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September 7, 2018 - 12:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in school resource officers, schools, education, news, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

This week was the first day of school not just for students returning from summer break, but for returning and new School Resource officers in Genesee County.

Students entering school doors this week at Pembroke, Alexander, Pavilion, Byron-Bergen and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus were greeted with familiar faces and new faces as Genesee County School Resource officers begin the school year. 

New SROs Deputy Patrick J. Reeves (Pembroke), Deputy Eric J. Meyer (Alexander) and Deputy Cory W. Mower (Pavilion) are excited to embark on this new assignment.

They have recently completed School Resource Officer training and have shadowed existing SROs Deputy Chad P. Cummings (Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s –BOCES, Batavia Campus) and Deputy Matthew R. Butler (Byron-Bergen) to learn  from experiences both have had over the years in this position.

Sheriff William Sheron stated that it is his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“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,” the sheriff said. 

July 28, 2018 - 10:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Teen Academy, news, byron-bergen, Sheriff's Office.

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Luke Rindell is congratulated by Deputy Matthew Butler, middle, and Sheriff William Sheron during the graduation Friday of the first class to complete the new Teen Academy in law enforcement presented by the Sheriff's Office at Byron-Bergen High School.

Rindell was the only student in the 14-member class to score 100 on his final exam.

Below, a press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office about the academy:

“I am pleased to announce that the First Teen Academy was an extreme success," Sheriff William Sheron said. "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 Chad P. Cummings and Deborah L. Snyder for their assistance and efforts in coordinating such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for the students.

"We look forward to hosting the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy on an annual basis for students throughout Genesee County."

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

  • Class captains -- Brandon Kowalski, Devon Reigle and Morgan Rhodes;
  • Zachary Babcock;
  • Cameron Buck;
  • Shaina Dejesus;
  • Bailey Faucett;
  • Ethan Pocock;
  • Luke Rindell;
  • Noah Toal;
  • Shawn Turner;
  • Gianni Vallese;
  • Alessandra Wolf;
  • Jayson Yauchzee.

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Previously: There's no slack in training for first group of students going through law enforcement Teen Academy

July 26, 2018 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Teen Academy, Sheriff's Office, news, notify, byron-bergen.

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Deputies are cramming a lot of police training into one week for the first Teen Academy hosted at Byron-Bergen High School by the Sheriff's Office.

In this one week, said Deputy Matthew Butler, the 14 students enrolled are covering the same material a cadet at a standard police academy must grasp in five-and-a-half months.

"I don’t want any student to come away and say 'that was nothing, it wasn’t tough,' or 'it was too easy, I didn’t get anything out of it,' " Butler said. "That’s why we’re trying to throw a lot of stuff at them so they get the most from the experience and see what it’s really like."

Each day, at 8 a.m., starts with physical training or PT, and students take turns leading PT. Police officers all need to have leadership skills and be able to communicate effectively and PT and marching in formation are a chance to practice.

Instruction from there includes classroom lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice.

Deputy Chris Erion has been out with K-9 "Destro"; Sgt. Jason Saile presented a crash management demonstration; there are tours of the jail and communications; and a chance to see how the scuba team and Emergency Response Team work.

Instruction includes defensive tactics, penal law, vehicle and traffic law, and crime scene investigation and evidence recovery.

Patricia Reeves led a DWI victim impact panel.

There is homework every night and a test tomorrow followed by graduation at 1 p.m.

“We’re giving them a real taste of what it’s like to be a police officer and what you have to go through in the academy to become a police officer," Butler said.

The Teen Academy was pitched to Sheriff William Sheron by Butler, who is the school resource officer at Byron-Bergen, after he had seen something similiar in Monroe County. This is the first teen academy in Genesee County.

The training is no-nonsense. Tuesday, during traffic stop training followed by felony stop training, deputies Ryan DeLong, Andrew Mullen, and Chad Cummings were quick to stop, correct, and lecture in a tone that didn't permit embarrassment but understood that is a lot to master even in a simple traffic stop.

