Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Sheriff's Office

October 13, 2020 - 10:52am
posted by Press Release in David Krzemien, Sheriff's Office, news.

Press release from David Krzemien:

I am honored that the UAW (United Auto Workers) Union, Region 9 has endorsed my campaign for Genesee County Sheriff! Throughout my careers I have been involved in unions. Looking out for and protecting the interests of others is something I take great pride in. We need to support American made and locally owned businesses, together we are stronger!

Text of the letter:

Dear David:

We are pleased to inform you the Western New York Community Action Program (CAP) Council, UAW Region 9, has endorsed your candidacy in this year's election for Sheriff of Genesee County.

Enclosed is the UAW's Union-Built, American-Made, vehicle guide for 2020. Please consider this list when purchasing your next vehicle.

Good luck for a successful campaign, and we look forward to helping you win on Election Day! If you have any questions, please call our office at (716) 632-1540.

Sincerely,
 
Jeff Binz, Director UAW Region 9
Tom Ashton Asst. Director UAW Region 9
Ed Balukas, National Cap Rep. UAW Region 9
Wence Valetin III, Chairperson WNY CAP, UAW Region 9
September 23, 2020 - 10:30am
posted by Press Release in William Sheron, Sheriff's Office, news.

Press release:

Citizens of Genesee County:

Over my 43-year career at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, I had the privilege of working under four different Sheriffs, including current Sheriff Sheron, each a good man in his own right. This fall, Sheriff Sheron is running for a second term. In today's world, many great police agency leaders are leaving the profession, feeling frustrated and unsupported. In my opinion, we are fortunate that Sheriff Sheron is willing to take on another term.  

In these times when law enforcement is under such intense scrutiny and criticism, experienced, educated and proven leadership is extremely vital. I watched Bill Sheron work his way up within the Sheriff’s Office, having held many key positions:

  • Dispatcher
  • Deputy assigned to the Genesee County Jail
  • Deputy assigned to Road Patrol
  • Sergeant - Road Patrol
  • Sergeant - Drug Task Force
  • Investigator
  • Chief Deputy of Road Patrol
  • Undersheriff
  • Sheriff

As illustrated, he has a wide variety of law enforcement knowledge and experience. He has faced many challenges during his career and honorably acquitted himself through them all. 

I support William A. Sheron Jr. He has done a great job. I urge you to vote to reelect him to office so that he may continue to provide the consistent leadership that Genesee County needs during these uncertain times.

Thank you,

Gordon L. Dibble
County Legislator
Retired Chief Deputy

September 23, 2020 - 10:25am
posted by Press Release in David Krzemien, Sheriff's Office, news.

Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Candidate, David Krzemien, released the following statement regarding his professional history. 

“As a candidate for Genesee County Sheriff, I expect my experience and past actions to be reviewed, as they should be. I do not take my candidacy or the responsibility of the office of Sheriff lightly. My work experience is not something I shy away from, as I have done my best to protect the communities that entrusted me with such a duty,” Krzemien said.

“To date, I have never had any disciplinary actions and passed multiple background investigations throughout my career. I welcomed the opportunity to speak with The Batavian about my time at the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority (NFTA) and the Village of Blasdell Police Department, as my history is easy to defend. I truly have nothing to hide."

“We should hold our leaders accountable, and I am ready to answer questions about my career and, more importantly, my vision for our county,” said Krzemien. 

For more information and ways to contact me, visit my website at www.krzemienforsheriff.com/ 

Previously: Candidate for Genesee sheriff responds to allegations pertaining to previous employment

September 15, 2020 - 7:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bill Sheron, news, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

Dear Sheriff Sheron:

As past and future Presidents of the FBI National Academy Associates, New York State & Eastern Canada Chapter, it is both a privilege and an honor for us to officially endorse you for re-election as Sheriff of Genesee County, NY.

The FBI National Academy is considered to be the most prestigious and premier law enforcement training in the world, with less than 1 percent of police officers being selected to attend. The 10-week program is held at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., for law enforcement executives to enhance their credentials, standards, knowledge, and networking cooperation worldwide.

You were selected to attend Session 196 of the FBI National Academy; and since your graduation, you have remained active in the Association on both the New York State/Eastern Canada Chapter and National levels, assisting in providing training conferences for law enforcement officials. Because of your dedication to police professionalism, you were selected to the Chapter's Executive Board, and ascended to Chapter President. Under your leadership, our Chapter was selected to host the first ever FBI National Academy Associates' National Conference outside the United States in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2012, you were unanimously selected as the Chapter's Secretary/Treasurer, where you served for the maximum number of eight years until 2020.

As a law enforcement leader, you exemplify the motto of the FBI National Academy, "Knowledge, Courage, & Integrity." It is for that impeccable leadership, and the accomplishments stated above, that we endorse you for re-election as Sheriff of Genesee County, NY, in 2020.

Fraternally,
Scott Fraser Chief of Police
Brockville Police Service Chapter Vice - President 2020

Mark R. Gates
Deputy Chief of Police
New York State University Police, Buffalo Past President 2015

August 29, 2020 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in K-9, Chris Erion, news, Sheriff's Office.

still_erion_n_graphic.jpg

Leaving the Sheriff's Office after 20 years and six months of service is bittersweet, said K-9 Officer Chris Erion as he finished out his final shift before retiring yesterday.

