigned to the new jail transition team).

He also said he has been unable to find someone to fill the part-time cook job (paying $17.32 per hour) for quite some time.

Expenses are going up significantly, specifically in the Medicated Assistance Treatment program, food, supplies and energy, Zipfel said.

The MAT program is straining the jail budget due to the fact that prescribed controlled substances, such as suboxone, cannot be returned for refunds and cannot be given to another inmate. They must be destroyed.

People come in and they get prescribed suboxone and methadone and all kinds of controls, and next thing you know, they're released. We can't send those back. We can't use them for anyone else,” he said. “We turn it over to an investigator and they get destroyed. And until somebody decides to do something about this program that says, ‘If I want it, I get it,’ I don’t know what we’re going to do. It just keeps increasing and increasing and increasing.”

Zipfel said the jail’s overtime budget is on the rise, as well, due to the “huge number of hours just for constant watches in the first quarter of this year.”

“I don't see that stopping or going down a lot. We're dealing with sicker population as far as physical and mental issues, and we have to put them on constant watch,” he said, adding that intervention by mental health professionals has helped.

Some jail statistics through the first quarter of 2022:

  • Overtime Budget, $112,369.
  • Constant Watch and Hospital Hours, 2,118.
  • Food Costs/Meal Services, 15,799 meals served; $21,677.06 total cost; $1.3720 cost per meal.
  • Average Daily Population, males, 55.6.
  • Inmates Boarded Out, females, 30 inmates, $64,300 (not including Wyoming County).
  • Inmates Boarded Out, males, 10 inmates, $25,140 (not including Wyoming County).
  • Parole and State Readies as a portion of the Average Daily Population, 15.


Program Coordinator Diana Prinzi reported three part-time community service/victim assistants are needed, but the possibility of combining two of the part-time jobs into a full-time position is being considered.

Funding for the department through the Office of Victim Services decreased this year by nearly $14,000, dropping the total to $130,104 – the original funding amount released in 2019.

She said the office is requesting $181,917 per year for the new contract period that runs from Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2025. Department of Criminal Justice Services’ grant funding: has remained the same since 2019.

The agency’s program numbers in the area of Release Under Supervision, Community Service and Victim Assistance are increasing and expected to hit or exceed pre-COVID statistics.


Program Coordinator Theresa Roth said her department is actively recruiting for a supervising clinical social worker, a position that has been vacant since it was created last November.

Last year was the busiest in the history of the JFCAC, she said, with 262 new cases opened, and this year is expected to meet or exceed that number.

A contract with the state Office of Children and Family Services for funding of the agency’s satellite offices in Albion and Warsaw has been renewed through September 2027, she said, noting that having these locations results in signficant savings for Orleans and Wyoming counties.

Roth also reported a “small cut in funding” from the state Office of Victim Services.

That drew the ire of Legislator Marianne Clattenburg, who called it “reprehensible” that the state would not prioritize services for abused children.

Photo at top: Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron reporting to the Public Services Committee this afternoon. Emergency Communications Director Steven Sharpe is in the background. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

March 24, 2022 - 12:33pm


Calling the move from the current Genesee County Jail to the one that will be built on West Main Street Road over the next couple years “an enormous task,” Sheriff William Sheron today said he has complete confidence in the “transition team” he has assembled to lead the way.

Sheron emerged from a three-day training of the five correction officers at the Sheriff’s Office on Park Road by stating that it no longer will be business as usual when the new 184-bed, $70 million jail opens about 22 months after groundbreaking this spring.

“The team has an enormous task of transitioning, obviously, from the old jail to the new jail, which will be a revision of all our general orders, a revision of all of our policies and procedures and how everything is done,” Sheron told The Batavian.

“It's not as simple as just going from the old facility and taking the inmates and putting them into the new jail and operating like we used to at the old jail. There will be more programs and many different things to consider, such as meal distribution, inmate movement, medical, inmate and outside visitation, disciplinary, parking and special housing.”

The sheriff has appointed Corey Cieszki, Danni Stone, Austin Davis, Jenna Barber and Dennis Bartholomew (in photo at top from left to right with Sheriff Sheron) as members of the team.

“There was a solicitation to our staff because we wanted people that were interested in doing it – people that have the dedication and desire, I guess, to take on this responsibility,” Sheron said. “And we wanted people that have longevity left with them because when the facility opens up, these are going to be the go-to people for a while. They will know the mechanics of that building inside and out.”

Since Tuesday, the team has been studying under the guidance of Terry Moran, director of operations for the New York State Commission on Correction. Sheron said the training was an eye-opener for him.

“My eyes were completely opened here,” he said. “I had questions before from people saying, ‘Well, what’s this this transition team going to do?’ And I just had a brief overview from the Commission. They said they would come down and explain everything. Now that they’ve explained it, I see that these people (the team) are going to be busy.”

Sheron said he “can’t stress the importance of this team enough to make sure that this project is completed in a timely manner and in an operational manner so that when we open, everybody is fully trained and all procedures are set in place.”

County Manager Matt Landers echoed Sheron’s feelings, also stating that the first day of the training – which included county employees from various departments – brought numerous details to light.

“I think the average lay person would ask how could we have four individuals (the fifth will be an alternate) for the next two years, and they're in a room and all they're doing is policies and procedures,” he said. “If you went through the four-hour training we went through (on Tuesday) you can see the task ahead of them.”