Proper procedures, situational awareness, emotional intelligence, and observation are all critical in a traffic stop, which is both the most routine task in law enforcement and the one daily task most fraught with risk, both to officers and civilians. A good officer never grows complacent.

DeLong, Mullen, and Cummings demanded the attention of the students, and attention to detail, from how they approached the car, to where they stood while talking with the driver, which hand they used to grab and hold paperwork, and how they safely walked back to the patrol vehicle.

With the basics understood, the students who role-played as drivers and passengers could improvise their responses to the cadets, from denying wrongdoing to revealing they were licensed handgun permit holders and were carrying a weapon. Responses were critiqued and corrected.

On two consecutive "stops," the "deputy" didn't notice the passenger holding a handgun in his lap.

Mullen emphasized, when approaching a vehicle, you've got to see everything going on inside the vehicle. The weapon could easily be viewed even before an officer would reach the driver-side door. At that point, Mullen said, you fall back and radio for backup.

DeLong, Mullen, and Cummings then simulated a felony traffic stop, with Cummings assuming the role of the criminal suspect, and then the students took their turns at practicing the procedure.

Many of the students participating do anticipate a career in law enforcement, so that's why they signed up for the academy.

"I really want to go into law enforcement," said Morgan Rhodes, a senior at Notre Dame HS. "It interests me a lot. I’ve always wanted to do it and this is really helping me figure it out."

She's interested in solving mysteries, she said, "making it right" after a crime has been committed, and ensuring people follow the law.

She thinks she will start her law enforcement career in the military but hopes to become a deputy some day.

Devyn Reigle, who has been taking Criminal Justice courses at BOCES, is also considering starting his law enforcement career in the military. The academy, he said, was a chance to get a more hands-on grasp than his college class on what being a cop is all about.

"I've learned a lot more," Reigle said. "I've learned what to be aware of, that it's a lot more serious than you think, and to keep your eyes focused on everything."

Top photo: Deputy Chad Cummings in the role of suspect during a felony stop demonstration.

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Deputy Andrew Mullen with simulated pistol drawn while conducting a felony stop demonstration.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong during the felony stop demonstration.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong cuffing Deputy Chad Cummings.

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Gianni Vallese, a Byron-Bergen student, practicing a felony stop.

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Devyn Reigle taking Deputy Chad Cummings into custody.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong providing instructions on procedures for a traffic stop.

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Gianni Vallese conducting a traffic stop while Deputy Ryan DeLong observes.

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Devyn Reigle accepting paperwork from a driver during a practice traffic stop.

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Morgan Rhodes conducting a traffic stop.

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The inaugural class and some of the instructors of the Sheriff's Teen Academy at Byron-Bergen High School.

After the jump, more pictures of training submitted by Deputy Deb Snyder and Deputy Chad Cummings.

July 12, 2018 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Genesee County Jail, Sheriff's Office, news.

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Twenty-five years ago, at age 38, Norm Itjen decided to become a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail figuring it would be the kind of job that would offer security and help him reach retirement.

Tuesday, he proved his hunch right. He retired and was given a warm send off by his coworkers, and colleagues within the Sheriff's Office and Batavia Police Department.

A native of Elba and graduate of Elba High School, and currently the mayor of Elba, Itjen's first career was as a maintenance worker at St. Jerome's Hospital. He also had a security officer job before taking the civil service exam and getting hired at the jail.

The best part of the job, Itjen said, was the people he met.

"Through the years, I've become president of our local union, president the New York State Deputy Sheriff's Association," Itjen said. "I met people all over the state and made lots of lifetime friends."

Over the years, many people have started their employment with the Sheriff's Office at the jail and later moved onto road patrol. That wasn't part of Itjen's plan.

"At the time, I wore glasses," Itjen said. "At that time you couldn't work on the road if you wore glasses. And then my age also played a factor."

Now at retirement age, Itjen says he has plenty to keep him busy. Besides being mayor, he likes camping, golf, and he's a volunteer at his church in Morganville.

"I also have a beautiful granddaughter," he said.

