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Le Roy Police

December 16, 2021 - 8:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Town of Le Roy, village of le roy, Le Roy Police.

le-roy-police-department.jpgIn Le Roy Village Police Chief Greg Kellogg’s eyes, an agreement between the village and town boards that expands his department’s reach is all about protecting life and property.

Over the past week, town and village government officials came to terms on a contract that would enable village police officers to respond to situations in the town, with the goal to enhance the public safety coverage already in place.

“Really, it's essentially for emergency calls and for protection of life and property,” Kellogg said today. “It’s not all calls. It's just a supplement, an augment to the law enforcement that's already out there -- the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police.

“So, if they're unable to respond and need our assistance, we're certainly available to do that. But the contract is obviously to not take away from the level of service already provided.”

Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz, in calling it “win-win for everyone,” said village officers won’t patrol in the town – that will be left up to sheriff's deputies and troopers – but they will be available to assist on emergency calls, for example.

“It will decrease the response time to those in need,” he said.

He also emphasized that this action will save manpower in the long run when Le Roy officers are able to handle a situation and advise other agencies not to respond.

“The agreement also includes responding to Le Roy Central School (on South Street Road in the town),” Farnholz said. “We’ve been working on this for a year and we’re pleased to be able to reach an agreement.”

Kellogg said the municipalities had a similar arrangement from 1983 to 2010, but the contract expired and wasn’t renewed. He said the town reached out to the village to reinstate the service.

“The town is interested in providing that additional level of protection in the event that we're closest and we can get out there and assess the situation,” he said. “Obviously, we're not going to deploy any resources into the town and leave the village uncovered. Our priority is the protection of all property and persons within the village.”

The police department employs around 16 officers, including a resource officer in the Le Roy Central School District.

Village Mayor Greg Rogers credited Sheriff William Sheron, Undersheriff Bradley Mazur and County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein for their input in leading to the contract, which calls for the town to pay the village $20,000 for a year’s worth of service.

“This is about giving the people in our area the best chance to succeed in emergency-type situations,” he said. “There are 14 miles of road in Le Roy and just about everyone in the village travels into the town on a regular basis.”

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.

November 26, 2020 - 11:18am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Le Roy Police, Chief Chris Hayward.

kellogg_1.jpgAs proud as Le Roy Police Sgt. Greg Kellogg is about accomplishing a lifelong dream, his late mother, Patricia, would have been even more delighted.

“She always knew that I eventually would be a police officer,” said Kellogg, (photo at right), who has been appointed by Village Mayor Greg Rogers to succeed Chris Hayward as chief of the Le Roy Police Department.

Kellogg’s first day as the leader of the 18-member agency is Jan. 9 – the day after Hayward steps down after 35 years with the department.

He said he is dedicating his career to the memory of his mom, who lived in Le Roy until her passing in 2019.

The 35-year-old York Central School graduate grew up in Livingston County but has spent the past 17 years as a Genesee County resident. Hired by Hayward as a part-time officer in 2015, Kellogg said he believes this is where he is supposed to be.

“Getting into law enforcement is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I completed an internship with the Le Roy Police Department back when I was 16 years old with Chief Hayward, who was a sergeant, himself, at that time.”

Kellogg said he completed other internships and worked in the private sector, gaining administrative and management experience as a loss prevention investigator/supervisor for Six Flags Darien Lake.

“I really enjoyed working at Darien Lake – at one time I supervised 100 seasonal security guards, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and safety officers – but again, I always knew I wanted to get into law enforcement,” he said, noting that he worked at the amusement park for 13 years prior to leaving in 2016.

The year before, he successfully completed the Rural Police Training Academy course at Genesee Community College, and began his career in Le Roy, while also working for the Perry and Attica police departments on a part-time basis.

In 2016, Kellogg moved into a full-time role in Le Roy, and in 2019 he was promoted to sergeant.

He said when he learned that Hayward was going to retire, he jumped at the chance. He went through the interview process with a panel of business owners, church and civic leaders and police department personnel, and passed the test with flying colors.

Rogers said the department is fortunate to have Kellogg as part of the village law enforcement team.

“We have been impressed with him every day he comes to work. He’s on top of everything,” Rogers said. “While I haven’t looked forward to the day when we’d have to replace Chris, having a candidate like Greg makes it a lot easier.”

Kellogg said he is grateful for the trust placed in him by village officials.

“I’m proud and humbled to take on this role; it truly is an honor,” he said. “It’s something I’ve worked toward for a long time and I look forward to continue the community policing -- the things we’ve been involved in.”