He not only leaves behind a job he said matured him, he leaves behind his partner "Frankie," who will be paired with a new partner in the coming weeks.

"I've had a lot of great experiences. I've met a lot of wonderful people," Erion said. "I've seen a side of humanity, both good and bad, that I never would have seen had I not worked this job and been through experiences that have matured me. It's overwhelming to think of everything and trying to take it all in and think back over 20 years."

Erion joined the Sheriff's Office in March 2000.

He hasn't decided yet what comes next.

"I'm going to take a week or two and I'm going to kind of decompress and try to get the weight of the profession off of my heart and off my shoulders a little bit and reconnect with my family," Erion said. "They've been tremendous in just keeping things together over the years and the stresses that you go through. And they've earned it, too. It's not my retirement. It's something that they've earned as well."

Erion has four children, all under the age of 16.

Being a K-9 officer is a tough job on anyone, especially a family man.

"You have to be available," Erion said. "When that phone rings at two, three, or four in the morning, you have to be ready to go and go quickly. That takes a toll on everybody at home as well. I'm not getting any younger and you strap yourself to a 70-pound animal and go off into the darkness to wherever they take you. So it is a very physical job and it wears on you, but it's been very rewarding."

He's retiring at the age of 45. He looks back at himself as a 24-year-old rookie as somebody really didn't know much about life when he started.

"I was 24 and I was just a kid," Erion said. "I'm looking back now and I wasn't even an adult when I started. This job grows you up quickly."

His advice to young officers today: Do things right and do them the right way.

"Check your ego, because that will get you in trouble faster than anything else," Erion said. "Listen to the people around you that have been through the experiences that you're trying to learn. Take their advice. That's the easiest way to learn."

The tough job has been made a lot easier by the support of the people in the community, Erion said. He praised community members for the way they stand behind local law enforcement.

"I love this community," he said. "They back us and we know it and we try to be worthy of it."

Photo by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service. Article based on a recorded interview by Alecia Kaus.

Previously:

Video Sponsor

 

February 1, 2020 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify, Darien, corfu.

david_krzemien_headshot.jpgPress release:

Corfu Police Officer and Darien Deputy Town Supervisor David Krzemien is announcing his candidacy for Genesee County Sheriff. Krzemien is seeking endorsement from all party lines.

He started his more than 20-year law enforcement career right here in Genesee County. He graduated from the Rural Police Training Academy housed at Genesee Community College.

This foundational training opened the doors to many opportunities in the field of law enforcement.

Since that time, he has served as a police officer and then detective for the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority, known as the NFTA, where he led the Counter Terrorism Unit for seven years.

He also worked part time for the Blasdell Police Department, as a field training officer, court officer and detective for 14 years.

Now retired from the NFTA, Krzemien serves as a part-time officer with the Village of Corfu Police Department and is a seasonal deputy with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. He also serves on the Darien Town Board as Deputy Town Supervisor.

Krzemien, his wife Michelle, and their five children have lived in Genesee collectively for more than 30 years.

January 30, 2020 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Emergency Dispatch, batavia, news, notify.

20200129_233954steverobinson.jpg

In 30 years as an emergency dispatcher, Steve Robinson has probably handled every imaginable kind of call, first with the City of Batavia and later with the Sheriff's Office -- lost cats, petit larcenies, fires, train derailments, overdoses, homicides, and everything in between.

It's a tough job but on the night of his final shift, he said he is glad he chose the job he did as a young man.

"It's been an amazing career," Robinson said. "I've made a lot of friends -- with other dispatchers, judges, DAs, police officers, EMS, fire -- everybody involved in the whole process. I couldn't have asked for a better career for 30 years. It's not pretty sometimes. We deal with a lot of unpleasant stuff, but we get through it and I appreciate everybody I've worked with, and I've gotten a lot of help over the years."

To be a good dispatcher, Robinson said, you have to be able to multitask. You can find yourself dealing with a police officer on the radio about one call while taking an emergency call from an unrelated incident on 9-1-1. 

"There is a lot of activity in the room and you can't rely on somebody else to answer your phone for you," Robinson said.

And because you're sometimes dealing with people in duress, at the worse time of their lives, or who are angry, you have to have good people skills to be a good dispatcher. You have to be able to stay calm, talk people through their situations and ensure first responders are kept safe.

"The people I work with, not just the dispatchers, but the first responders, we have a bond because nobody else understands what we do," Robinson said. "In this job, unless you do it, you can't understand what we deal with and that is what bonds us."

In retirement, Robinson will still be around, and not far from the career he's loved. He will continue to work part time for Batavia PD as a desk clerk.

"I'll keep a hand in the business," Robinson said. "I'm not totally walking away."

January 25, 2020 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, awards.

sheriffsawards2020.jpg

Photos by Howard Owens. Information via Sheriff's Office press release.

