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Genesee Justice Program coordinator is appointed

By Press Release

Press Release:

Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is pleased to announce the appointment of Diana M. Prinzi to the position of Program Coordinator at Genesee Justice, a  division of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Mrs. Prinzi is a retired, 22-year veteran of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement where she held the positions of Detention Officer, Lead Detention Officer, Deputy Chief, Deportation Officer, Supervising Deportation Officer, and Assistant Field Office Director.

Mrs. Prinzi is a Batavia native and a 1986 graduate of Notre Dame High School. In 1990, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Criminal Justice, from SUNY Brockport. She resides in Genesee County with her husband, Samuel. Diana was recently hired in February of this year as a part-time Community Services/Victim Assistant at Genesee Justice.

"I am excited to have someone with such character and experience lead Genesee Justice and look forward to working with Diana. She will assume the duties of Program Coordinator as of January 3, 2022," stated Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr.

Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative launches on Tuesday, more help for those who are struggling

By Billie Owens

Press release:

As the opioid epidemic continues to distress our community, local agencies are coming together to offer more services to those in need.

“Last fall, 24 counties in New York State, including Genesee, that are deemed ‘opioid burdened’ received funds from the CDC and New York State Department of Health to take local action to address the epidemic,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties.

“After looking at our current services and speaking with local partners we wanted to launch an innovative program we learned about a few months earlier during a GOW Opioid Task Force meeting where Police Chief Volkman from Chatham spoke about the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative, more easily known as PAARI (pronounced PARR-REE).

"Using the funding to bring the successful approach of this program from Chatham into Genesee, will allow those who want to get into substance use treatment a 24/7 opportunity by going to one of the partnering first-responder agencies for help.”

The PAARI program will launch locally on Tuesday, April 23rd.

It will allow anyone who wants help with their addiction to walk into any police station or the city fire station and get the help they need. The program is supported by City of Batavia Police, City of Batavia Fire Department, Le Roy Police, and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

“The funds will help pay for overtime that will likely be incurred by staff of Public Safety agencies, as well as help pay for peer recovery coaches from Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) that will be contacted once a person seeking treatment walks through the door," Pettit said.

"GCASA is an equally important partner in this, as they have hired the peer recovery coaches, who have been trained in providing services in the community early after receiving these funds.

"The peers will work with each individual and identify where they can go for the proper services,regardless of if it’s local or not, and make sure they get there. Ultimately, being a support in that moment and in the future, too. This program highlights the commitment and collaboration of our community partners to help address this crisis.”

GC Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. agrees with Pettit regarding the collaboration of our first responders and the commitment to help address the opioid epidemic.

“This is a good collaboration between police, fire and the public," Sheron said. "I fully support the program and hope it will help people get the treatment services they need.”

For more information or for immediate help, please call GCASA’s peer services hotline at (585) 815-1800.

Batavia Blue Devils football fans recognition night this Friday

By Steve Ognibene

Press release:

This Friday, Sept. 14th, the Batavia Blue Devils Football Team and its supporters would like to recognize all those who have worn or currently wear a military or first responder uniform by inviting them to come to the home game.

Any military personnel, police officer, firefighter or first responder will get free admission (with proof of ID) as well as a complementary hot dog and drink. They will also be seated in the end zone; and to thank them for their service, they will be honored at approximately 7:15 p.m. prior to the start of the game.

Vandetta Stadium is located at 120 Richmond Avenue in the City of Batavia.

Local police and fire hockey team enjoyed fast-paced tourney in Buffalo last weekend

By Billie Owens

Submitted photos and press release:

The Batavia/Genesee Police and Fire Hockey Team participated in the third annual 2018 Police and Fire Ice Hockey Tournament in Buffalo this past weekend.

Twenty teams participated in the tourney, coming to Buffalo from as far south as South Carolina, and as far north as London, Ontario, Canada.

It was another enjoyable, face-paced weekend for our local boys, who played against teams from Canada, Erie County, and Homeland Security.

All our thanks to those who came out and cheered us on! The team was once again sponsored this year by Ken’s Charcoal Pits & BBQ, with many thanks going to Ken Mistler.

The D.A. tries to link Akeem Simmons to a burglary on Park Avenue

By Julia Ferrini

The trial for a Batavia man accused of breaking into a house on Park Avenue in January got under way today. Akeem M. Simmons, 23, is one of two men accused of first-degree burglary in the crime.