Landers said the knowledge gained by the team members will make them “experts on this jail” and could result in career advancement to administration for one or more of these individuals.

“So, we're making investment in these individuals. And I think it'll pay off and they will be our future leaders in our correction side for years to come,” he said.



Top photo: The transition team goes over design drawings with Terry Moran, director of operations for the NYS Commission on Correction. Bottom photo: Moran addresses selected Genesee County employees during first day of a three-day training this week. Photos by Mike Pettinella. Bottom photo submitted.

February 15, 2022 - 12:28pm

It looks as though you can add paint to the list of materials eligible for disposal at the GLOW Region Solid Waste Management Committee’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

GLOW Recycling Administrator Peggy Grayson on Monday reported that New York’s Paint Stewardship program is expected to become operational by May 1, setting the stage for Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming county residents to drop off left over latex and oil-based paint at the Sept. 17, 2022 collection day at the Genesee County Highway Department on Cedar Street.

The collection event, which rotates among Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston each year, is open to the public at no charge. The electronics collection day is set for Sept. 24, also at the highway department.

Grayson, appearing at the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee meeting at the Old County Courthouse, distributed brochures indicating that the paint program (www.paintcare.org) has established more than 2,000 drop-off sites in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

While most sites are paint and hardware stores, solid waste facilities – including transfer stations, recycling centers and landfills, plus household hazardous waste facilities – also participate as drop-off locations.

The program is funded by the addition of a small fee to the price of paint containers sold in stores and online.

Information provided by Grayson points out that latex paint is not hazardous waste and small amounts can be safely disposed of in the trash once it is in hardened form. If the can is more than half full, it should be taken to an approved PaintCare location or to the hazardous waste collection site.

In related action, the Public Service Committee approved an extension of a contract with Environmental Enterprises, Inc., and the other GLOW counties for the GLOW Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program at a cost not to exceed $32,000.

“This will be our 18th year (with EEI),” Grayson said. “It’s a great job that they do for us; always on time and they clean up afterwards.”

The PSC also voted in favor of the following resolutions (subject to approval by the full legislature on Feb. 23):

  • Leasing of a new Caterpillar hydraulic excavator from Milton Caterpillar in Batavia for $299,929, with annual payments set at $64,135.80. Funding will come from the road machinery budget, which had an estimate of $85,000 annually for the lease purchase.
  • Utilization of $77,000 in grant funding for the Sheriff’s Office to pay overtime for the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee operations and for additional police services in the Village of Bergen, and for expenses related to a Department of Homeland Security program.
  • Acceptance of a $4,056 grant from Homeland Security to cover the costs of sheriff’s deputies' participation in emergency preparedness exercises.
  • Implementation of Automated Secure Alarm Protocol at the county’s Emergency Dispatch Center that will cut down the amount of time from the sounding of an alarm to the dispatch of first responders. The $35,000 capital project will be paid by revenues generated by wireless fees and state aid. This would affect all alarm companies linked to The Monitoring Association. “This could mean as much as 30 seconds saved on the front end … and that could make a huge difference (when it comes to a fire),” said Steven Sharpe, director of Emergency Communications.
  • Acceptance of a $500,000 grant from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services to fund Justice for Children services in Batavia, Albion and Warsaw and Genesee Justice programming for the next five years through Sept. 30, 2027.
  • A $718,564 contract with Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca for replacement of the Darien-Alexander Townline Road bridge over Tunnery Brook. The bid was more than $100,000 less than the engineer’s estimate, according to the resolution.
February 1, 2022 - 11:53am

prinzi_1.jpgIn a situation where someone has committed an unlawful offense against someone else, reconciliation isn’t something than happens very often.

However, if the both parties – especially the victim – are willing, it’s worth the effort, says Diana Prinzi, the new coordinator of the Genesee Justice restorative program that is a division of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re working on our first restorative justice reconciliation meeting in the near future and it’s something I would like to see more of,” said Prinzi, a retired U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement supervisor who started in her county post on Jan. 3. “It’s one of the items on my bucket list.”

Prinzi (pictured at right) was hired to replace Catherine Uhly, who retired last February.

The Le Roy native and current resident of Alexander spent 22 years in various capacities with ICE, mostly at the federal detention center in Batavia, before taking a part-time victim’s advocate position at Genesee Justice early last year.

She said she has been doing her best to learn about the various programs that Genesee Justice has to offer, including victim advocacy, offender accountability, DWI conditional discharge, release under supervision and risk assessment.

Being able to “restore” broken relationships is at the heart of Genesee Justice, an innovative approach to navigating the legal system that has been a hallmark of Genesee County for about 40 years.

“We haven’t had any instances of where the victim, offender and a facilitator have gotten together in quite a while,” Prinzi said. “It’s a process that takes place after the fact, after sentencing, where we try to get them back on track; to be able to move forward with their lives, but the victim has to want it.”

A 1986 graduate of Notre Dame High School with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Brockport State College, Prinzi said she enjoyed her time as a victim advocate and jumped at the chance to lead the agency, which is located at 14 West Main St.

“I’m excited for the opportunity and feel that the qualifications of the job fit mine pretty well,” she said, noting that she scored well on the Civil Service exam that preceded the interviewing process. “Being in law enforcement, I understand that you have to follow the laws, and I believe that my 15 years of supervisory experience is an asset.”

Prinzi oversees a department that, when fully staffed, has 11 full- and part-time employees – case managers, community service victim’s assistants, victim advocates, DWI conditional discharge specialists, principal clerk and financial analyst. Currently, three part-time positions are open.