Officer of the Year Award – Investigator Christopher A. Parker
Investigator Christopher A. Parker has distinguished himself in the performance of service to the citizens of Genesee County during 2019. Investigator Parker’s professional skill and devotion to duty are evident in his work practices. He is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and continues to maintain an exemplary drive with regard to every aspect of police work. His commitment to public safety is apparent as he is credited with recent investigations leading to the removal of two illegal handguns from our community. The quality of Investigator Parker’s work was displayed this past year during a successful prosecution of a fatal hit-and-run motor vehicle accident in which he was the lead investigator. He dedicated countless hours to ensure justice which resulted in a vehicular manslaughter conviction. Investigator Parker undertakes investigations into complex financial crimes against the elderly, works as a fire investigator, and is an invaluable intelligence resource. Investigator Parker has fostered relationships with law enforcement personnel from countless agencies and works to gather and share intelligence concerning criminal activity.

Investigator Christopher A. Parker has reflected great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and most deserves to be named Officer of the Year.

sheriffsawards2020-2.jpg

Distinguished Service Award – Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson
Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson has distinguished himself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Thirty years ago, Dispatcher Robinson began his lengthy career in emergency communications; and during this time, he has been the recipient of numerous awards for his professionalism and dedication. Dispatcher Robinson has spent many years as a trainer of new dispatchers and provided critical insight during the consolidation and creation of the Genesee County Emergency Services Dispatch Center. Additionally, Dispatcher Robinson played an integral role in establishing quarterly workshops in which law enforcement officers and dispatchers meet face to face to discuss topics of mutual concerns. He often volunteered for extra assignments including maintaining records validation within the New York State Integrated Justice Portal.

Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson reflects great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

sheriffsawards2020-4.jpg

Longevity Awards

  • Correction Officer Andrew D. Hurley, 10 years
  • Chief Deputy Joseph M. Graff, 15 years
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Stephen R. Smelski, 15 years
  • Undersheriff Bradley D. Mazur, 20 years
  • Deputy Sheriff John P. Weis, 20 years
  • Deputy Sheriff Nathan W. Balduf, 25 years
  • Investigator R. Pete Welker, 25 years

Meritorious Awards

  • Sr. Correction Officer Jason R. Queal, 1st

Commendations

  • Principal Financial Clerk Deborah A. Shea, 1st
  • Deputy Sheriff Richard S. Schildwaster, 1st
  • Correction Officer Michael F. Lindsley, 1st
  • Investigator Joseph D. Loftus, 2nd
  • Correction Officer Andrew D. Hurley, 2nd
  • Correction Officer Daniel J. Renz, 2nd
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan W. Young, 3rd
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman, 3rd & 4th
  • Youth Officer Howard J. Carlson, 4th
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Lynn B. Riccobono, 6th
  • Sergeant Andrew B. Halem, 6th
December 20, 2019 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in K-9 Frankie, k-9 program, Sheriff's Office, NEXTera Energy, news, byron.

nexterak9dontation2019.jpg

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.

October 11, 2019 - 10:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office, news, batavia.

rescue_vehiclearrivalmrap.jpg

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has received an armored rescue vehicle from the U.S. Government’s 1033 program.

The program allows for departments across the nation to receive surplus military vehicles, for free, to use in special operations.

The vehicle received is called an MRAP, which stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected. The vehicle was designed to withstand improvised explosive devices and ambush attacks. Due to its larger size, heavyweight, and big tires, it is also a perfect vehicle to use during flood situations and natural disasters.

The departments will take possession of the vehicle today and will begin retrofitting it with the necessary equipment to include paint, decals, lights/sirens, seating, and communications to make it suitable for law enforcement use.

The departments plan to use the vehicle for a multitude of duties to include, rescue operations during floods or natural disasters and high-risk law enforcement activities such as active threats/warrant executions, throughout the county.

This new addition will allow the departments to provide better protection to citizens in natural disaster situations and also protect officers who are involved in higher-risk law enforcement activities.

The Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office are proud to have this vehicle which better prepares the City of Batavia and Genesee County for any threat, both natural and man-made.

Previously:

July 26, 2019 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Teen Academy, Sheriff's Office, news.

teenacademygrad2019.jpg

Press release:

“I am pleased to announce that the second Teen Academy was another great success," said Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron. "This academy was made possible with the support of Genesee County STOP DWI and the Genesee County Legislators.

"The students were provided with the opportunity to experience the various roles of law enforcement in our community, and they eagerly embraced all aspects of the curriculum.

"I want to thank the students for their hard work and dedication and to all those that provided instruction throughout this weeklong program. A special thank you to the Academy Director, Deputy Matthew R. Butler, and deputies/school resource officers Chad P. Cummings, Richard S. Schildwaster, Eric J. Meyer, Patrick J. Reeves, Howard O. Wilson, and Jeremy M. McClellan along with Investigator Chad J. Minuto for their assistance and efforts in coordinating such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the students.

"We look forward to continuing this annual event for students throughout Genesee County for many more years to come."

The following participants are graduates of the second annual Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy:

        Class Captains:      Paola Perez-Matos

                                             Drew Edwards

Alden Belknap                      Nicholas Burdick                    Jayden Doyle

Shawn Morabito                    Jack Falls                                Alexander Hunt

Aaron Spring                         Regan McPhee                        Gianni Vallese

Photos by Howard Owens.

teenacademygrad2019-2.jpg

teenacademygrad2019-3.jpg

teenacademygrad20192.jpg

teenacademygrad20192-2.jpg

teenacademygrad2019-4.jpg

April 18, 2019 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

Despite a shortage of corrections officers, officials have been able to hold down overtime pay at the Genesee County Jail, Superintendent William Zipfel told members of the County Legislature's Public Service Committee on Wednesday.