He is also accused of first-degree criminal use of a firearm for allegedly possessing a loaded weapon during the commission of a crime, even though the weapon was allegedly found on the other defendant, 18-year-old Nathaniel R. Davis. Both are Class B violent felonies. The Davis case is still pending. They are also accused of fourth-degree conspiracy.

During opening statements this morning, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told jurors that two people were seen running out of the house.

"On January 14 of this year, a resident at (X) Park Ave., Batavia, was looking out her window and noticed two people go up the driveway of (X) Park Ave., go around the back part of the house and break in," Friedman said. "She then called 9-1-1 to report the incident."

According to a witness, two people ran out the back in a southwesterly direction along a path behind St. Paul's Lutheran Church. WIth law enforcement converging on the scene, the duo split up -- one ran east toward State Street and the other ran west toward Lewis Avenue.

Davis, who ran east, was apprehended immediately. Simmons, on the other hand, was chased by police and lost during the chase. When officers failed to catch him a manhunt ensued with Batavia PD, the Sheriff's Office, State Police, a K-9 and a helicopter. He was apprehended in about 45 minutes.

Deputy Brian Thompson and his K-9 Pharoah found Simmons hiding under a tarp at a nearby residence, Friedman told the jurors. Furthermore, a black hoodie, gloves, a black and white bandana, and a baseball hat with red trim on the brim, was also found in Simmons' possession.

According to the DA, when Simmons was interviewed, he gave alternate excuses of why he was running from police and denied knowing Davis.

"Search warrants for both men's phones found that Davis had a contact nicknamed Kemo," Friedman said. "Upon investigation, it was found that the number in Davis' phone belonged to Simmons. This suggests that the phone evidence links Simmons to Davis, as well as the crime committed."

He wound up his opening statement telling jurors that testimony from Davis is a possibility.

"Davis's credibility will be attacked," Friedman said. "Don't get hung up on Davis, listen to the proof to find the defendant guilty of the crime."

While they didn't get a chance to steal anything, according to a previous statement by a detective in the case, it is still burglary by virtue of the two breaking into the house with the intent to commit larceny.

"When all is said and done and the proof is in," Friedman said. "I will ask the jury, based on the evidence, to find Simmons guilty as charged."

Subsequently, Defense Attorney Thomas A. Burns told jurors that it makes perfect sense that they were told that opening statements are not evidence.

"Consider the court process, listen to the facts of the testimony and evidence to prove that Simmons did not commit the crime he is charged with," Burns said.

The defense attorney told the jurors to keep an open mind and see the evidence showing Davis, alone, entered the house; it was Davis who was apprehended running away from the house, and it was Davis who was Tased and when that did not stop him, it was Davis who was tackled by police.

In addition, Davis was also found with a loaded weapon -- which, when examined by police, was found to be capable of causing injury or death -- plus a screwdriver, Burns continued. And upon examination of the gun, no DNA links Simmons to the weapon, nor do any of the fingerprints found on it.

"The neighbor will testify that she saw two people at the Park Avenue home, yet she cannot describe them," Burns said. "She told police that she heard a sound of two people going in and coming out."

Burns also informed the jury that at the time Simmons was found, he had an outstanding parole warrant.

"The people have the burden of proof in this case," the defense attorney said. "If you listen to Davis's testimony, not only listen to what he is saying, listen to what is behind what he is saying.

"You are asked to judge the credibility of people. Davis is not on trial at this point, Simmons is," he continued. "When you hear all the evidence, at the conclusion I ask that you return a verdict of not guilty."

Testimony continues today with Judge Robert Noonan presiding.

Remembering Fallen Police Officers

By Julia Ferrini

Ceremonies were held Friday to honor those police officers who have died in the line of duty. Representatives from the state and county were on hand to give tribute to their fallen comrades at Pembroke Town Park.

Secondary, nonemergency number at Batavia PD not working

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department dispatch office is experiencing a problem with one of the secondary nonemergency phone numbers. For police emergencies the public should call 9-1-1.

To reach police dispatch for nonemergencies, the public should call 345-6350. If a dispatcher does not answer the 345-6350 number the public can re-call 343-5000 to reach a Batavia Police dispatcher.

The administrative number for police headquarters remains the same 345-6444.

Police labor contract headed for arbitration after PBA members reject agreement

By Howard B. Owens

An arbitration panel will consider the positions of both the City of Batavia and Police Benevolent Association today after PBA members rejected a tentative contract negotiated by union leaders and city officials.

The 30-member union rejected the proposed contract negotiated by its leadership with city officials that included a 2.25 percent annual pay increase retroactive to 2007.