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Corrections officers, Sheriff's Office command staff, several deputies and Batavia PD officers, saluted Itjen as he walked out of the Genesee County Jail for the last time.

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On his last day of duty, Itjen shakes hands with Officer Kyle Krtanik, working his first day of duty with Batavia PD. 

June 14, 2018 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff William Sheron, Sheriff's Office, sro, schools, news, notify.

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Sheriff William Sheron today introduced the three deputies who will become the new School Resource Officers in Pembroke, Pavilion and Alexander school districts.

Those district's past budgets in May commitment to pay for the SRO positions on their school campuses in 2018-19.

Deputy Patrick Reeves, a 21-year veteran of the force, is the new SRO in Pembroke. He's pictured above with Sheron, Pembroke Superintendent Matthew Calderon, and in the back row, Legislator Gordon Dibble and Legislator Shelly Stein.

Reeves is a lifelong Pembroke resident who has children in the district and is a youth sports coach.

"I think this is just the next step for me," Reeves said, "make that connection with the kids, keep them focused, get them to the end of their goals, get a good career, and while I’m in school, try to help every kid that you possibly can."

He said he hopes he can be a positive influence on some of the students he deals with over the course of the school year.

"Most kids need some guidance, and if I can connect with one or two who might need it, that’s my fuel," Reeves said. "I win and the district wins."

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Deputy Cory Mower, also a 21-year veteran of the department, is the new SRO in Pavilion.

Mower said he wanted to work with the Pavilion district because throughout much of his career on road patrol he's covered the southeast part of the county. He knows a lot of the students and their families already.

He also worked six years in the jail and came into contact with a lot of young people and believes that experience has given him some insight on how to help teenagers today.

"Now with the schools opening up (these positions), I just think it’s a natural progression where I can use my experience to help some kids, maybe keep some kids out of trouble, maybe help them before they get addicted to drugs or make the wrong choice, the wrong move," Mower said.

Above photo: Sheron, Mower, Pavilion Superintendent Ken Ellison, Stein, and Legislator Gregg Torrey.

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Deputy Eric Meyer, who attended Alexander Central Schools all the way through high school and still lives in Alexander has been assigned to his home school district. He is the new SRO in Alexander.

"I like the idea of keeping the children safe in my own district, in my own community," Meyer said. "I also live in the community so I thought it would be a great opportunity for me and for the school to be a positive role model for these kids."

He's already visited the elementary school and many of the students recognized him, said Meyer, who joined the Sheriff's Office three years ago.

"I already see the kids looking up to me and giving me high-fives and a hand clap," Meyer said.

Above photo: Sheron, Stein, Meyer, Alexander Superintendent Catherine Huber, Torrey.

Below, a press release from the Sheriff's Office:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. announces the newest School Resource Officer assignments in three local school districts.

Pembroke Central School District has chosen Deputy Patrick J. Reeves as its School Resource Officer. He graduated from Pembroke in 1992 and is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Reeves will start in this position on Sept. 1.

Alexander Central School District has chosen Deputy Eric J. Meyer as its School Resource Officer. He graduated from Alexander in 2006 and is a three-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Meyer will start in this position on Sept. 1.

Pavilion Central School District has chosen Deputy Cory W. Mower as its School Resource Officer. He is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Mower will start in this position on July 1.

Additionally, the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (BOCES) and the Byron-Bergen Central School District also renewed their commitments for next year’s School Resource Officers on campus.

Sheriff Sheron stated that it his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county school districts to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“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," Sheron said. "I applaud the tremendous support received from the school administrators, school boards, and the Genesee County Legislature, which ultimately made this possible.”

April 13, 2018 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify, Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office.

The snowfall was pretty heavy just before midnight, Saturday, Dec. 10, 1977.  That hour was shift change for Batavia PD then and Officer Douglas D. Squires manned the only patrol car on the road in the city. He was parked at Main and Oak watching the green, yellow, and red lights change, swirls of big snowflakes fall, and any cars that might pass through the intersection.

Down the street, at Quik-N-EZ Food Mart, 40 Oak St., employees were about to close up for the night. The little shop had recently hired some new employees and Squires remembers that two or three times that week they had accidentally triggered the alarms while trying to get them set.