Zipfel made his report as part of a Sheriff's Office department review with the committee.

Overtime was more than $17,500 less in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018, Zipfel said.

The jail is understaffed by six C.O. positions even with three C.O.'s recently completed training and two more in the pipeline.

"We're constantly doing interviews and background checks," Zipfel said when asked about filling the vacancies.

Because of the vacancies, there hasn't been jail staff available to handle inmate transports, so the task has fallen once again to deputies on road patrol.

The prison population continues to exceed the jail's capacity.  

While there has been an average of 16.16 women (who can't be held locally) incarcerated under Genesee County jurisdiction, which is about two more than last year, there has also been an increase of male prisoners who must be housed at other county jails.

The state seems to be contributing to an increase in the jail population because of new policies that have prison inmates being released on parole sooner and then being picked up on parole violations faster. Those parolees, when found in Genesee County, are held locally until transferred to state prison.

The kitchen is also turning out to be another place the jail is saving money, Zipfel said, praising head chef Bill Cultrara. He said last year in the first quarter, the jail served 20,194 meals at a cost of $30,722, or $1.52 per meal. In the first quarter this year, Cultrara and staff served 4,500 more meals but at cost of $1.15 per meal.

Older inmates, inmates with more health problems, more mental health problems, and substance abuse problems, are driving up other costs, such as prisoner transports to the hospital and other health providers.

Sheriff William Sheron told the Legislature that felony and drug cases in the first quarter were on par with 2018.

He said illegal drugs remain a concern, particularly cocaine, heroin, and LSD. He said there seems to be an increase in LSD use among high school students.

For the concert season at Darien Lake, he said one show is sold out, a few more are likely to sell out, and 17 shows of an anticipated 20 to 25 have been announced. He said he anticipates adequate law enforcement staffing for the shows.

The Sheriff's Office is also expecting the construction of a new communications tower in Attica, actually in Wyoming County, which will eliminate dead spots in Pavilion, Alexander and Darien.

April 16, 2019 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.

chief_deputy_-_road_patrol_brian_frieday.jpg

Chief Deputy Brian Frieday

Press release:

Sergeant Brian M. Frieday -- promoted to Chief Deputy of Road Patrol, overseeing the operations of Road Patrol, Courts Security, and Animal Control.  Chief Deputy Frieday is a 23-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office who began his career as a Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol in 1996 and was promoted to Sergeant in May of 2005. Chief Deputy Frieday’s appointment was effective April 13.

Chief Deputy Joseph M. Graff has moved from overseeing the Road Patrol operations to Chief Deputy of the Criminal Investigative Division. Chief Deputy Graff is a 15-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office who began his career as a Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol, was promoted to Investigator in 2015, and to Chief Deputy – Road Patrol in 2017.  Chief Deputy Graff assumed his new duties on April 13.

Emergency Services Dispatcher Francis A. Riccobono -- promoted to the new position of Assistant Director of Emergency Communications/Operations where he will oversee the operations of the Genesee County’s 9-1-1 Emergency Services Dispatch Center.  Assistant Director Riccobono has more than 28 years of experience in emergency dispatching, having begun his dispatching career with the City of Batavia Police Department in 1991, and transitioning to the Genesee County consolidated dispatch center in 2008. Assistant Director Riccobono assumed his new duties on April 1.

Investigator James M. Diehl -- promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division. Sergeant Diehl began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 2008 as a Deputy Sheriff – Road Patrol and was promoted to Investigator in 2016. Sergeant Diehl’s promotion was effective on March 30.

Deputy Sheriff Michael J. Lute has been promoted to Sergeant with the Road Patrol Division. Sergeant Lute joined the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 2015 as Deputy Sheriff – Road Patrol, having previously served with the Village of Akron and Village of Corfu police departments. Sergeant Lute’s promotion was effective on April 13.

chief_deputy_-_cid_joseph_graff.jpg

Chief Deputy Joseph Graff

asst_dir_of_comm-operations_riccobono.jpg

Assistant Director of Emergency Communications/Operations Francis A. Riccobono

investigator_james_diehl.jpg

Sgt. James Diehl

sergeant_michael_lute.jpg

Sgt. Michael Lute

April 12, 2019 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jerome Brewster, Sheriff's Office, video.
Video Sponsor
April 9, 2019 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify, jerry brewster.

brewster460.jpg

Jerry Brewster likes to talk.

He could probably talk the tail feathers off a pheasant.

He's certainly talked a few people into admitting to things they would have rather have kept quiet, such as burglaries, rapes, arsons, and even murders.

Brewster said getting confessions is one of the most satisfying parts of being a criminal investigator, a job he's held since 1988 as part of a 44-year career with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office that ends this week.

"When I was actively investigating cases, I would get a lot of confessions and come Tuesday when there's a grand jury, I might be going into a grand jury four, five, six times talking about different cases that I investigated and they all had confessions," Brewster said. "I remember one day I was in there and at the end of the grand jury proceeding there is an opportunity for the grand jurors ask questions. After about the fifth time I was there one afternoon, ... the district attorney asked if there were any questions and a guy raised his hand and said, 'I don't have any questions (about the case) but I want to know, how does he get those people to talk to him?' "

How many confessions has Brewster coaxed out of reluctant suspects? He couldn't tell you.