The proposed contract would have ran through March 2013.

Sources told WBTA that the contract included some health benefit concessions.

"Both parties worked hard to come to an agreement and I think we both thought it was OK," said City Manager Jason Molino.  "It’s unfortunate it wasn’t accepted."

Molino could not confirm the details of the rejected agreement.

We left a message asking for comment from PBA president Dan Coffey at his work number yesterday and haven't heard back from him yet.

An arbitration panel will consider police officers' pay in comparably sized communities, the positions of members and the city, as well as a community's ability to pay.

Molino said this is likely the first time a police contract has come before an arbitration panel since the state passed a property tax cap.

The cap could greatly impact a municipality's ability to adjust its budget to absorb union contract costs, but it's unclear if the cap will be an issue in this case.

"You would think the panel would consider it, but each arbitration is different and each panel is different," Molino said. 

The arbitration panel meeting is held in secret. It could be months before a decision is announced.

Under terms of the Taylor Law, when police and fire unions are unable to reach an agreement with government agencies, the dispute must be decided by an arbitration panel. Other government unions do not enjoy automatic arbitration and must reach a negotiated agreement.

Attica police officer accused of trying to drag GCC student into undercover work

By Howard B. Owens

Bianca Hervey, a 20-year-old student at GCC and former Batavia resident, was put in an awkward, and potentially dangerous, situation by the Attica Police Department recently, according to the Buffalo News.

Hervey, who's only apparent criminal record is a traffic ticket or two, and who was not known to police as a drug user, was apparently coerced into becoming a snitch -- going undercover to help catch drug dealers.

Now, there is little disagreement that illegal drug dealing is a bad thing, but the News rightly editorializes against the Village of Attica Police Department for employing tactics that sound much like those used by the Stasi, the East German Secret Police.

... the apparent drafting of a neophyte drug informant is not only cruel behavior, it is astoundingly bad police work. If the relevant officials are unwilling to strongly renounce what could have been an anomalous misstep in an otherwise professionally run operation, then their own professional judgment must be called into serious question.

The idea that law enforcement officers chasing drug dealers can do absolutely anything they want is itself a kind of drug, one that is as addictive and as destructive of society as any amount of heroin or cocaine.

Hervey was saved the fate of entering an underground world she knows nothing about because her attorney father was able to intervene, but the News reports an unnamed young man was not so fortunate, and now he fears for his safety.

Officer Christopher Graham, who is also the officer accused of trying to recruit Hervey into undercover work, reportedly told the young man that the minor charges against him could keep him out of the military. He offered the youth a way out -- help catch a drug dealer. The young man followed through, according to the News, but when the police asked him to get involved in a second drug deal, the informant refused to cooperate. A short time later, he was arrested for failure to appear on the original charges.

Informants are used by law enforcement all the time. It was an informant that helped local law enforcement break up an apparent meth ring here in Genesee County last week. But reliable informants are usually people who step forward on their own because they know something, or are people recruited from the drug world they already know. 

It seems to smack of incredibly poor judgment and an abuse of power to try and recruit informants from among young people who have little experience either in the drug world or in dealing with the criminal justice system. We trust our local law enforcement officers use better judgment.

Assemblyman Hawley to Host Free Car Seat Safety Check on July 11

By Steve Hawley






Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) will be hosting a free car seat safety check on Saturday, July 11, from 10 am to 1 pm, at the Albion Fire Hall.  All are invited to attend this important public safety event.


“Despite parents’ best intentions, statistics show that 70 percent of car seats are installed improperly.  I would like to encourage all parents to attend this important event and would like to thank the New York State Police for coming to make sure car seats are properly installed,” said Hawley.


Assemblyman Steve Hawley’s Car Seat Safety Check

Hosted in conjunction with the New York State Police

Saturday, July 11, 2009

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Albion Fire Hall

108 North Platt Street

Albion, NY 

RSVP by calling Assemblyman Hawley’s office at 585-589-5780


Crime stats for 2008 show incidents down slightly

By Howard B. Owens

Contrary to the perception that crime is on the rise because of the recession, in the City of Batavia, crime actually went down in 2008 versus 2007.

Calls for service in the city dropped from 17,707 to 15,854; however, serious crime reports were virtually unchanged, with 502 reported cases in 2008 versus 509 in 2007

Motor vehicle accidents involving personal injury increased from 89 in 2007 to 103 in 2008. There were no fatal accidents in 2008.

You can read the full press release (PDF) by clicking here.