Carl Salway, the only law enforcement officer shot in the line of duty in Genesee County


A police-involved shooting is generally defined as a police officer discharging his weapon in the line of duty.

Based on a search of historical records and conversations with law enforcement professionals in the county who have worked locally for decades, it appears that Officer Doug Squires and Deputy Ryan Young are the only LEOs in Genesee County history to be involved in an officer-involved shooting.

It also appears that only once in Genesee County history has a police officer been shot.

In August 1921, Officer Carl Salway, Batavia PD, came within an inch of his life, literally.

That night, shortly after 10 p.m., he stumbled upon a burglary in progress of an auto storage warehouse owned by Raymond M. Walker at 241 West Main St., Batavia. 

Inside were Harold W. Pratt, 27, of 128 South Main St., Batavia, who owned a cider mill, and Earl Lee Smith, of Law St., Batavia, 27. 

Pratt shot Salway with a .45-caliber automatic pistol. The bullet passed through Salway's chest, just missing his heart.

Salway would eventually retire from the police department, but not before serving a suspension in 1931 for insubordination.

Squires, now 64, grew up in Batavia but graduated from Byron-Bergen High School. That night in 1977, he was more than a year into his five-year stint with the Batavia Police Department. He would go on to work security for Kodak before moving into sales and marketing with the company. As he moved up, Kodak moved him, first to Orlando, then Birmingham, then Atlanta, and eventually Charlotte, N.C., in 1989, where he lives in with his wife. 

He didn't realize until told today that what would transpire just before midnight that Saturday night in 1977 would stand as the only officer-involved shooting in Genesee County history until two nights ago.

As the minutes drew tighter toward midnight that night, a Batavia dispatcher informed Squires the alarm at the Quik-N-EZ Food Mart had gone off again.

Squires put his patrol car in drive and drove down Oak. As he approached, he turned off his lights. The store lights were on and the parking lot was empty.

As he pulled up, he remembered a news story out of Buffalo from a couple of days before. Two police officers had been shot and killed responding to a robbery alarm at the Holiday Inn by the airport.

"I remembered that when that alarm came in for that store, that incident came to mind and I thought I’m not going to just wheel in there and think they made a mistake and set off the alarm again," Squires said.

As he approached, he unholstered his revolver.

Peering in, he saw two female employees, Edwina Heschke, of Batavia, and Debbie Maskell, of Indian Falls, lying face down on the floor. Behind the counter, pulling money out of the cash register was a male in a ski mask.

The man in the ski mask turned out to be William M. Timoney, who was 34 at the time, recently released from Attica on parole, and a resident of Dewey Avenue. 

Squires pushed the door open, identified himself and yelled, "freeze."

Timoney looked at Squires, pointed his 14 shot .22 long rifle calibre handgun with a full magazine, at the back of one of the clerks and told Squires, "Pig, you get out of here or they’re both as good as dead."

"At that point," Squires said, "the gloves were off. He's threatening a third party with physical harm and possibly their lives."

Squires fired at Timoney and missed. Timoney ducked behind a counter, popped up again and Squires fired again, missing again.  

As the gun battle ensued, another Batavia officer, D.G. Kopper, arrived as back up.

When the perp's head popped up from behind the counter again, between the cash register and orange drink dispenser, Squires fired again. This time he caught Timoney in the face, the bullet hitting his cheek and ear.

"He was quite a mess," Squires said. "He lost his right ear. The shot picked him right up off the floor. The money went one way and the gun went another."

As Sheriff William Sheron noted today, police officers go to work every shift knowing this may be the eight hours where they get shot at or they may have to shoot another person.

Just because there have only been two incidents in Genesee County history, and now three, where an officer either shot someone or has been shot himself, doesn't mean it isn't an ever-present danger. Every chance encounter, when you're in law enforcement, can turn deadly with very little warning.

“Law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing that they may be required to sacrifice their own lives, or take the life of another human being in order to fulfill their obligation of protecting the citizens of our communities," Sheron said.