Submitted photo.

November 14, 2020 - 12:05pm


Long Island native Weldon Ervin is counting on a change of scenery and the love of his young family to permanently put a decade of criminal activity and confusion in the rear view mirror.

Ervin, 28, is a resident of the Village of Le Roy now, living at the home of the Bianchi family. He and his girlfriend, Chelsea Bianchi, have two children together -- 2-year-old son, Nicola (Nico, for short), and 1-year-old daughter, Alani.

He is a black man in a rural community with a minority population of 1.7 percent – a far cry from the diverse mix that he encountered growing up in the shadow of New York City.

He also is a participant on the Le Roy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, a 15-member committee formed in compliance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203, accepting the invitation of Police Chief Chris Hayward, whom he considers a close friend.

Hayward got to know Ervin through his relationship with Bianchi’s parents – his longtime neighbors – and believed that Ervin’s life experience would enhance the group’s discussion and help shape the reform plan that has to be submitted to New York State by April 1.

Chief: Ervin Would Be An Ideal Candidate

“Being a small community, it’s not your exposure to law enforcement, I guess, that people of color deal with in larger communities,” Hayward said. “And Weldon being from Long Island has had some experience with law enforcement and also the criminal justice system, so that’s why I felt that he would be an ideal candidate to be on the reform committee to give his insight on some important issues.”

The governor’s mandate requires municipal police agencies to review policies and procedures, and adopt a plan that addresses, “the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.”

The Le Roy committee’s next meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday.

The Batavian sat down with Ervin and Hayward at Le Roy Village Hall last week to talk about the former’s life experiences and, more importantly, what he has learned from those experiences.

Without question, Ervin’s road to Le Roy was a rocky one, marred by short stints and long stays in penal institutions in New York City, Long Island, and the counties of Westchester, Greene and Seneca. All told, he spent 10 years behind bars – not all at once, but in and out due, in part, to prescription drug addiction, a troubled childhood and a rebellious attitude.

He became entrenched in the criminal justice system and, after more trials and tribulations, his time on parole ended and he found his way to what is proving to be a more serene existence in the Genesee Region.

Growing Up Without His Father

“I was born in Hempstead, Long Island, and I just found that out when I saw my birth certificate recently and then we relocated to Far Rockaway, Queens,” said Ervin, who with his three brothers was raised by his mother. “My dad (Weldon Ervin Sr.) wasn’t really in my life.”

With no father in the home, that put a lot of pressure on his mom to raise Ervin, his brother, Cedric, 27, and stepbrothers, Norell, 19, and Avery, 14. And being the oldest, much of the duties of caring for the younger siblings fell upon Weldon, who had was dealing with other issues.

“I saw a lot of anger in my mom; the strife toward my dad was taken out on me,” he said. “There was a little abuse growing up, from what I can remember it was physical, verbal and emotional. I still love my mother and I can’t hold it against her. She made sure we were in the right schools and had good clothes.”

Ervin said his mom was an excellent athlete, competing in basketball, soccer and volleyball, and she instilled that love of sports into him.

“My mom taught us the fundamentals of things,” he said. “We went to sports camps. My favorite sport is baseball, then basketball and then football. My late grandfather loved baseball. We used to go to his house every Saturday and Sunday. He would teach us how to play baseball and things that we could shape the game of baseball in our own way.”

Mom Sacrificed For Her Children

Ervin said his mother, who lives in Long Island, sacrificed a lot for her him and his brothers, sending Ervin to Bethel Christian Academy in Jamaica, Queens, from first through eighth grade – and working three jobs in order to cover the bill.

“My mom was a social worker – still is – working at an all-female group home, and we took the bus – and it was tiring. I remember one time seeing the tuition and it was $5,200. I was, like, wow. Certain times she said we couldn’t go to school for a day or so, and I guess that was because she needed time to get the money to pay the tuition,” he said.

Ervin said he didn’t have much of a relationship with his stepfather and had to learn how to gauge the mood of his mother to avoid confrontation.

“He tried, but I really didn’t let him in. Growing up from the abuse, when you come home from playing outside and then you’re like, I had to analyze my mom to see what kinds of day she was having because that would predict would kind of night I would have,” he said. “I had to come into the house and just watch my mom. She would read her Bible, and I would say, all right, she’s done this before.  I know how she would act and I know when something was troubling her.”

He said it was tough on him to watch after his brothers while his mother worked the third shift.