"I just never thought about it," Brewster said. "I just don't know. I do what I do and then I move on. I never did the chalk-mark-on-the-wall kind of thing."

However many cases Brewster has cracked, it's surely not bad for a kid from Oakfield who was a math/science major with an eye on a career as a pharmacist when he got a job offer under the Comprehensive Employment Training Act program for an emergency dispatcher position.

He was 22 years old and had worked for Agway and Montgomery Ward.

"The economic situation being what it was, I was doing a balancing act in my mind," Brewster said. "You know, here's a job where the money and benefits are good or going into the unknown. I just had to go into the job at the Sheriff's Office. I didn't know if I was going to like it. It wasn't anything that I had thought about that much but it just kind of grew on me. And apparently, I must have had some skills or was somewhat adept at it so and it ended up being a good fit."

From dispatcher to deputy working in the jail, to road patrol, Brewster's early career moved on quickly.

Road patrol, that was something he liked. It wasn't long before he was promoted to sergeant. But it was also on road patrol where he discovered that he liked helping victims get answers but he also learned that the cases that took the most work -- usually felonies -- were often handed off to investigators.

Brewster was hooked both on helping victims and coaxing confessions when he helped an Oakfield resident, a person he knew, recover a stolen canoe.

"I only had a description of the canoe," Brewster said. "We didn't have serial numbers or anything like that. I happened upon a car over in Four Corners in Byron and here was a canoe that kind of looked like the one we were looking for, and I started talking to (the driver) about it and he had some answers that weren't quite adding up and eventually was I able to get a confession roadside from him."

That experience helped convince Brewster to accept a position -- even though it was a step down from sergeant -- as an investigator. Six years later, in 1994, Brewster was promoted to chief deputy in charge of investigations.

Patience, Brewster said, is the key to being a good investigator. You also need to be intelligent, educated, willing to listen.

"You have to be a good judge of character," Brewster said. "You have to be able to use the eyes in your head and your senses to try and figure out when somebody is not being truthful. Let's face it, in this position in this career that we have chosen, most people don't tell you the truth."

It's interesting, Brewster observed, that most parents teach their children to always be truthful, except when dealing with cops.

"You're in a backseat when dad gets pulled over for speeding and the first thing he says is, 'I wasn't speeding,' Brewster said. "So, it was OK to lie to the police and it kind of pervades today, which is OK. We understand. We're not angry about that. We just realize that most people, when we ask them the first time, they're not going to tell us the truth."

Early in Brewster's career as an investigator, he was called on to look into the death of a woman who was beaten to death inside her home on Route 77 in Indian Falls. After her death, her husband tried to take his own life. He didn't succeed and he was hospitalized. He was in critical condition at first and couldn't be interviewed. On Christmas Day, Brewster learned the man could finally talk so, taking time away from his family, he went to the hospital and interviewed the man for five hours.

He confessed to the murder.

"It was quite obvious that he was not being truthful because, on one hand, he would say he didn't remember and you'd ask him what was on television you could tell exactly what was on television," Brewster said. "So those sorts of things he seemed to remember OK. So we narrow this thing down. (Now it's) 'I remember everything that happened up until this moment' at which point it's a matter of working on that moment."

Much about investigating crime has changed since 1988. Back then, DNA evidence was new and uncommon. Now it's used in many cases. And of course, people didn't have cell phones that could be tracked, and certainly not phones that could easily take video. There was, in fact, very little video evidence. Now, Brewster said, it's hard to convince a jury a suspect did the crime without video evidence. Computers now also finding dots and connecting them much easier.

"Our capabilities are just tremendous," Brewster said. "In cars today, there are computers and they can tell us a lot of stuff about you and your car before an accident. We didn't have that before, or cell phones. They can tell us a lot of stuff.

"Of course, then you have the rights groups saying, 'well I don't want you to know where I go; I don't want you to know who I talk to or where I've been.' But if we need to, we get to work by valid search warrant, and we're doing a lot of search warrants these days, and we can get that information and we are using that sometimes to solve crimes or to exonerate people."

The key to solving any criminal case, Brewster said, is knowing who to look at as a person of interest. Once you determine that, you can figure out a possible motive and know what questions to ask.

"It makes my job a lot easier if I knew who to look at," Brewster said. "Sometimes I would have informants and I would tell them, 'look it, I don't want you to come forward and testify; I just want you to tell me who did it' and then I could start working and I might be able to find a witness who said they saw him there. If I don't know what to look at, it makes a lot harder. Fingerprints can do it. DNA is helping us. It's just like that guy pointing his finger back in the day. I needed to know who was most likely to have done it and then I could solve the case."

But the danger for any investigator, Brewster said, is to approach a crime with a preconceived notion. You can't put the pieces together if you don't see the whole picture. Tunnel vision can kill an investigation.

One of his roles as chief deputy, he said, was to listen to his investigators, let them paint a picture, and then tell them what they were missing.

"Maybe I have a little bit of a luxury as chief deputy because I have the investigators out there doing the digging and the interviews and they're coming back to me and telling you what's going on," Brewster said. "I'm already a little bit detached. Many times I haven't even been out to the scene so things will start clicking in my mind. I'm more of a visual person and if you describe what that scene looked like and then you start talking to me about it, even if I haven't been there, I can say, 'Yeah but what about that? Well, take a look at this. How do you explain what this guy said he saw?' And then they start questioning him. So that's one of the roles I see myself in here."