Two nights ago, Deputy Ryan Young faced the challenging decision of whether to fire his weapon after responding to a report of a disturbance and shots fired at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Indian Falls. As Young and other officers pulled into the parking lot, Keith Kent, 61, of Albion, fired another shot. Young and his colleagues yelled at Kent to drop his weapon. He didn't. Rather, Kent turned -- according to information available so far -- toward Young and pointed his pistol at him.

As Undersheriff Gregory Walker put it describing the incident while talking with reporters on Gilmore Road early Thursday morning, "Our officer did take the shot and the suspect was killed."

Timoney, the 1977 robber, was lucky. He lived. After he was shot, Squires and Kopper rushed to his side and cuffed him.

Timoney, who used a gun stolen from a home in Alexander, was treated at St. Jerome Hospital then hauled before County Court Judge Glenn R. Morton, charged with robbery in the first degree along with several other charges, then jailed without bail.

The district attorney in 1977 was Ronald L. Fancher. He settled on a plea agreement for Timoney, attempted robbery.  Timoney entered a  guilty plea and was sent to state prison for less than four years. He was released in 1982. By 1984, he was back in prison for an armed robbery in Queens, serving a maximum 15-year sentence. He was released in 2000.  In 2000, his name pops up in a couple of stories in the New York Daily News about homeless people in the city.

Squires described shooting Timoney as "a surreal experience." He was put on paid leave and he had to turn over his revolver for ballistic testing. 

"I had a lot of sleepless nights," he said. "It was quite an experience. Most police officers never even draw their weapons or let alone fire their weapons over a 20 or 30-year career. Here, I'm on the job for at most a couple of years and I run into something like this."

Eugene Jankowski, who served Batavia PD for more than 35 years, starting in 1978, was a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail the night Squires shot Timoney.  He remembers Timoney coming into the jail with a big bandage on his ear.

Now City Council president, Jankowski is a firearms expert and led in the creation of the county's Emergency Response Team.

Even though Jankowski never encountered a situation that escalated into the need to shoot somebody, he faced many life-and-death decisions during his career. Training and experience are critical to helping officers handle the unexpected, he said.

"I’ve found scenario-based firearms and defensive tactics training, combined with state law and department policy, was the most beneficial to me," Jankowski said. "That, along with real-life experience helped me to physically and mentally prepare for many types of use-of-force encounters."

Squires said he thinks about Dec. 10, 1977, every time another police shooting hits the news.  

"Until you're a police officer and you go through it, there's really not much you can think about to know what it's like," he said.

His advice for Young or other officers who must fire their weapon at suspects: Don't second guess yourself.

"And don't let others second guess you. Just know that it's your job and you have to do what you have to do to defend yourself or innocent bystanders. You have to know what you did is right."

April 13, 2018 - 4:20pm

young_ryan_w_deputy.jpgPress release:

Deputy Ryan W. Young has been identified by Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. as the officer involved in Wednesday night's shooting at the Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant.

Deputy Young is a six-year law enforcement officer who joined the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 2016.

Sheriff Sheron said: “Law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing that they may be required to sacrifice their own lives, or take the life of another human being, in order to fulfill their obligation of protecting the citizens of our communities. Deputy Young’s actions on Wednesday night did just that.”

ADDITIONAL INFO: Deputy Young was with the Le Roy Police Department prior to joining the Sheriff's Office. On Dec. 1, 2015, he distinguished himself at a crime scene on Seldon Road, Le Roy, where Kyle G. Johnson had already killed a neighbor and set his own house on fire as Young arrived on scene. After he arrived, Johnson fired in his direction toward a fire chief. Young immediately took command of the situation, took cover, instructed neighbors to seek shelter in their basement, and kept other responding units informed of Johnson's movements and whereabouts, even, while at times, under the threat of being fired upon. He received a Distinguished Service Award from Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward for his valor. Johnson was eventually taken into custody without further shots fired.

After the duty-related death of Deputy Frank Bordonaro in 2014, Young made rope bracelets with brass plates honoring Bordonaro and sold them to others in the law enforcement community to help raise funds to donate to Bordonaro's sons.