“I was the caretaker of my brothers. When they woke up, they’re asking me, ‘Where is mommy?’ I’d say, ‘Mommy’s at work. You want some chips?’ We would eat chips and watch TV.”

Prescription Drugs Take Their Toll

The grind took its toll on Ervin and soon he was seeing a psychiatrist and taking Klonopin to help him behave in school. “My mom should have taken the initiative and said no (to this),” he said. He was 12 or 13 years old at the time.

From there, he was prescribed Xanax as he entered Lawrence High School on Long Island, thrusting him into an environment of different races and opportunities.

“It was just different. It was very diverse. You had 30-percent black, 30-percent white, 30-percent Spanish and 10-percent miscellaneous. I said, this is all right,” he recalled.

Before long, however, he had hooked up with a classmate and he was selling some of his Xanax pills.

“We spoke business. But I didn’t know any different. I figured I didn’t need this much – here. Money. Thank you,” he said.

Soon thereafter, at the age of 16, he had his first encounter with the law.

One of his friends stole some guns from another friend’s house and was arrested. A week later, after being implicated by one of the others, Ervin was charged with third-degree burglary, a Class C felony.

“I told them that I didn’t have any guns and I didn’t sell any. (But) I was there and now I was a part of it,” he said.

Jail Time And Placed On Probation

He received a jail sentence of six months and was put on probation for five years. Thanks to a letter from a school counselor, he served only 20 days.

That was just the beginning of Ervin’s legal problems, however.

While on probation – and in the throes of his Xanax addiction – he stole something from the church where he attended in Far Rockaway, but said he doesn’t remember it.

“I then was sent to Rikers Island (an island in the East River between Queens and the Bronx that is home to New York City's main jail complex),” he said.

Hayward was quick to interject: “That’s not a good place.”

Ervin’s lawyer got him out due to his drug addiction and the 17-year-old was sent to a program at Phoenix House in Westchester County.

“I was a follower back then,” he said. “When I got to Phoenix House, I began to sell cigarettes. I didn’t smoke cigarettes, so it was all profit. With my frequent court and probation appearances, I was able to bring cigarettes and tobacco back (into the rehab center).”

Failing to focus on his recovery or school, Ervin said he rebelled and just thought about getting back on the street. He ended up being kicked out of the program after three months.

His Anger Would ‘Go Through The Roof’

All the while, he increased the amount of Xanax he was taking in an effort to control his rage.

“If I couldn’t get my Xanax, my anger would go through the roof,” he said, recalling that he slapped one of his brothers for drinking his grape juice.

In January 2010, Ervin was charged with grand larceny and ended up serving 13 months in Nassau County Jail, and after that, an incident involving an MS-13 gang member resulted in a 22-month stay at Coxsackie Correctional Facility in Greene County.

Ervin’s account of the latter situation indicated that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“One day, one night, me and my friend were walking with his girl and his cousin,” he said. “In that area, a lot of Hispanics don’t get along with blacks and there’s a lot of MS-13 down there. We’re walking and we see them. I don’t have any problems with these people. I am not the kind of person who beats people up.”

He said the MS-13 guy “acts like he has something concealed, but he’s just a poser. My boy runs to him – says I can take everything from you right now -- and the guy takes off running.”

As it turned out, the MS-13 member accused them of stealing from him and brandishing a 12-inch kitchen knife, and Ervin was charged with several counts related to robbery and attempted robbery.

Ervin, then 19, was placed in a lineup, went to trial and was found guilty of second-degree attempted robbery and sentenced to three and a half years at Coxsackie Correctional Facility. He served 22 months.

Obtaining His GED While Behind Bars

While in Nassau County Jail, Ervin obtained his GED (General Education Development certification) and he served as a teacher’s assistant at Greene.

“I was just doing it to stay sharp in the books, and I also started working out and got a job in the rec yard to work out more. In the winter, I got a job in the gym to keep my mind off of everything,” he said.

His jail time wasn’t over, however, as he was incarcerated on and off over the past six years for parole violations, serving time at Willard Drug Treatment Facility in the Town of Romulus, Seneca County and, lastly, in Nassau County.

“Last year was my first birthday since I was 19 that I was home for my birthday,” he said, adding that his final day in jail was June 17 of this year.

After meeting Chelsea in 2017 through a friend of a friend, he said, he attempted to switch his parole to this area, hoping to live with her in an apartment in Perry. Although the landlord was fine with it, the parole board had different ideas.