Brewster's other role, he said, is to stay on top of both changes in technology and in case law. That involves a lot of reading but he doesn't want to see a criminal case get crossed up because an appeals court has changed how evidence can be gathered and cases built.

If you're not current on case law, Brewster said, "you're fishing in the dark and you don't know what you might be doing wrong. What was OK six months ago isn't OK to do now. We need to know that because we might make that mistake."

Solving cases that don't run afoul of Constitutional protections for citizens is critical to good police work, Brewster said.

"If we can't do it legally there will always be another time," Brewster said. "If we don't have it, there will always be another time. For a police officer, time is always on our side. We just have to be patient. These guys that are screwing up will continue to screw up. If we don't get them somebody else will."

With that in mind, Brewster's advice to Joseph Graff, the next chief deputy in charge of investigations, is: read. Read a lot.

Also, be prepared for how demanding the job is. There is no downtime. When you go out with your family, your wife and kids need to be prepared to find their own way home because dad has to go to a crime scene. And the cases you get involved in can be draining emotionally.

"It's pretty hard to detach yourself emotionally from that we do," Brewster said. "That's the hardest part of the job."

That, and leaving the job at the door.

"You have a personal life, too, but when your job is chief deputy you're on the phone and you're working all the time," Brewster said. "There are things that need to be addressed around the clock, 24/7. I've been on call 24/7 since 1994 and it takes its toll on you. When I walk out that door at 4 o'clock, it's pretty hard to detach that. When you talk to the spouses and families of police officers they're all going to tell you the same thing. It's pretty hard for them to leave that at work."

What makes the job worthwhile, Brewster said, is helping people but sometimes even that isn't enough.

"I think that a lot of the things that we do, we have to put up a wall when we get there," Brewster said. "There may be all sorts of death and mayhem and all sorts of gruesomeness and we don't really see that. We're just there to do a job. But we do see how it impacts the people there and their families. We see that and it bothers us a little bit in the back of our mind and eventually, some of this does come back and, you know, it's like a profound sadness for all those people, all those things that you saw that you really couldn't help them with. Maybe you took care of the person that was responsible for causing all this death or mayhem but that doesn't really bring anyone back."

When you talk with Brewster long enough about criminal investigations, it's clear he's not all that ready to give up the work of solving crimes.

"I am going to miss it," Brewster said. "I'm going to miss getting up in the morning with a purpose in mind that I've got this interview, I've got this to do, we're going to get this general order in line for today, you know, those sorts of things. There's a feeling that I'm not useful anymore or valuable anymore but I'll get into it. I'll do fine."

Brewster, who has three adult children from his first marriage and two stepchildren from his second marriage, is 66 now and figures he'll tinker. He's got a new barn at his home in Alexander. He has a boat. He's going to renovate an old pickup for his stepson. There's a neighbor across the way who has an old car that hasn't run in years that Brewster figures he can get running again. 

"I've got a lot of projects," Brewster said. "My wife is pretty good at giving me things to do, which I appreciate. I'm not going to be sitting around. Not at all. If I get bored I'll probably go find something to do."

One thing Brewster doesn't figure to do is sit around thinking about the cases he hasn't solved. You might think the unsolved murders would eat at him but he says that's not the case.

For one thing, many of them won't go unsolved much longer, he said.

Brewster listed off the open murder cases he expects will be closed soon: Bill Fickle, Kisha Sullivan, Anne Lee, Eddie Freson, and Deborah Maniace.

In some of these cases, DNA will play a role, perhaps, even, the use of family tree websites that match DNA among family members (used last year to arrest the suspected Golden State Killer in California). There is also new witness information in some cases. Perhaps there will even be a confession.

"As I'm going out of here there are some major developments coming in some of those cases already due solely to technology," Brewster said. "As I said, it's one of the things where you have to be patient. You are going to see something happening here. I think it will be everyone but one case we've got something, some poker's in the fire. Those cases aren't just sitting in a box rusting away and nobody is looking at them or thinking about them. If you go down the hall to each one of these guys, there are different cases that they're working beside a regular caseload.

"So, yeah, stay tuned."

Those cases, in fact, the whole investigative department, is being left in good hands, Brewster said, with Graff taking over.

"I'm walking out of here with a replacement for myself as the first guy that I've seen in the 20 some years that I've been doing this who I can say, 'Yeah he can take my place,' " Brewster said. "This place is not going to miss a beat with Joe Graff."

April 5, 2019 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

danrichardsonretire2019.jpg

Dana Richardson said he's going to miss helping people, miss trying to make our community a little bit of a better place to live, which he said is how he saw his job during his 27 years with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

But it's time to do something else with his life, Richardson said during a retirement ceremony this afternoon.

"Deputy Richardson has served the citizens of Genesee County with professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm," said Sheriff Bill Sheron. "He's been a source of pride for the Genesee County Sheriff's Office."

Richardson started his law enforcement career as a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail but soon transferred to road patrol and during his career, he received two Commendation awards, a Meritorious Service Award, and the Officer of the Year award from the Kiwanis Club of Batavia.

"It's been an enjoyable career," Richardson said. "It's always different, changing every day. I've enjoyed working with the citizens in this county, trying to help people. I just felt like it was time for a change, time to do something else."