Earlier this year, Young received his first Commendation from the Sheriff's Office.

April 3, 2018 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, Genesee Justice, news, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. would like to remind the public that one of the many roles of Genesee Justice, a division of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, is to provide assistance to crime victims, including domestic violence victims.

For more information, please contact Genesee Justice, located at 14 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia, (585) 815-7821.

Information from the Genesee Justice Web Page:

Becoming a victim of a criminal act is often a traumatic and disorienting experience for individuals. Victims are faced with an increased sense of vulnerability and threat to their personal autonomy and independence. Victims can also question their beliefs on safety and the order that they have come to expect from the community that they live in.

Genesee Justice works with victims to help them attain a more personal sense of justice. The investigation and prosecution of offenders within the criminal justice system is complex and foreign to most people, particularly as to how it impacts victims. Dignity doesn’t often come easy within the courtroom or the community. We encourage victims to empower themselves, which is critical to the healing process.

We will keep victims informed of what is happening with the investigation of the accused and guide them through any role they may need to play; we will take the time to explain to victims what they can expect during the proceedings of a case when it goes into court; we will accompany victims to any process and court proceedings; and we will assist victims in seeking counseling services; we will also help to address financial losses incurred as a result of the crime, including assisting victims in filling out applications for the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), if they are eligible.

The OVS helps victims with unexpected or unaffordable medical or funeral expenses, loss of work and counseling services.

A victim may be referred to Genesee Justice by the District Attorney’s Office, Family Court, or Law Enforcement. Our door is always open for victims to walk in themselves.

Victim Assistance Services include:

  • Assistance in filing Office of Victim Services application;
  • Provide information on VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) and assist victim with VINE registration, if interested;
  • Provide updates on status of court case;
  • Assistance in preparing pre-sentence investigation packet:
    • Restitution information
    • Victim impact statementProvide home visits
  • Refer clients to appropriate agencies for further assistance;
  • Assistance in preparing right of allocution; (the victim’s right to speak in front of the Court at sentencing)
  • Assistance in preparing application for orders of protection;
  • Assistance in filing paperwork with surrogates court;
  • Accompaniment to court appearances;
  • Provide referrals for counseling;
  • Provide referrals for emergency items if needed by victims;
  • Assistance in writing letters to Parole Board;
  • Offer opportunity for victim/offender conference if desired by the victim.
March 9, 2018 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.

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Our apologies to Sgt. Eric Seppala and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office for not publishing this when it was sent over on March 1. That was a very busy few-day period and I had a hard time keeping up and this got lost in my inbox.

Press release:

Sergeant Eric K. Seppala, a 21-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, retired at the end of his shift today. Seppala started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 17, 1996, as a Correction Officer in the Genesee County Jail. On May 15, 1999, he was appointed a Deputy Sheriff and then promoted to Sergeant on Jan. 18, 2014.

During his tenure, Eric earned six Commendations; was assigned to the Crash Management Team; was a Field Training Officer; and was instrumental in the research of acquiring rifles for the patrol vehicles.

“Sergeant Seppala has always been a very dedicated, professional officer,” stated Sheriff William Sheron. "Everyone here at the Sheriff’s Office will truly miss Eric and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

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March 7, 2018 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, Sheriff's Office, news, notify.

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Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. hosted a meeting last week with Genesee County school superintendents, local police officials, local government representatives, along with state representatives Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, to discuss school safety concerns and the viability of having School Resource officers within each school district.

"School Resource officers can play an important role in our school districts, from helping to resolve conflict to preventing tragedies," said Senator Ranzenhofer.

"I fully support placing these officers in our local school districts, and I have been working to secure state funding to expand School Resource officers in Genesee County and across New York State. I commend Sheriff Sheron for his leadership on this issue, and I will continue to work with him to keep our children safe."

While it was the consensus of most of those in attendance that there should be a School Resource Officer in each school within the county, concerns were expressed of how to fund the position and identifying the source of this funding.