Genesee Justice serves the community in a number of ways, she said.

“We offer victim advocacy – services to crime victims, such as help with court proceedings, orders of protection, compensation claims, emotional support and referrals to other agencies,” Prinzi said. “Then there is community service, where a person’s sentence might include working at a nonprofit agency with complete oversight by Genesee Justice.”

Services to victims are provided at no charge, Prinzi said, adding that the department interacts with 450 to 500 persons annually.

She said the agency’s first-time DWI offender program has enabled those charged with driving under the influence the chance to complete several requirements over a year to possibly gain a conditional discharge, with a judge having final say in the matter.

Prinzi said the state’s bail reform has affected, to some extent, other programs such as pre-trial release (RUS) and risk assessment.

“Bail reform is being debated (by state legislators) and we’re still reviewing and researching that,” she said.

Outside of the office, she said that she and her husband, Samuel, look forward to spending time with their five grown children and one grandchild, and enjoy hiking and walking outdoors.

For more information about Genesee Justice, go to www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/geneseejustice/index.php.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

January 18, 2022 - 9:41pm

k9.jpgThe power of private/public partnership is about to make a difference for the K-9 units of local law enforcement agencies.

Batavia’s Home Depot and CountryMax stores have come together to provide the materials and labor to construct a K-9 obstacle course at the Genesee County Fire Training Center on State Street Road.

“These businesses came to us and said they want to provide these services to Genesee County at no cost to the county,” said County Manager Matt Landers, speaking about a resolution approved today by the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee to accept the donations. “The course will be used by the Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police and State Police K-9 officers.”

According to the resolution, Home Depot will donate building materials through a grant from The Home Depot Foundation – estimated value of $3,232 – and CountryMax Stores will provide the labor required to construct the course. The layout will be utilized by K-9 units for training purposes to simulate obstacles they are likely to encounter in the field during deployments.

Landers said the course, which will be owned by Genesee County, will be built to last “through multiple seasons.”

In other action related to the Sheriff’s Office, the committee approved the creation of a Public Safety Systems Manager position while eliminating the Communications Coordinator job that was held by the recently-retired Russ Lang for 33 years.

“The responsibilities of the open position really warrant a change in title,” Landers advised. “This was reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office and Human Resources, and they were in agreement that the new position better reflects the responsibilities of the position in the Sheriff’s Office.”

Per the resolution, the cost associated with this new position is covered by the previous Communications Coordinator salary accounted for in the 2022 budget.

Both PSC approvals are subject to ratification by the full legislature later this month.

File photo: Genesee County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit -- Deputy Andrew Mullen and Frankie, left, and Deputy Jim Stack and Rayzor. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 1, 2021 - 6:55pm
posted by Press Release in news, Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

Due to COVID-19 cases within the Genesee County Jail, Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. is suspending all visitations effective at midnight tonight until Nov. 22, tentatively.

This is a precautionary measure to prevent the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus to incarcerated individuals’ families and employees.  

October 7, 2021 - 10:04am

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday threw its support behind a pair of local laws designed to relax residency requirements for the county’s seasonal and laterally transferring sheriff’s deputies.

County Attorney Kevin Earl, at the committee’s meeting at the Old County Courthouse, introduced resolutions calling for adoption of local laws that would supersede Section 3(1) of the New York State Public Officer Law.

Section 3(1) of the Public Officer Law states that no person shall be capable of holding a civil office, which includes deputy sheriffs, unless at the time he or she shall be chosen for employment they are a permanent resident of the political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state for which he or she shall be chosen (in this case, Genesee County).

In the area of seasonal deputies, Local Law Introductory No. 4, Year 2021 would expand the residency territorial area to include Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

Seasonal sheriff’s deputies are defined as those hired for a fixed period of time not to exceed 90 days to work for a specific purpose, and must be fully trained with New York State Police Officer certification.

“A lot of this is driven by (Six Flags) Darien Lake needing additional employees,” Earl said.

Genesee County Undersheriff Brad Mazur said that permanent county sheriff’s deputies would be considered first for seasonal security work at Darien Lake, followed by seasonal deputies who live in Genesee County.

“Then, if we still couldn’t fill it, we would go outside to the contiguous counties,” he said, adding that two or three City of Batavia Police officers provided coverage at the theme park last year.

All costs for these seasonal deputies are covered by Darien Lake, Mazur said.

Concerning lateral transfers, Local Law Introductory No. 5, Year 2021 would expand the permanent residency requirement timeframe for a lateral police officer transfer to a Genesee County deputy sheriff position “to ensure an adequate pool of qualified applicants” by giving transfers six months after their hiring date to find a home in Genesee County.

Qualifications include current employment as a fully trained and certified police officer in New York and meeting all requirement of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Earl said that the mandate to reside in Genesee County within six months would be a condition of the deputy’s employment, meaning that the deputy could be fired outside of an arbitration process if the requirement is not met.

Previously, the county stipulated that transferring officers had to live in Genesee for two months before beginning employment.

Both Local Laws require public hearings, which have been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Old County Courthouse.

September 23, 2021 - 8:20am


Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron Jr. was a man of few words on Wednesday afternoon as he accepted a proclamation from the Genesee County Legislature designating the week of Sept. 19-25, 2021 as Sheriffs’ Week in Genesee County.

Those words were well placed, however, as the county’s top law enforcement official gave all the credit to his staff who are on the front lines each and every day.