“When you transfer, they would have to tell you (the person that I would be staying with) my record,” he said. “So, they told her this and that, and she said, ‘that’s all right.’ But they just basically said no.”

Problems With The Parole Board

Ervin said the parole officer tried to change Chelsea’s mind and they eventually convinced the landlord that he was “this horrible person.” His plan to live in Perry fell through.

According to Hayward, a parole board’s handling of these situations is part of the problem.

“Once these folks get into the criminal justice system, I sometimes don’t think there is the desire on the part of parole or other persons to want to get them out,” he said. “It’s been my experience for as long as I have been a cop, that once somebody gets in the criminal justice system, pretty much they stay there because of stuff like this. They want to keep them in that system and not give them the opportunity to make things better.”

Hayward said it is a systemic issue, but he doesn’t believe it is assigned to any specific race.

Ervin said he thinks the parole board doesn’t take the initiative to look at how a person has progressed when they evaluate placement.

“It’s your job to help my get back into the community as a human being and help me understand that this is the right way to live,” he said. “If you looked at my record, you’ve seen that everything happened in Long Island. Why wouldn’t you want me to come up here? Is it because of my race? Is he going to cause problems? Or, you know what, we can give him a chance; maybe this can help him.”

Hayward said he was rebuffed by the parole officer when he tried to help Ervin get a transfer to this area.

“When they were trying to get him up here, I actually spoke with the parole officer who was doing the investigation and it was not a positive conversation at all. I really was taken aback by it,” he said. “I’ve known Chelsea’s parents for quite some time, we’ve been neighbors for about 20 years. They’re good, solid people, and that’s where Weldon was going to be living.”

Happy To Live A ‘Boring Life’

Ervin admitted that he was a persistent parole violator, but is excited to report that his time on parole is over, he’s not on any mandated programs and he’s happy to live what Hayward called “a boring life” with Chelsea, who is studying to be a nurse, and the children in Le Roy.

When asked if he still is on medication, Ervin said he takes something to help him sleep at times, but that “my kids are my addiction now.”

“My anxiety, I deal with it. My kids are my support … even if I have a thought of something, it will never turn into action,” he said. “If I have a thought, ‘I wonder what’s going on in Long Island?’ it doesn’t matter because I will be having to dodge a toy thrown by Nico, and say, ‘OK, I’m not going to Long Island.’ ”

He said he understands his role on the Le Roy Police Reform Collaborative and seeks to share his input and what he has been through to committee members and the general public who may not be aware of some aspects of the criminal justice system.

“I’ve lost time that I can’t get back, but to be on this committee is a good opportunity. It’s my experience. It is my story and I feel like if my experience can help someone else or someone else can see that this place is a very good place compared to other places, then I think that can be very beneficial.”

Ervin spoke about the next generation and the importance of teaching them and the need to “keep evolving and evolving.”

Surprised To Hear About Le Roy’s SRO

He said he was surprised to learn that Le Roy Central District has a school resource officer (Sean Ancker) who interacts with students in a positive way.

“And he’s not dressed like a cop,” he said. “When I would go to school, I would see cops in vests – kids were getting put on a wall and being searched because maybe they had a button on their jeans and it (metal detector) kept ringing. It’s not welcoming because that was the first thing you’d see when you went to school. That creates fear.”

Hayward said Ervin has demonstrated that he wants to be a good father and role model.

“What happened in the past needs to be in the past. And he doesn’t need me as a police officer or anybody else in law enforcement to be constantly reminding him of his past. I am going to judge him for who he is now and not for what he was then,” he said.

The chief said children aren’t born not liking blacks or not liking whites, and said it is up to the parents to set them on the proper course.

“My granddaughters come up and visit, and go out – and when my youngest granddaughter goes out and talks to Nico out in the backyard, she’s not looking at him as a little black boy, she’s looking at another little boy her age. And that’s how it is supposed to be.”

Ervin said he has made some new friends -- they are Chelsea’s friends – but does keep tabs on friends in Long Island through social media.

He said that after years of hustling, scheming and fighting, he’s managed to find peace in his life.

“I just came to the realization that what I was doing in the past wasn’t working,” he said. “Where I was at is not it. But I am proud in that through my upbringing and the abuse and the Xanax, I have been able to become the man who I am. I’m sure someone can relate to my story … I’m not alone. Hopefully, my story can help somebody else.”

Photo: Weldon Ervin, left; Le Roy Police Chief Chris Hayward and Le Roy Police Sgt. Greg Kellogg. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

October 8, 2020 - 11:01am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Le Roy Police, Executive Order 203.