The attendees discussed a variety of possible federal, state and local options and agreed to explore funding sources to offset the cost of the potential School Resource officers.

“I was pleased to meet with Sheriff Sheron, local educators and community stakeholders to discuss how we can increase school safety," said Assemblyman Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia). "The state needs to take action to help our schools become the most secure and comfortable environments they can be.

"We need to look at working with retired law enforcement and veterans in our schools because our children’s safety should be our number one priority.”

Currently, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has School Resource officers at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus (for the past 15 years) and in the Byron-Bergen Central School District (for the past three years).

Additionally, the Village of Le Roy Police Department provides a School Resource Officer to the Le Roy School District, and the Batavia City School District has security aides within its facilities.

During the meeting, representatives from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus and the Byron-Bergen School District spoke highly about the advantages of having a School Resource Officer.

They explained that it not only provides a safe environment for the students and faculty but also provides for direct interaction and guidance with the students.

Both officials agreed that the benefits of having a School Resource Officer far outweigh the expense associated with the position.

“When we started our SRO Program 15 years ago, the prevailing question was, 'Why?' " said Christopher Hayward, Le Roy Police Chief. “With everything that has happened in the last 15 years, and sadly will continue to happen, the question has to be, ‘Why not?' "

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch stated, “the City Police Department remains dedicated to the safety and security of all schools within its district. The time has come for the lawmakers in this state to step up and allow school districts to utilize their aid in establishing programs that make sense on a local level.

"This type of flexibility would go a long way to allowing each district in Genesee County to partner with local law enforcement to provide a School Resource Officer.”

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

“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,” the sheriff said.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies will be visiting schools on a regular basis and assist during school safety drills. This will aid in familiarizing Deputies with the school’s faculty and students along with the layout and procedures of each school.

Submitted photos. Top photo, Deputy Matt Butler, resource officer for Byron-Bergen, discusses his job with officials.

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Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, left, Sheriff William Sheron, right.

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley

February 27, 2018 - 5:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in scam, crime, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office would like to warn the public of a scam involving personal medical information.

Perpetrators of this scam contact local residents by telephone and attempt to elicit medical history / records. The information is then used to fill out prescriptions which are sent to medical offices for refill. Once signed, these prescriptions are being used to bill insurance companies.

The origins of this scam are unknown at this time but the scam is under investigation and it is, quite likely, a multiple-state crime.

The Sheriff's Office would like to remind local residents NOT to provide personal or medical information over the telephone.

Remember, thieves can appear to be very knowledgeable and convincing in nature. It is important to contact your local physician or pharmacy if you believe such information has been compromised.

February 17, 2018 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, St. Paul Lutheran Church, news.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong talks about the decision-making process during stressful, emergency situations that people might encounter during a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events class at St. Paul Lutheran Church this morning.

More than 100 people attended the class, which covered a range of emergency situations, with an emphasis on active shooters, and how people can safely and intelligently respond during such events.

For more background information on the class, click here.

If you missed the class, Frank Klimjack, a Batavia police officer, will present a class called "Do I Need A Bodyguard?" at Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Batavia, at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 25. Klimjack is a police defensive tactics instructor.

February 10, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, law enforcement.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will be offering its first annual Teen Academy July 23 – 27 at the Byron-Bergen Central School.

“The Teen Academy is a one-week structured program which consists of instructional classes designed to provide high-school-aged students within our community an introduction to law enforcement training and gain an understanding of law enforcement’s role in their community," said Sheriff William Sheron. "It is our hope that teens will build confidence while learning good decision-making and leadership skills."

Academy instructors are experienced Deputy Sheriffs who will discuss day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office.

Participants will also:

  • visit the Jail, 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Dispatch Center, and Sheriff’s Office;
  • observe displays of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), Hostage Negotiation, SCUBA Team, K-9 Unit and Evidence Recovery;
  • be provided insight into motor-vehicle accident reconstruction;
  • participate in daily physical fitness runs, defensive tactics and team-building exercises;
  • participate in a classroom setting and learn about the  NYS Penal Laws and Vehicle & Traffic Laws;
  • participate in mock traffic stops and DWI procedures.