“I consider it a privilege to serve as sheriff in Genesee County and to be associated with such tremendous people before me (acknowledging Maha, the former sheriff, and Legislator Gordon Dibble, retired chief deputy),” Sheron said.

“I take this on behalf of all the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office. They’re the ones that are out there daily, providing service to the public, and they do it in such a professional manner.”

Maha, chair of the Public Service Committee, read the proclamation, which recognizes the Sheriff’s Office as “an integral part of the criminal justice system in New York State and in Genesee County since its inception in 1777, and establishment as one of the original constitutional offices of Genesee County in 1802.”

The proclamation states that the “Office of Sheriff 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 field.”

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

September 1, 2021 - 7:07pm

stop_dwi_logo.pngThe Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee this afternoon recommended approval of the county’s 2022 STOP-DWI plan that seeks an appropriation of $160,910, but not before the program coordinator highlighted the need for more police officers.

“It’s an amazing program,” Assistant Manager Tammi Ferringer said, thanking personnel from the three participating agencies – County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and Le Roy Police Department – for their efforts in conducting special details in support of STOP-DWI.

But just as quickly, speaking at the meeting at the Old County Courthouse, she noted “the biggest challenge” was that these departments are short-staffed.

“Each agency needs to be commended for changing their schedules (to work the details),” she said. “The officers really gave their all.”

The three police agencies continue to conduct routine enforcement nights with sobriety checkpoints, often resulting in DWI/DWAI arrests, she said, but noted that primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, total DWI arrests dropped from 115 in 2019 to 72 in 2020.

Thus far in 2021, however, arrests are trending upward, prompting Ferringer to believe the yearly total will equal or exceed the 2019 number.

She reported that law enforcement participated in all statewide crackdown events (eight of them in all) during the period of Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021, making 205 vehicle stops. Furthermore, grant funding was used for callouts of local Drug Recognition Experts to help assist officers investigating impaired driving.

One hundred percent of STOP-DWI’s activities is funded from the collection of fines collected from DWI/DWAI offenses, Ferringer said, noting that many arrests are made during normal operationof law enforcement. STOP-DWI provides enhanced activities.

While she is budgeting for $160,910, the program currently has about $100,000 in its account.

Ferringer reported a decline in revenue from $163,418 in 2020 to (projected) $119,063 this year, but foresees an increase in 2022 as the courts reopen and more and more pending cases are adjudicated.

“There’s a backlog in the courts,” she said, adding that judges are “scared” as they see the caseload before them and try to prepare for the impending rush.

She also informed the committee that New York State is changing its terminology – moving away from “crackdown period” and replacing that with “high visibility engagement campaign.” The Labor Day/End of Summer HVEC is running now, through Sept. 6.

As she wrapped up her presentation, County Legislator Gordon Dibble, who represents the towns of Pembroke and Darien, said the Village of Corfu Police Department may be looking to re-enter the STOP-DWI program.

Ferringer’s budget request is expected to be on the agenda of the full legislature’s next meeting on Sept. 8.

Other program highlights are as follows:

  • Genesee Justice monitors first-time DWI offenders (non-aggravated) who have received a Conditional Discharge as long as they participate in a one-year monitoring program that includes reporting regularly to a case worker, undergoing an alcohol screening and counseling program, refraining from drinking alcohol and taking part in an intense program for behavior modification aimed at changing attitudes on drinking and driving. It also monitors Leandra Law convictions where the ignition interlock device is ordered on the vehicle.

  • Genesee County probation officers provide necessary DWI enforcement activities and enhanced EtG (ethyl glucuronide) alcohol testing for monitored individuals. The department is monitoring an average of 175 DWI offenders per month and has reported 50 violations year to date, which is up slightly from 172 in 2020 with 80 violations amidst pandemic response and shut down.

  • Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse provide case management services, including an accountability component, follow up to the court and referrals to community resources. GCASA’s Victim Impact Panel brings DWI offenders and victims together for offenders to hear first-hand how a DWI crash impacted the lives of others.

  • STOP-DWI’s education and prevention component includes participation by the Youth Bureau, leading to the use of images of the local law enforcement agencies for a new billboard to remind the community to not drink and drive. The image will also be used in the future for post cards and other educational handouts. Also, it conducted an adult campaign during the winter holiday season, partnering with local liquor stores to provide them with liquor bags with safe messages to remind the community to not drink and drive. In 2020, six liquor stores were provided 5,800 bags.

  • The program’s poster contest winners were acknowledged, as youth and “top cops” were recognized with t-shirts, gift cards, commendations as well as banners with their artwork/pictures on them to display. Brooke Jarkiewicz and Grace Shepard, 11th graders at Byron-Bergen High School were the grand prize winners, and their design was featured on a billboard for a month during the winter holiday season.

  • In July, a “Night at the Ballpark” took place at Dwyer Stadium, supported by the Batavia Muckdogs. Law enforcement personnel joined with county staff and representatives of human services agencies to assist at the heavily attended event.

July 9, 2021 - 4:31pm

Now is an opportune time for individuals who are serious about becoming a law enforcement officer in Genesee County.

Batavia Police Department Chief Shawn Heubusch and Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron have announced that potential candidates for positions at those two agencies can take the civil service examination on either Sept. 18 or Sept. 19. The exact date will be announced.

All applicants must file for the examination with the Genesee County Human Resources Department by Aug. 4.