He doesn't know what the something else will be yet, but he will do something because he will need to pay for health insurance, he said.

Richardson's wife, Deborah, is a daycare provider, as she was 30 years ago when the couple first met. They have three sons, Nicholas, also a police officer, Jacob, a loss prevention officer, Andrew, a pastor, and a daughter, Holly, a teller at the ESL Federal Credit Union.

Richardson said he understands that a lot of people see cops as people who just want to write tickets and arrest people but that isn't how he sees the job at all.

"Basically, police officers are social workers," Richardson said. "They're people who are there to help people find solutions to their problems. We get to talk to people about what's important to them in their struggles raising their family, their kids. I'm going to miss that interaction with people on a personal level because as police officers we want to try to help people.

"That's why we got into this. It isn't about the arrests. It isn't about the speeding ticket. That's what police are so much known for, but really it's the public interaction and trying to make our community a better place -- that's why we do what we do."

Those are the values about police work Richardson said he learned from his father, who spent 26 years with the Batavia Police Department. He said he was fortunate to work in a department that shared those values, where officers strive to maintain a professional demeanor and attitude.

"We hold ourselves to a higher standard," Richardson said. "We're supposed to be people of integrity. That includes when you're not in the public eye as well as when you are."

danrichardsonretire2019-2.jpg

danrichardsonretire2019-3.jpg

danrichardsonretire2019-4.jpg

Three Generations in law enforcement: Dana Richardson, his father Roger, who is a retired Batavia PD officer, and Nicholas, Dana's son, who is a detective with the Albermarle County Police Department in Virginia.

March 4, 2019 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in warrants, news, Sheriff's Office.
andrewwarrant2019bilicki.jpg jessewarranmts2019bowman.jpg barbarawarrant2019ferrando.jpg

Andrew J. Bilicki age 34, W/M 5’9” 200 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes, LKA West Ave. Medina, NY

Bench warrant for petit larceny PL 155.25 (misdemeanor) Alabama Town Court, DOW 6/20/18

Arrest warrant for bail jumping 3rd PL 215.55 (misdemeanor) Alabama Town Court DOW 8/17/18

Jesse D. Bowman age 26, W/M 6’1” 170 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes, LKA Vine St. Batavia NY

Arrest warrant for petit larceny PL 155.25 (misdemeanor) and conspiracy 6th PL 105.00 (Misdemeanor) Batavia Town Court DOW 2/4/19

Barbara E. Ferrando age 47, W/F 5’9” 180 lbs., brown hair brown eyes, LKA Summit St. Batavia, NY

Bench warrant for petit larceny PL 155.25 (misdemeanor) Batavia Town Court DOW 2/4/19

 

creaganwarrantsmaclaren.jpg clintwarramts2019reed.jpg shawnwarrants2019szczygiel.jpg

Creagan T. Maclaren, age 20, W/M 5’10” 175 lbs., brown hair, green eyes, LKA Brower Rd. Spencerport, NY

Bench warrant for DWI VTL 1192-2 (misdemeanor) Darien Town Court DOW 8/4/18

Clint J. Reed, age 21, W/M 5’6” 180 lbs. black hair, brown eyes, LKA Barton St. Rochester, possibly in Ellicottville, NY area

Bench warrant for DWAI VTL 1192-1 (violation) Batavia Town Court DOW 7/30/18

Arrest warrant for bail jumping 3rd PL 215.55 (misdemeanor) Batavia Town Court DOW 9/17/18

Shawn M. Szczygiel age 41, W/M 5’8” 145 lbs., blond hair blue eyes, LKA  Tinkham Rd. Darien, NY

Bench Warrant for DWI VTL 1192-2 (misdemeanor) Darien Town Court DOW 11/28/17

 

If you are able to assist the Sheriff's Office in locating these people, the Sheriff's Office asks that you do not approach these people and that you call (585) 343-5000 with information that may assist in locating the suspects.

March 3, 2019 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, news, education, oakfield-alabama, Sheriff's Office.

 

Video Sponsor

 

Deputy Howard Wilson started working as the school resource officer for Oakfield-Alabama Central School District at the end of January. The position was officially approved by the Genesee County County Legislature last week, and Friday we got a chance to talk with Wilson about his new job.

Here's a press release from the Sheriff's Office:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. is pleased to announce that as a result of the collaboration between the Genesee County Legislature, Oakfield-Alabama Central School Board and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the assignment of a School Resource Officer has been approved.

Deputy Howard O. Wilson V has been selected by the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District as its School Resource Officer. Deputy Wilson is a five-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. He was hired as a Correction Officer in 2014 and then appointed to Deputy Sheriff in 2016. During his tenure, he has earned three Commendations.

"The Oakfield-Alabama School District and Board are proud to have Deputy Sheriff Howard Wilson serve as our School Resource Officer," said Superintendent John Fisgus. "We look forward in creating a positive working relationship with him as he will serve to help and assist our students and community in many different facets.

"Thank you to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office for this agreement.”

Sheriff Sheron indicated that his goal has always been to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“With the assignment of Deputy Wilson in the Oakfield-Alabama Schools, we are that much closer to our goal," the sheriff said. "Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence.”

wislonoasro2019.jpg

Superintendent John Fisgus, Undersheriff Brad Mazur, Sheriff William Sheron, Deputy Howard Wilson, and Legislator John Hilchey.