Village of Le Roy Police Chief Chris Hayward acknowledged that “we’re not perfect” as he encouraged the newly formed, 15-member Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative to provide the input to achieve its goal of developing a revised policing plan that meets the community’s needs in accordance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203.

“We’re trying to get diversity here,” Hayward said on Wednesday night as the group met at the Village Hall for the first time. “I know that we’re not perfect and as for criticisms, this is what we want to do here. We want to do better.”

Hayward, sitting at a table at the front of the room with Mayor Greg Rogers, started the meeting with a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the governor’s call for police reform, members of the local advisory group, roles and responsibilities of the key players, and a timeline leading to the formation and submission of the plan to the state by April 1.

A discussion followed, focusing on policing in Le Roy, hiring and diversity, use of force policy, and accountability and transparency.

Public Defender Jerry Ader suggested the formation of a citizen-led advisory group or committee that could field individual comments or complaints, noting that people might feel more comfortable if that avenue was available.

Both Hayward and Rogers indicated that they are open to residents’ concerns regarding individual police officers and policing in general, with Rogers stating, “I’m the most approachable person in the room.”

Hayward said he is taking calls from citizens all the time, but said “we receive very few informal personnel complaints against the officers.”

He said he believes his agency is not transparent enough, but does not agree with a revised law that will allow disciplinary records for individual police officers, firefighters or corrections officers to be released without their written consent.

“That’s a violation of their constitutional rights,” he said.

Ader pressed on with his idea, adding that people would be hesitant to speak up “if they don’t think they would get a fair shake.”

Rogers said he would bring his suggestion back to the village board for discussion.

Hayward informed the group about the department’s hiring process, noting expanded interviewing, a 27-page background check packet for both full- and part-time officers and the ratifying authority of the mayor and village board.

As far as diversity on the police force, he said only one person of color applied in his 18 years as chief, adding that that individual did not make it through the background process. He then mentioned that minorities comprise only 1.7 percent of the Le Roy population before noting that the department has hired five women.

When Hayward said that it’s “getting tougher and tougher” to attract good candidates, Ader asked if there was a residency requirement.

“There is and there isn’t,” Hayward responded, prompting Ader to say, “You sound like a lawyer,” (prompting a chorus of laughter).

Hayward explained how the Civil Service scoring system guides hiring before mentioning that Le Roy’s police department of 16 officers now has “more of a balance who live in the community,” which he called a positive thing.

On the subject of use of force, Hayward said his department is steered by guidelines from the Municipal Police Training Council and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as having to abide by four large volumes of general orders.

He said that officers must intervene if they see that excessive force is being used and that shots cannot be fired at a moving vehicle unless the perpetrator is using deadly physical force.

Hayward said that currently his agency does not have a ban on chokeholds since “they haven’t been trained on chokeholds since the 1980s.” However, he is fervently against the use of chokeholds and said it could be included in the reform plan.

Other topics of discussion were as follows:

-- On accountability and transparency: Hayward said the “boiler plates are there, we just have to tailor it to our department.”

He said, once again, that he didn’t think the department is transparent enough and admitted that its record keeping and filing are substandard, but added that Deputy Clerk Eileen Carmel is making great strides in correcting the situation.

-- On collective bargaining’s effect on internal discipline: Ader inquired if the contract with the union made it tough for Hayward to impose discipline.

“We’re hamstrung by village law, not the collective bargaining agreement, which is pretty standard,” Hayward replied, adding that he doesn’t have the power to discipline; that is in the village board’s hands.

Attorney Jake Whiting said that he thought the chief could be “the hammer” on disciplinary measures, but problems could arise “if he’s cherry-picking.” He suggested that maybe the chief could be given more power when it comes to discipline (a letter of reprimand, for example), with the board handling more serious charges.

-- On citizens’ level of trust in police: Whiting said the level of distrust of police and government is at “an all-time high” and only accountability and transparency will fix it.

Hayward said the perception is that “they’re going to cover for each other.”

-- On police officers’ role in mental health needs: Social worker Christine Gephart commented that school resource officers and police officers are part of the support system in Le Roy, which is important and unique to the community.

Hayward mentioned the department’s involvement in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative with Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, where intervention without arrest is at the forefront of the program.

-- On the timeline going forward: Hayward indicated that the group will meet again on Oct. 20 to identify and assess the current effectiveness of police practices and policies along with key metrics, with an eye on conducting public forums to gather recommendations.