Heubusch said the Batavia PD currently has one opening, while Sheron said the sheriff’s office is down six deputies.

“We currently have one vacancy,” Heubusch said. “This announcement is for the exam that was supposed to take place last year, but was postponed due to COVID.”


Heubusch said the city, as part of the police reform plan submitted to New York State per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order, “is committed to working with our local government partners and various groups and organizations in reaching out to the community to promote and publicize these important career opportunities in law enforcement.”

“It’s important that the composition of the police department reflects the community it serves and protects -- and that starts with making people aware that the police exam is coming up.”

Those with questions regarding the hiring process and other information about how to become a police officer can contact the Batavia Police Department by email at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6360 and ask to speak with a member of the Recruiting Committee.


Sheron said that along with the civil service test in September, his office is conducting background checks on three individuals and there is another recruit in basic academy who will graduate in August.

“Being down six hurts us, but we’ve been down this many before,” he said. “The guys all step up, using overtime and so forth.”

The sheriff said it will take quite some time to fully replenish the deputy staff when you consider having to receive the test results and also conduct interviews, background investigations and psychological tests.

“And then we have to put them through the academy, which is a six-month ordeal, so we’re probably looking at nine months to a year before we’re back to full staff,” he advised. “However, we do have a couple people who are considering lateral transfers from other police agencies over to ours.”


Interested candidates can visit the Genesee County Human Resources Department’s website for more information on how to apply to take the examinations:  https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/humanresources/exams.php

The following links provide information on the physical fitness testing procedures and civil service study guide for entry level police officer exams:



Both Heubusch and Sheron emphasized the need for potential candidates to start the training process immediately to be prepared to take the physical agility test after the written civil service exam.

June 28, 2021 - 3:19pm

Genesee County’s director of mental health and community services apparently swung for the fences and hit a home run last week when she learned that the New York State Office of Mental Health approved the county’s application to participate in the Mobile Access Program with three law enforcement agencies.

The Mobile Access Program (MAP) is a pilot initiative that connects residents in distress with mental health clinicians utilizing iPads (via Zoom for Healthcare, a secure teleconferencing software program) when law enforcement officers request assistance.

Mental health staff then will conduct an evaluation remotely to help plan for an appropriate disposition.

“They (NYSOMH officials) really wanted one law enforcement agency but we kind of took a gamble and chose three. We asked for a lot,” said Lynda Battaglia, who heads up the county’s mental health department.

The three police departments that have agreed to partner with Genesee County are the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police and Village of Le Roy Police.

Battaglia said heads of the three law enforcement agencies watched a webinar about the program and all expressed an interest in participating.

“I asked each police department to provide information specific to their line of work – how many devices they would need for each shift; bandwidth, accessibility in different areas; how many officers would need iPads and the number of calls related to mental health issues they receive,” Battaglia offered.

She then took that data and coupled it with mental health information and sent the application to the NYSOMH. Not only was Genesee County approved, but requests from all other counties as well.

“We received notice that since there was such a great response … they were able to accommodate all the applicants,” she noted.

Calling it a “telehealth program,” Battaglia said the state will give iPads to all three police departments and to the mental health clinic. The state also will provide training and support services.

She said that the objective is to increase accessibility to those having mental health issues and cut down the time it takes to deliver essential mental health consultations.

“Let’s say police receive a call to go out and talk with somebody – and it’s a mental health call,” she said. “One of the goals is to decrease unnecessary transport to the hospital, under Mental Health Law 9.41.”

Mental Health Law Section 9.41 give powers to peace officers and police officers to admit individuals in emergency situations for immediate observation, care, and treatment.

Battaglia explained that if an officer is interacting with someone who doesn’t need to be transported to a hospital (or to jail), they will ask that person if they wish to have a telehealth emergency visit with the mental health person on call.

“There will be arrangements made to have the officer connect with his or her iPad with our on-call person with their iPad, and the mental health person will conduct a telehealth session with that individual in crisis,” she said.

She did acknowledge that the program won’t work in all cases, specifically if someone is under the influence of alcohol or substances – “for clinical reasons you won’t get an accurate assessment,” she said – or if a person is extremely agitated or at very high risk.

“We’re hoping to have it where the mental health professionals make that determination (which is allowed under MHL Section 9.45 -- emergency admissions for immediate observation, care, and treatment under the authority of directors of community services or authorized designees).

Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron reported that mental health calls continue to increase.

“I would say we average at least one a day – and some days, more than others,” he said. “That’s why it’s important to get the proper treatment to these individuals in a timely fashion, and reduce the amount of police involvement in the process.”

Sheron said law enforcement is “working hand-in-hand with mental health to more directly address the needs of people who have mental health crises.”

“This will expedite that. It may not be appropriate for all cases, but I think for the majority of them, it will be very beneficial. The last thing we want to do is having law enforcement take some kind of criminal action against somebody when they really need the services of mental health professionals.”

Battaglia said she expects it to take a few months for state mental health officials to provide training and to implement the program. She said is hoping that this turns out to be a win-win situation for all.

“We have a crisis plan in place (contracting with SpectrumHealth for a mobile response team), and I think that it is a plan that has been OK. But, with this opportunity and moving into the future, we can make the crisis plan a little more connected,” she said.

“It will definitely prove how law enforcement and mental health officials can work together. It will build relationships. It will help the people in the community.”

June 14, 2021 - 6:56am



It was a glorious ending to a glorious week.