Batavia council approves resolution to seek funding for additional police officer position

By Howard B. Owens

After some discussion of whether the City of Batavia should apply to hire one or two new police officers through a Federal grant program, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night to seek funding for one position.

The new position, if the grant is approved, would create an entry-level police officer to participate in a community-oriented policing program, and it would replace a position eliminated in the 2008-2009 budget.

The funding comes from U.S. Governments COPS Hiring Recovery Program and covers the first three years of salary and benefits for a new hire.

According to City Manager Jason Molino, the grant cannot be used to replace a retiring officer or to hire a new detective. It can only be used to back fill a position previously eliminated.

Community-oriented policing is a program developed in New York City in 1990s, and used with some success in San Diego. It involves officers being more involved in the community, developing relationships with people in local neighborhoods to solve problems and prevent crimes.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski suggested the city apply for two such positions, and made a motion to amend the resolution, but most of the rest of the council disagreed and voted it down.

In arguing against the motion, Councilman Tim Buckley said, "Let's apply for this one and be happy we get it," stating a concern that applying for two when the city may only qualify for one could cause the entire application to be denied.

The subsequent motion supporting the original resolution for one position was approved unanimously.

City of Batavia could face big bill soon if arbitrator rules in favor of police union

By Howard B. Owens

Is the City of Batavia ready to pony up $288,000 in back pay to Batavia's police officers?

That could be the price tag on an expected arbitrator's ruling this summer.

Or the amount of back pay could be zero, or somewhere in between. Nobody really knows at this point.

In an e-mail request for comment, City Manager Jason Molino said, "Yes the arbitration decision will most likely come out this summer or fall.  There is no way of determining what the settlement may be.  This makes budgeting extremely difficult and no money has been budgeted for retroactive payments.  Any substantial retroactive payment would severely set back the City's attempt to minimize future costs."

Molino addressed the back pay issue earlier this year in his annual budget message, when he said that no money had been budgeted to cover retroactive pay.

Other city unions have given at least one year of zero-percent adjustments over the past four fiscal years (including 2009-2010), with other annual increases ranging from 1.5 percent to 2.85 percent.

If the the arbitrator finds in favor of the police union, the city could be on the hook for five years of back pay. It could be less, and it may not be as high as 3 percent.

But if the officers are awarded a 3-percent increase, it would be compounded for two years. That second-year rate would also apply to any additional annual pay increases for three years.

Frank Klimjack, president of the Batavia Police Benevolent Association, e-mailed us this explanation:

As per the Taylor law, an arbitrator can only impose an award for two years, therefore, that would only get the contract situation to an expiration date of March 31st, 2007.  Whatever award is imposed, a ?% for March 1st, 2005 and ?% for April 1st, 2006 would be granted to the PBA membership. Then you would have to readjust the amount of earnings beginning April 1st, 2005 through the present day 2009 based upon those percentages to determine back pay due the PBA membership. Then it's back to the negotiating table.

That's a big question mark in Klimjack's statement -- we don't know if it is 1 percent, 2 percent or 3 percent or more.  If the arbitrator imposes a rate as high as 4 percent, and five years of back pay, the total would be $317,800.  Two percent would be $258,000.

The BPA has been without a contract, and its members have not received a raise since 2005. Batavia police officers earn from $32,942 to $48,406 (most officers make $48,406), with detectives earning $53,164, sergeants $55,552 and lieutenants $63,775.  Two years of consecutive 3-percent raises for police officers earning $48,406 would bring their annual salaries to $51,354.

By comparison, the starting pay for a Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy is $47,798, and a typical deputy with three years on the force is earning about $52,832, according to Sheriff Gary Maha.

Unsure if the Batavia officers could really get a full five-years worth of back pay, I asked Klimjack to clarify and he replied: "Five years of back pay is correct.  Then beginning April 1st, 2007 through the present is negotiable."

I take that to mean that any additional annual increases from 2007 would be negotiable.  While, a total of five years of back pay for PBA members could still be award at whatever rate the arbitrator sets, per the Taylor law for the covered two years.

For a cash-strapped city, six-figures in back pay is a significant chunk of change. Asked where that money would come from, City Council President Charlie Mallow said, "I’m going to wait for the arbitration to be completed before I speculate on what steps the city will need to take to lesson the impact on our future tax burden. It is clear to me that it would be impossible to pass on a substantial tax increase to city residents at this point. I am confident Council as a whole will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure a stable tax rate."

You may remember that earlier this year the city decided to use $425,000 in Video Lottery Terminal to help land $4.5 million in Federal stimulus funds. Could that money have been better spent on police officer back pay?