February 20, 2019 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, school resource officers, notify.

For the remainder of the school year, the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District has reached an agreement with the Sheriff's Office to provide a school resource officer on the district's campuses.

The Public Service Committee recommended Tuesday a budget amendment that would increase the Sheriff's budget by $42,263 to be offset by $41,263 from the school district.

Deputy Howard Wilson is expected to serve as O-A's new SRO.

Wilson's road patrol position will be filled by a new hire.

There are a number of open slots on road patrol currently, Sheriff William Sheron told the committee. 

Five recruits begin law enforcement training March 11. They will attend the academy in Niagara County for 22 weeks, followed by 14 weeks of field training.

Another four recruits are expected to begin training in August or September.

In the meantime, Sheron said, the office is understaffed and deputies are working overtime. The overtime expense is offset by the open positions going unpaid.

Legislator Marianne Clattenburg asked if the Sheriff's Office has received reports from other school districts with new SROs this year -- Alexander, Pavilion, and Pembroke -- to substantiate that the program is effective.

"About a month ago, I revisted each school district and the response from superintendents and staff was overwhelmingly positive," Sheron said. "More than just being a deterrence, their are bonds being formed.

"Students are not fearful of the officers and their not afraid to share experiences with officers, sometimes about home life, which isn't always good. All I can say is every response I've gotten has been favorable from each one of the schools."

January 25, 2019 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

Press release:

ooty_family_posing.jpg

Officer of the Year Award – Deputy Sheriff Travis M. DeMuth
Deputy Sheriff Travis M. DeMuth has distinguished himself in the performance of service to the citizens of Genesee County during 2018. During this year, Deputy DeMuth has shown to be a reliable asset, he has maintained a consistent, positive attitude and has excelled in the performance of his duties. Specifically, during two incidents, Deputy DeMuth’s instincts, investigative skills and proactive attitude contributed to the arrest of a well-known drug trafficker from Rochester who was in possession of 154 individually packaged quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana. These were confiscated and never made it to the streets to be sold in our community. Additionally, during another incident, Deputy DeMuth’s calm demeanor, persistence, and decisive actions were instrumental in reviving an unresponsive victim and likely saved her life. 

Deputy Sheriff Travis M. DeMuth has reflected great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and most deserves to be named Officer of the Year.

Photo: Christopher DeMuth, Travis' father, Larissa Shaffer, sister, Avery Schaffer, niece, Rebecca DeMuth, stepmother, Margaret DeMuth, mother, Olivia Ahearn, girlfriend, Deputy Travis M. DeMuth, Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr., Undersheriff Bradley D. Mazur.

dsa_family_2.jpg

Distinguished Service Award – Confidential Secretary Carolyn A. Della Penna
Confidential Secretary Carolyn A. Della Penna has distinguished herself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Carolyn continuously goes above and beyond to ensure that the operations of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office are accomplished in an efficient and professional manner. She is always available to take on additional tasks and assist members with complicated issues. Carolyn has a wealth of knowledge and is recognized as the "go to person" on operational procedures of the Sheriff’s Office and Genesee County. Her willingness to help others is truly appreciated by all the members of the Sheriff’s Office. Confidential Secretary Della Penna’s knowledge and attention to detail have proven to be a great asset to the Department and, through her work, has distinguished herself and brought great credit upon herself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Thank you for all you do.

Photo: Sheriff William Sheron; Confidential Secretary Carolyn Della Penna; her daughter, Sydney; her husband, Tom; and Undersheriff Bradley Mazur.

Longevity Awards:

  • Jail Cook Manager William S. Cultrara, 10 years
  • Principal Financial Clerk Deborah A. Shea, 10
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin, 10
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman, 10
  • Investigator James M. Diehl, 10
  • Deputy Sheriff Kevin R. McCarthy, 10
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson, 10
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Francis A. Riccobono, 10
  • Correction Officer Daniel J. Renz. 15 years
  • Sr. Correction Officer Caleb C. Chaya, 15
  • Correction Officer Brian M. Manley, 20 years
  • Sr. Correction Officer Peter M. Hoy, 20
  • Investigator/Youth Officer Timothy G. Wescott, 20
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Lynn B. Riccobono, 25 years
  • Deputy Sheriff Deborah L. Snyder, 25

Certificates of Appreciation

  • Cook Manager William S. Cultrara
  • Community Services / Victim Counselor Rosanne DeMare Smart
  • Volunteers for Animals

Commendations

  • Investigator Chad J. Minuto, 2nd
  • Deputy Sheriff Chad P. Cummings, 2nd
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan W. Young, 2nd
  • Deputy Sheriff Mathew J. Clor, 2nd
  • Deputy Sheriff Jeremy M. McClellan, 2nd
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson, 2nd
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman, 2nd
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven R. Smelski, 2nd
  • Deputy Sheriff Kevin R. McCarthy, 3rd
  • Deputy Sheriff Deborah L. Snyder, 4th
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Lynn B. Riccobono, 5th
  • Sergeant Jason E. Saile, 6th

Meritorious Awards

  • Deputy Sheriff Matthew R. Butler, 3rd
  • Investigator Christopher A. Parker, 2nd
Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button