“A Field of Thanks” celebration coordinated by members of the St. James Episcopal congregation concluded its eight-day tribute to military veterans, community workers and volunteers on Sunday afternoon with the presentation of flags to 81 recipients on the front lawn of the East Main Street church.

Calling the event “a gathering of people sharing stories of hope, sacrifice and love,” the Rev. Bonnie Morris, rector, shared the significance of flags in society.

“Flags are symbols. Flags serve as many things. They may be a rallying call. They may be a reminder of an ideal. The may be a call to action,” she said. “Today and this week and throughout this entire project, flags have pointed to people. They pointed to service. They pointed to dedication.”

Morris said the flags – which were put up on the church grounds last Sunday for all to see – provided “an awesome way to come together in honor of this service.”

“We are a nation of many people and each people with many gifts, serving many people. The flags that we have gathered around us this week in ‘A Field of Thanks’ are the nation’s flags, along with the Navy flag, the flag of Canada and the flag of the United Kingdom,” she said.

“They all represent courage and commitment. They represent community and country, and a people’s dedication to service.”

The program included participation by employees of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and City of Batavia Police Department, and solemn renditions of “Retreat” and “To The Colors” by Batavian Derek Reiss on the bugle. Captain Jim Ellison, Navy, Retired, of Le Roy, served as the master of ceremonies.

Undersheriff Brad Mazur read the list of the heroes’ names and sponsors while Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard members Sgt. Andrew Hale, Deputy Ken Quackenbush and Deputy Kyle Krezmien presented the flags and plaques to the honorees. Batavia Police Officer Sean Wilson also had a part in the pageantry.

Categories of heroes included groups and organizations, first responders, health care professionals and members of the armed forces.

Husband and wife Kevin and Diane Skelton, of Oakfield, sponsored flags for their late fathers, James L. Skelton and Kenneth R. Howard Sr., respectively.

Both served in World War II, with the latter receiving the Purple Heart.

“I just thought it was a great way to honor everyone who served the community,” Kevin said. “We thought it was very fitting to be able to honor our fathers who served in World War II. You forget about how these people served their country and even though they didn’t talk about it much during their lives, we understand the sacrifice that they made to serve their country.”

Diane agreed, adding that it was great to see recognition beyond the military.

“I think it’s great to not only honor the veterans but also the people that did things during the COVID pandemic and people who serve the general public – corrections officers and police officers. I just think it’s a fantastic idea,” she said.

Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, was selected by the committee to accept a flag and plaque on behalf of news media professionals.

“It is an honor to represent local media at this ceremony,” Owens said. “Many people in our community made contributions to help us all during the pandemic but locally and throughout the nation, local journalists worked extra hours under extra pressure to bring their friends and neighbors truthful accurate information at a time when political forces tried to spread misinformation.

“I think all of us are proud of the work we did and are grateful for the community's recognition of our work.”

Diane Cox, of Batavia, a registered nurse at the Genesee County Jail, was honored for her work during the coronavirus pandemic when the jail was on lockdown – no visitation, no chaplain and no legal services.

“As a nurse, you just do what you do; you don’t look for rewards,” she said. “It’s a passion; it’s what you do. I was honored to be recognized.”

Cox said that comforting inmates during COVID-19 “was a whole new level of nursing care.”

“They were anxious about their own family members on the outside, being exposed to COVID or having COVID, as well as bringing it into the jail where we were,” she offered. “We were able to contain our people, our staff, and we starting giving COVID testing outside of the county because we wanted to know.”

Since then, the jail staff has received equipment of its own to be able to test on site, she said.

Event coordinator Phyllis Draycott said the idea came to her more than a year and a half ago.

“I felt that people needed a little closeness,” she said. “Well, I thought that maybe COVID would be over in June and looked at Flag Day since it is less busy than any other holiday – well, it’s really not a national holiday. So, that was why we did that.”

“ 'A Field of Thanks' began on D-Day (June 6) and ended on Flag Day eve," she said “and now everybody can take their flags home and fly them at home (on Monday).”

Draycott credited her team of Dawn and Pete Mark for their professional touch, and choir director Dillon Hirsch, for leading attendees in patriotic songs last Sunday.

She presented a checks to WNY Heroes Inc., of Williamsville, and Meals on Wheels of Genesee County, the two agencies that benefited from the proceeds of the event.

Dawn Mark, instrumental in creating the plaques, said she counted it “a privilege" to meet so many people and find out about all their history.

“And I’d do it again in a minute,” she said. “I would suggest to anybody who wanted to do an event like this to go ahead and recognize your community.”

The list of honorees and their sponsors follows:

Genesee County Community Volunteers – Lilo and Wayne Townsend;
The “Phoebe Project” – Barb and Dave King;
Crossroads House – Jeff Allen;
Volunteers for Animals – Anonymous;
Eagle Star Housing – Rich Geitner and Jen Wood;
Office for the Aging – Dawn Mark;
Batavia USPS Workers – Jackie Swinarski;
All Educators – Deacon Diana Leiker;
News Media Professionals – Dawn Mark;
Le Roy Moose Lodge Veterans – Le Roy Moose Lodge 1132.
All Veterans and First Responders – Bill Hayes, Turnbull Heating & Air;
Genesee County Firefighters – Anonymous;
Robert S. Barnes – Margaret Barnes;
Genesee County Law Enforcement – Optimum Realty;
Brian M. Frieday – Rose and Steve Rumery;
Kevin Forsyth – Pat Forsyth;
Matthew C. Fleming – Cal and Joanne Fleming;
All Corrections Officers – Optimum Realty;
Michael D. Kasprzyk – Terri Norton;
Jason R. Queal – Carol and Dick Queal.
Gary V. McWethy – Sharon McWethy;
David J. Saleh – Batavia Lions Club and Lion Liz Saleh;
Claire Sloat – Todd Sloat, Sloat Tire Shop.
Donna Becker – Deb and Mike Barone;
Bonnie Morris – Anonymous;
Paul Piscatelli – Anonymous;
Leigh Skelton – Anonymous;
Kristen Temple – Kathy and Larry Belluscio.
Danielle Schollard – Kathy and Larry Belluscio;
Cheryl Sczepanski – Shirley Kriger;
Spencer C. Swartz – Janice and David Swartz;
Tina Rosone – Carol and Dick Queal;
Diane S. Cox – Harold Odell;
Christopher Foote – William Coughlin;
Cathy Bunce – William Coughlin;
U of R Center for Vaccine Research – William Coughlin;
United Memorial Medical Center Staff – Barb and Bill Pearce.
Navy Veterans – Chip and Terry McGuire.
Donald E. Delbridge – Pete Mark.
Kenneth R. Howard Sr. – Diane and Kevin Skelton;
James L. Skelton – Diane and Kevin Skelton;
William J. Hall Sr. – William J. Hall Jr.;
Harry Simmons – Joan and Jim Ellison;
Anthony J. Gugino – Joan and Jim Ellison;
Carl T. Todd Sr. – Mariellen Blossom;
Cora E. Houck Todd – Mariellen Blossom;
Charles T. Fox – Marilyn and David Lange;
Herman Fustino – Wendy and Bruce Fustino;
Henry Schoelles – Wendy and Bruce Fustino;
Loren F. Balduf – Donna Stiles and Family;
Chester H. Watson – Elaine and Steve Watson;
Lyle G. Mark – Pete Mark;
Gerald M. Rock – Corinne Malmberg;
Benjamin S. Giambrone – Ben’s Appliance & Kitchens;
Norman K. Lange – Marilyn and David Lange;
William Renz Sr. – William Renz Jr.;
Eldon Blowers – Nathan Blowers;
Walter N. McAlister Sr. – Carolyn and Ken Draycott;
R.W. Janet Kingdon – Mariellen Blossom (Order of the Eastern Star);
W. Evelyn Edwards Krause – Mariellen Blossom;
M.W. Harry L. Tyson – Mariellen Blossom;
R.W. Donald Keys – Mariellen Blossom.
Sam Norris – Sue and Corky Best;
Kenneth Draycott – Jane Draycott;
The Hammond Family – Anonymous.
John Mack – Jeff Wuest;
Louis M. Scoville – Maureen Scoville;
Dan Ford – Shirley Ford;
Charles Graney – Tim and Bonnie Morris;
Terry J. Garigen – Jeff Wuest;
John R. Ellison – Joan and Jim Ellison;
Gary Hammond – Anonymous;
Glenn Hammond – Gary Hammond;
Kenneth C. Gray – St. James Episcopal Church.
Dan S. Clor – Steve Foster and The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant;
Jason E. Hammond – Gary Hammond;
Daniel R. Criswell – Josephine Paananen;
Michael Machniak – Gary Davis;
Sean T. Callahan – Kent Ewell and O’Lacy’s Irish Pub.
David R. Barnes – Margaret Barnes;
Christopher C. Meyers – Barbara Meyer.






Photos at top: A large crowd turned out Sunday for the closing ceremony of "A Field of Thanks" at St. James Episcopal Church (seated in red shirt is Phyllis Draycott, event coordinator); Genesee County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard officiating the presentation of the flags. Photos at bottom: Diane and Kevin Skelton, of Oakfield; The Rev. Bonnie Morris, rector; Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, with Sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Hale; Plaque that was presented to News Media Professionals; Draycott presenting check to John Wolf and Diana Fox, representing Meals on Wheels of Genesee County. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

June 3, 2021 - 9:34am

burns_1.jpgGenesee County’s new Information Technology director made a favorable impression upon county legislators at Wednesday’s Ways & Means Committee meeting when he presented a resolution that came with a zero financial impact.

Batavian Michael Burns, (photo at right), who began employment with the county on May 24 after more than 20 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology, requested that lawmakers approve acceptance of a cell phone booster that will improve reception at County Building II on West Main Street Road.

The booster is being provided at no charge by Verizon Wireless, which has an agreement with the county for installation, maintenance and operation of the in-building coverage system.

It was Burns’ first request of legislators, who forwarded the resolution to next week’s meeting of the full board.

Burns thanked legislators for the opportunity to work in his hometown and was welcomed by Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, who voiced her pleasure that his initial resolution didn’t cost the county any money.

Previously (feature story on Burns from April 30): Batavia resident accepts Genesee County information technology director position after long career at RIT

In other action, the committee:

  • Approved using $21,250 from the 1 percent sales and use tax reserve to purchase body cameras, docking stations and annual licenses for road patrol for the Sheriff’s Office. Apparently, the request was made last year but was not transferred to the county’s 2021 budget.
  • Accepted a grant for $50,099 from the state Department of Health and Health Research Inc. for the county’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, starting on July 1 and extending through June 30.
May 19, 2021 - 4:26pm


Rayzor and Frankie are back in action after undergoing surgery and encountering medical issues, respectively.