Other tentative meeting dates are Nov. 17, Dec. 2, Jan. 14 and Feb. 28, but Hayward said he hopes to complete by Christmas the tasks of the Jan. 14 meeting – the sharing of the detailed plan with the stakeholder groups for final feedback, revised where appropriate and attain village board approval and ratification.

Cuomo’s Executive Order stipulates that community policing reform plans must be completed and submitted by next April to avoid the possible loss of state funding. Currently, the Le Roy PD receives $17,300 from New York State -- $5,850 for STOP DWI, $4,200 for Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and $7,250 for Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program.

Other members of the Le Roy committee are Sean Ancker, police department representative; Lori Steinbrenner, business representative; Le Roy School Superintendent Merritt Holly, school representative; Jack Hempfling, clergy representative.

Also, Weldon Ervin, Laura Kettle and Monica Scarlotta, citizen representatives; Mary Margaret Scanlan, mental health representative; Kevin Finnell, district attorney’s office, and James Farnholz, Le Roy town supervisor.


The City of Batavia Police Collaboration Advisory Stakeholder Group meets at 6 o’clock tonight at the City Centre Council Board Room.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department advisory group has set a meet-and-greet for 7 p.m. next Wednesday at the Old County Courthouse. Sheriff William Sheron will make a presentation at a full meeting of the Genesee County Legislature at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the same location.

Photo: The Village of Le Roy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative​ listen to Chief Chris Hayward (blue shirt) on Wednesday night. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

September 30, 2020 - 11:21am

A 14-member Village of Le Roy Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative advisory group will conduct its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Le Roy Village Hall at 3 W. Main St.

Le Roy Police Chief Chris Hayward today reported the names of those who will be serving on the committee that is charged with developing a plan in accordance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reform.

The mandate, “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,” requires municipal police departments to adopt a plan and submit it to the state by April 1 to avoid risking future state funding.

Members of the Le Roy committee are as follows:

  • Mayor -- Greg Rogers
  • Chief of Police -- Christopher Hayward
  • Police Department Representative -- Sean Ancker
  • Business Representative -- Lori Steinbrenner
  • School Representative – Superintendent Merritt Holly
  • Clergy Representative – Jack Hempfling
  • Citizen Representatives – Weldon Ervin, Laura Kettle, Christine Gephart, Mary Margaret Scanlan
  • District Attorney’s Office – Kevin Finnell
  • Public Defender – TBD
  • Town of Le Roy Representative – Supervisor James Farnholz
  • Legal Representative – Jake Whiting

Hayward said he is finalizing the agenda for the meeting, adding that the public is welcome but due to COVID-19 restrictions, seating is limited.

The City of Batavia Police Advisory Stakeholder Group, which has 20 members, held its first meeting on Sept. 24 and has scheduled its next meeting for Oct. 8.

May 11, 2020 - 11:52am

Above, Village of Corfu Police Department Officer Scott Johnston.

Photos and press release from the Office of the Sheriff, Genesee County:

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week.

Typically, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in a number of planned events which honor those officers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice during this week.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic these events have been cancelled this year.

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr., City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, Village of Le Roy Police Chief Christopher Hayward, along with the Genesee County Legislature, recognize this week in honor of all those in the law enforcement profession for the countless hours each officer dedicates to the community in which they serve.

The Genesee County Legislature will be issuing a proclamation at its Wednesday night meeting recognizing May 10 – 16, 2020, as National Police Week. The lights on the Old County Courthouse cupola will be changed to blue to acknowledge this week.

Law enforcement officers are always prepared to respond and aid our residents, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We commend the women and men of the law enforcement community for their selfless dedication to the protection of the citizens and communities they serve. May God bless them and their families. Please take a moment and join us in paying tribute to these tremendous individuals and remember those that have given the ultimate sacrifice,” said Sheriff Sheron, Chief Heubusch and Chief Hayward in a joint statement.

Above, Village of Le Roy Police Department, from left: Officer Adriano Medici, Detective John Condidorio, Officer Zachary Klafehn, Officer Chris Ford, Sergeant Greg Kellogg, Officer Curt Miller, Officer Steve Cappotelli, Officer Connor Denz.

Above, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, from left: Sergeant Michael J. Lute, Deputy Rachel M. Diehl, Investigator Joseph D. Loftus, Deputy Robert C. Henning, Deputy Travis M. DeMuth.

Above, City of Batavia Police Department, from left: Officer Austin Hedges, Officer Felicia DeGroot, Officer Josh Girvin, Officer Nicole McGinnis, Officer Sam Freeman.

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