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K-9 Frankie

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.

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.

December 20, 2019 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in K-9 Frankie, k-9 program, Sheriff's Office, NEXTera Energy, news, byron.


The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is $10,000 closer to its $50,000 fundraising goal for a second K-9 and handler to work alongside "Frankie" and Deputy Chris Erion after receiving a donation yesterday from NextEra Energy.

And the K-9 fund is getting pretty close to that $50,000 goal, said Sheriff William Sheron, thanks to generous community support.

NextEra is planning a 1,500- to 2,000-acre, 280-megawatt solar energy project in the Town of Byron.

Barbie Starowitz, Star Farms, one of the farms that will lease land to NextEra, helped arrange the donation.

Adding a new K-9 is expensive but the Sheriff's Office has long sought community donations to support the K-9 program rather than relying on taxpayer funds. Costs include purchasing the dog, training, and outfitting a car properly for a K-9 patrol.

“We strive to be a good community partner and are thrilled to have the opportunity to sponsor the county’s newest K-9,” said Keddy Chandran, project director for NextEra Energy Resources. “At NextEra Energy Resources, we believe in building strong partnerships and supporting the communities we serve with initiatives like this.

"We are honored to be part of the Genesee County community and look forward to continuing to work in partnership to develop the Excelsior Solar Energy Center which will bring significant economic benefits to the region, including good-paying jobs and increased revenue.”

Photo: Barbie Starowitz, Keddy Chandran, Deputy Chris Erion, "Frankie," Sheriff William Sheron, and Undersheriff Brad Mazur.

June 30, 2019 - 5:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in K-9 Frankie, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, news.

Above, Deputy Christopher Erion and his partner, newly trained K-9 Frankie, at Niagara Falls.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. announces the graduation of its new K-9, Frankie, and his handler Deputy Christopher Erion, from the Niagara Regional Police Service Canine Academy in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, June 20.

The three-month course covered training in the areas of building and open area searches, obedience, tracking, drug detection, and handler protection.

In addition to Deputy Erion and K-9 Frankie, K-9 units from the Niagara Regional Police Service, Niagara Parks Police, and Buffalo Police Department also graduated and were certified.

Frankie is a 2 ½-year-old Belgian Malinois from Holland and was named in honor of deceased Deputy Frank Bordonaro. 

“I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the overwhelming support from the public and would like to thank all those that generously contributed to the K-9 fund,” Sheron said.

January 3, 2019 - 4:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in K-9 Frankie, Sheriff's Office, Chris Erion, news, notify.


When "Frankie" starts full-time patrol duty this spring, Deputy Chris Erion said he will be a good boy -- good at sniffing out crime, good at locating and subduing criminals, and good at helping rescuers find lost and missing people.

"He's under control all the time; he never goes over the top where were he loses control of himself," Erion said. "He has that strong drive that we need to have a working dog. He wants to work and play, whatever it is, he'll work as hard as he can for whatever reward you have.

"He has a good structure to him, a very strong dog," Erion added. "He is strong when he needs it but he's eager to please me. He's working hard for my attention and my affection so that's what is going to help and transfer over in training and work."

Frankie is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois from Holland, located by a police dog specialist in Rochester who handled the import. He officially became the property of the Sheriff's Office two weeks ago but has been living and working with Erion longer than that while Erion evaluated Frankie for police work.

"I liked him because he seemed very clear-headed and he is always thinking about what he is doing," Erion said. "Sometimes these types of dogs tend to go over the top with their thought process and forget about what they're doing. They work so hard that they forget about what they're doing."

This a new stage for Erion's career. Five years ago, he was a new K-9 officer working and training with a first-time police dog. He and "Destro" were rookies at the K-9 job together. Now Erion has a better idea of the training the process and what to expect. That excites him, he said, about Frankie's potential.

It's bittersweet, too, because Destro, who succumbed in October to complications from cancer surgery, died so unexpectedly but Frankie represents a new opportunity.

"He's a good dog," Erion said. "He's a different personality than Destro -- a hard worker, if not harder, as intelligent if not better. I'm looking forward to getting going with him because the first dog, you don't know what to expect. Now, coming into the second dog, you know what the end game looks like. You know what it's going to look like at the end. And it's just a lot more fun, a lot more relaxing."

Erion's new partner is named after Deputy Frank Bordonaro, who died in 2014.

"We always like to remind people that Frank is still in our thoughts and it seemed very appropriate to name him Frankie," Erion said. "Frank was my first field training officer. He taught me how to do the job for the most part."

Genesee County's newest law enforcement duo will head to Canada in March to enhance and refine Frankie's training and then Frankie will be a full-fledged police dog.

Around here, tracking people is a big part of a K-9's job and Erion said Frankie will return from Canada ready to look for bad guys on the lam or find lost and vulnerable adults or children.

"He can track a little bit right now," Erion said. "We really need to fine tune it and polish it up and we'll do that at our school in Canada in March. That's one of the specialties of the school. That's one of the skills that we come out with is the ability to track and find people and locate people whether they're criminals, vulnerable people -- whatever that is. And I'm confident he's going to be very good. I'm excited about his ability to track or really find anything so I can't wait until summer when we get moving."

For all Frankie's loyalty to Erion (necessary in a good police dog) and his obvious skills and good temperament, Erion admits it's still hard to let go of Destro. He moves forward with mixed feelings.

"Certainly the best part of my career has been working with dogs, hands down," Erion said. "That's been the best thing. It's bittersweet. Destro is a great dog. I haven't even taken his name off the (patrol) car because I am unable to do that yet. I feel a little bit of guilt going on without him. But again, I'm excited about the new dog, too, because I see a lot of potential. I know the potential now. I didn't know that about Destro. I didn't know what we could do with my first dog but seeing where we can go with this is pretty exciting."

Previously: 'Destro' takes on new job with a dogged enthusiasm

The community contributed thousands of dollars to the Sheriff's Office K-9 fund after Destro died and those funds cover the purchase of Frankie and the cost of his training. Sheriff William Sheron's office sent out this press release (pdf) thanking donors and the pictures below.


Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr., Correction Officer Eric Wagner, Deputy Chris Erion, Chief Deputy Joseph Graff, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President Joe Miano.


Sheriff's Employee Association President/Sr. Correction Officer Kevin Wolff, Deputy Chris Erion, Sr. Correction Officer Pete Hoy.


Students from Elba Central School which hosted an Applebee's Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for the K-9 fund.

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