The stars of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit have suffered injury and illness in recent months, with Rayzor tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his back left leg last November and Frankie having a tooth removed after fracturing it last December.

Rayzor, who is handled by Deputy Jim Stack, was out of action for about four and a half months after undergoing surgery at the Hudson Highland Veterinary Specialty Group facility in the Dutchess County Village of Fishkill.

That was followed by eight weeks of confinement and sedation as Stack had to carry the dog outside so he could go to the bathroom.

“After that, Rayzor (a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix) had to go through intense physical therapy at Pine Woods Animal Hospital Rehabilitation Center in North Tonawanda,” said Stack, who has been working with the pup since March 2020.

Stack credited Paul McNamara, veterinary surgeon at Hudson Highlands, for opening his schedule to get the dog into surgery. He also thanked veterinarians Aubri Matroniano and Stephanie Ortel of Pine Woods and Lindsay Edwards, Rayzor’s regular vet, from the Corfu Veterinary Clinic.

Frankie, age 4½, is a Belgian Malinois that was assigned to Deputy Andrew Mullen in September 2020. After having the tooth removed, he got an infection and was sidelined for a couple weeks.

Undersheriff Brad Mazur said the department is fortunate to have the K-9 unit back on the job.

“It looks like we’ve gotten through it. It’s just one of the things that happen with a canine, with the medication and stuff.”

On Monday, Mazur spoke at the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee meeting and requested a $5,000 allocation from the K-9 Donation Reserve Account to cover Rayzor’s physical therapy and medications and Frankie’s veterinarian evaluations and medications.

The committee approved it and the resolution has been forwarded to today's Ways & Means Committee meeting and, upon further approval, to the full legislature for final voting.

“We have been very fortunate over the years with donations from the public which has enabled us to provide for our K-9s and maintain the program,” Mazur said.

In other action, the committee voted in favor of resolutions providing additional sheriff deputy services at Six Flags Darien Lake and Batavia Downs Gaming.

Mazur said Six Flags Darien Lake officials have requested weekend patrols during May and June and daily patrols during July and August. He also said he is anticipating deputies working concerts at the park this summer.

At Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road, deputies would handle traffic control and offer other assistance during the summer concert series shows. He said the contract with Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., parent company of the casino, calls for eight deputies per event.

The committee voted to renew the agreement with Darien Lake through May 31, 2022, which also is the ending date of a one-year pact with Batavia Downs Gaming. The resolutions reflecting Public Service Committee approval will be forwarded to the full legislature for final voting.

Genesee County has appropriated $191,112 for overtime/additional police services for these contracts to be offset by revenue billed back to Six Flags and Batavia Downs Gaming for these services.

Also, the committee approved:

  • The acceptance of easements from the Town of Batavia around the perimeter of the DeWitt Recreation Area and behind the Spectrum office on Cedar Street – small properties that had been assigned to the town during the development of Ellicott Trail.

Currently, the county’s parks department maintains these easements through an agreement with the town.

  • Contracts with Cold Spring Construction Corp. of Akron for $967,856.50 and Erdman Anthony of Rochester for $136,000 to construct and consult on, respectively, the Hundredmark Road Bridge replacement project in the Town of Elba.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said Cold Spring’s bid was $100,000 less than engineers’ estimates.

The capital project is expected to be funded by federal aid (80 percent) and the county (20 percent), with the county’s share coming from its 1 percent sales tax revenue.

  • A supplemental agreement with Barton & Loguidice of Syracuse for construction inspection and administrative services connect to the replacement of the Pratt Road Bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Batavia. The additional expense is not to exceed $31,259.

Hens said construction has been completed but this action was necessary before the project could be closed out.

  • The appointment of Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro to the Genesee County Planning Board, a volunteer position, effective June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2024.

Photo: Deputy Andrew Mullen and Frankie, left, and Deputy Jim Stack and Rayzor in front of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office this afternoon. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

May 13, 2021 - 11:05am


Genesee County Undersheriff Brad Mazur and City of Batavia Police Department Chief Shawn Heubusch hold proclamations designating May 9-15 as National Police Week while standing next to Legislator Gary Maha on Wednesday at a meeting of the Genesee County Legislature.

Mazur said he thanks those "who put their lives on the line to protect our citizens" and asked "to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice."

Heubusch credited law enforcement personnel for their "steadfast dedication to their craft."

National Police Week was started in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

May 4, 2021 - 4:01pm

Submitted photos and press release:

On May 5, 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first full week of May would be observed as National Correctional Officers’ Week in recognition of the important role these officers play in our criminal justice system.

The position of Correctional Officer, once considered merely that of a “guard,” has become increasingly more complex and demanding, involving simultaneously custodial, supervisory, rehabilitation, and counseling roles, and that complexity continues to grow. In the year 2021, Correctional Officers continue to play that vital role, but in an ever more stressful environment due to the continuing pandemic sweeping our nation and the world. 

The lights on the Old County Courthouse cupola will be changed to red, white and blue to acknowledge this week. Also, the Genesee County Legislature issued a proclamation at last week’s April 28 meeting recognizing May 2 – 8 as National Correctional Officers’ Week.  

“The important and difficult role Correctional Officers fulfill is not always recognized or realized by the general public,” said William A. Sheron Jr.  “If you know a Correctional Officer, please join me in thanking these men and women for the exceptional service they provide every day.”

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