"VLT aid was one-time revenues," Molino said. "Funding operational annual expenses with one time revenues would leave the City with significant shortfalls once the revenue stops."

Police Beat: Five people arrested in Bergen for allegedly entering U.S. illegally

By Howard B. Owens

Five people were arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly entering the United States illegally. The five people were found by police during an investigation into suspicious activity in Town of Bergen. Arrested were Efrain Jose Cruz-Hernandez, 22; Jose Morolas-Perez, 18; Hector Perez-Rameriz, 42; Mateo Torres-Ramos, 24; and, Valentin Campos-Baltazar, 32. All five individuals were handed over to the Border Patrol.

Christopher Ball, 26, of LeRoy, was arrested following a single-car traffic accident on Batavia-Stafford Townline Road on Sunday morning. Ball was charged with misdemeanor DWI, a violation for driving lef of pavement marker and speed not prudent, and aggravated DWI with BAC of .18 percent or higher. Police were called to the scene of the accident and discovered Ball was not in his vehicle. He was later found Ball at a nearby relatives house.

Joseph M. Armstrong, 51, of Medina, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor DWI following a two-vehicle accident at Route 5 and Route 63. The Sheriff's office reports that Armstrong was reportedly attempting to make a left-hand turn when his vehicle struck another car.

Mark E. Yasses, 48, of Bethany, was arrested early Sunday morning for harassment, 2nd degree, after allegedly getting into an fight with another individual.  Yasses allegedly pushed the other person to the ground. The incident occurred at Yasses' residence.

Brett Blair, 25, of Batavia, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (hyrocordone) and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, alcohol related after being stopped on Oak St. Saturday afternoon after officers noticed his vehicle with a broken tail light and loud exhaust. Officers report that Blair was driving with a revoked drivers license because of a previous DWI conviction. Blair was arraigned and remanded to Gensee County Jail on $750 bail.

Robert W. Mitchell, 30, of Pittsford, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuna Friday. Police arrested Mitchell during an investigation into suspicious activity. After contacting Michell, police discovered he was wanted on an arrest warrant from the Rochester Police Department. During a search of Mitchell, Mitchell told police he had a small amount of marijuna on his person.

Arielle R. Orlikowski, 19, of Batavia, was charged with speeding and DWI on Saturday after being stopped for speeding on Pearl Street.

James D. Kavanaugh, 19, of Batavia, was charged with "driving while ability impaired by alcohol" after being stopped on E. Main Saturday for driving without headlights. Kavanaugh was also charged with failure to notify DMV of an address change.

Sara E. Schimley, 19, of LeRoy, was arrested for tresspass Thusday after a homeowner in Pavillon told Schimley to leave his or her residence and Schimley refused. Schimley was released on an appearance ticket.

Robert Cummings, 22, of Pembroke, was arrested in Corfu Friday and charged with unlawful possession of marijuna.

Ruben BeCoates, 55, of Rochester, was arrested Saturday after he was allegedly spotted driving erratically. BeCoates was charged with driving while impaired, unlawful lane change and consuming alcohol while in a motor vehicle.

On the Beat: Batavia man booked on felony weapons charges

By Philip Anselmo

Derek G. Thomas, 32, of 400 E. Main St., Batavia, was charged with a felony count of first-degree criminal contempt and a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Thomas is accused of striking a female acquaintance with his hands and hitting her in the head with a beer bottle. The victim had previously been granted an order of protection against Thomas. He was sent to Genesee County Jail without bail pending a court appearance later this morning.

Ronda M. Kern, 27, of Basom, was charged with felony driving while intoxicated Thursday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Kern was located at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on Sandhill Road in Alabama. She was also ticketed with consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and moving from the lane unsafely.

Police need help identifying a suspect accused of making $4k worth of purchases in stolen checks

By Philip Anselmo

Batavia city police issued the following press release and photographs:

The Batavia Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person pictured. This person used stolen checks to make purchases exceeding four thousand dollars at businesses in the surrounding area. Please contact Detective Richard Schauf at 585-345-6312 or call the confidential tip line at 345-6370.

The photos look to be from a security camera.

Lost child found in the middle of the street downtown on Holland Avenue

By Philip Anselmo

BATAVIA, N.Y. — We're following reports coming through on the scanner right now of a young child, approximately 4-years-old, who was found walking around in the middle of the street in downtown Batavia. Officers on scene report that the child is asking for his mother and father, neither of whom are reported to be in the area.

Update (Friday at 9:04 a.m.): The parents of the lost child have been identified and further investigation into the incident will be shared between Child Protective Services and Batavia city police, Lt. Eugene Jankowski said in an e-mail this morning. It is not known if charges will be placed at this time. No names have yet been released. The investigation is ongoing.

On the Beat: DWIs in Batavia and Bergen

By Philip Anselmo

Michael J. Lenhard, 23, of Corfu, was charged with driving while intoxicated Wednesday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Lenhard was stopped for an alleged traffic violation on West Main Street Road in the town of Batavia. He was also ticketed with driving left of the pavement markings.

Timothy Grice, 47, of Oakfield, was charged with a felony count of driving while intoxicated and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operator, state police said. Grice was stopped for an alleged traffic violation on Route 33 in Bergen. He was sent to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $5,000.

On the Beat: Two in Batavia nabbed for home robbery

By Philip Anselmo

An investigation into a home robbery on February 6 has resulted in the arrest of two Batavia residents. Nathan J. Knab, 20, of 16 Overlook Dr., and Travis J. Dunn, 19, of 1 Pine Hollow Dr., were charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, Monday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Knab and Dunn are accused of entering a residence at 8 Pine Hollow Dr. in Batavia and taking a PlayStation 2 system, along with the controllers and game accessories.

They were arraigned in town court Monday and released pending a court appearance scheduled for March 23.

Pictured is Dunn. A mug shot for Knab has not yet been released.

Update (11:13 a.m.): We learned from Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster this morning that Knab did not show up to jail to have his mug shot taken, which is why it was not available when this post was published earlier today.

Mug shot for Knab (right) posted Thursday at 8:08 a.m.

Student safety patrol expected to cover "light security detail" at GCC

By Philip Anselmo

An announcement from Genesee Community College that the criminal justice program at the Batavia campus will be launching a new "Student Safety Patrol" seems timely.  Just last week, a student was arrested on allegations of leaving a rifle and a shotgun laid across the front seat of his unlocked car in the campus parking lot.

Derek J. Wilson, 34, of Byron, was charged Friday with two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Deputies have already said that they did not believe Wilson to have any malicious intent. Neither weapon was loaded.

Nevertheless, the school feels it can benefit from some extra eyes on patrol on campus. In fact, it was a vigilant passer-by who spotted the guns in Wilson's car and reported the incident to campus security.

"With the increase in incidents on college campuses, we thought a Student Safety Patrol would be most beneficial," Barry Garigen, professor of Criminal Justice said. "The students gain valuable experience in working these details and enjoy providing volunteer service to the College."

Students in the criminal justice program will make up the staff of the patrol.

From the press release:

For a number of years, the Criminal Justice Club at Genesee has been providing security services at various events on campus, such as the annual Fashion Show, Rockfest, and Experience Genesee. As a result of student interest and funding from a Perkins Grant, the Criminal Justice Club was able to start the SSP. Currently, there are ten students trained and participating in the program. Students become eligible for the program when they complete the NYS Security Guard training course. The security guard training is offered several times a year through the College's BEST Center. Students who enroll in CRJ120: Intro to Security also receive the training. The next BEST Center course is being offered on March 28 from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM at the Batavia Campus. To register for the NYS Security Guard training course, visit (the Web site).

The objectives of the new safety patrol are to enhance the level of security patrol presence, particularly in campus buildings, and ensure a high level of personal safety for those working, studying, or visiting the campus. In addition, the SSP provides an opportunity for volunteer duties for Criminal Justice students who have a career interest in law enforcement, public safety, or security. The Student Safety Patrol also assists the College's public safety staff to achieve their operational objectives and target special security and safety needs.

It is stressed that the students will be performing "non-police" functions.

Student Safety Patrollers augment Public Safety services by performing the following light security details in and around Genesee Community College:

• Patrol all campus buildings as a visible deterrent and community resource
• Assist as directed during critical incidents, at Public Safety's discretion
• Observe and report any suspicious/criminal activity observed on patrol
• Perform customer service duties when required
• Audits of campus lighting, emergency phones, access card systems
• Fire safety equipment checks
• Assist with control of vehicle/pedestrian traffic during events
• Safe-walk (escort) service provided as requested
• Perform the receptionist function in Public Safety as assigned
• Other duties as assigned

Student volunteers are still needed for the remainder of the spring 2009 semester and for the fall 2009 semester. For further information or to join the SSP program, contact Barry Garigen, Criminal Justice professor at Genesee, at 585-343-0055 x6307 or

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