Qualified candidates will be selected for an interview screening process if they meet the following requirements:

  • must be entering grades 10-12;
  • must be in good academic standing with little to no disciplinary issues;
  • must be able to participate in physical fitness activities;
  • must have a positive attitude;
  • must have their parent’s permission.

“This is a unique and forward-thinking opportunity offered by Genesee County Sheriff Sheron and the Department; Teens are invited to immerse and be exposed to the real law enforcement experience," said the chair of the Public Service Committee.

"More than imagining, the academy opportunity is live, in-the-minute learning about today’s community policing needs of an exciting career in law enforcement. Students are encouraged to ‘try on’ a law enforcement career role.” 

There is no charge to attend the academy. Application deadline is March 30.

For more information, contact Deputy Matthew Butler at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3252, or (585) 494-1220, ext. 2304, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Visit http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/sheriff/index.php to learn more and download an application.

January 26, 2018 - 8:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, notify, law enforcement.

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Investigator Pete Welker, a longtime member of the Local Drug Task Force, was named Officer of the Year by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office during an awards ceremony and luncheon today.

Senior Corrections Officer Kevin D. Wolff received the Distinguished Service Award.

Press release:

Officer of the Year Award – Investigator Ronald “Pete” Welker
Investigator Ronald “Pete” Welker has distinguished himself in the performance of service to the citizens of Genesee County during 2017. His professional skill and devotion to duty has been epitomized in his unfailing dedication to detect and arrest those responsible for drug dealing; his ability to cooperatively work with other agencies, particularly the City of Batavia Police Department; his fundamental orientation to public service and his willingness to teach others.

Investigator Welker’s efforts have made a significant contribution to the overall success of the Genesee County Drug Task Force which, in 2017, has had its most successful year in terms of defendants arrested. During this year, Investigator Welker’s daily performance has been a major contribution to the effectiveness, success and esteem of the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigator Ronald “Pete” Welker has reflected great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and most deserves to be named Officer of the Year.

Distinguished Service Award – Senior Correction Officer Kevin D. Wolff
Senior Correction Officer Kevin D. Wolff has distinguished himself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Senior Correction Officer Wolff has been a positive force within the jail division. He has taken the lead in training new officers and monitoring the JTO program for the last four years. He has been instrumental in working with New York State Commission of Corrections staff during cycle evaluations and, thereby, helping to obtain and maintain good reviews and good rapport with them.

Kevin has, for the past three years, been working with the New York State Police within their Field Intelligence Officer Program and has provided excellent information both to them and to the department through that venue. Senior Correction Officer Wolff has also recently taken the lead in working with auditors from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association in accomplishing Accreditation of the Jail Division later this coming year.

Senior Correction Officer Wolff’s knowledge and attention to detail have proven to be a great asset to the Department, and through his work, he has distinguished himself and brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

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Deputy Ryan Young received a Commendation.

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Among the dispatchers receiving commendations were Communications Coordinator Russell L. Lang Sr., Emergency Services Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin, Emergency Services Dispatcher Nathan L. Fix, and Services Dispatcher Andrew Merkel.

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Meritorious Service awards went to deputies Eric Meyer, Kevin Forsyth, Michael Lute, Ryan DeLong.

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Meritorious service awards were given to several dispatchers Jason Holman, Steve Robinson, Jenna Bauer and Kelly Smith.

Members of the Local Drug Task Force were honored for their work in 2017, which set a record for arrests. Present were Emily McNamara, from Le Roy PD, Investigator Pete Welker and Sgt. Brad Mazur.

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Senior Correction Officer Kevin D. Wolff, center, with his family, Jail Superintendent William Zipfel, Sheriff William Sheron, and Undersheriff Gregory Walker.

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Pete Welker with his family and Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, Sheriff William Sheron, and Undersheriff Gregory Walker.

Longevity awards were given to:

  • Correction Officer Michael A. Cox, 10 years
  • Animal Control Officer Agnes S. Jaroszewski, 15 years
  • Program Coordinator Catherine T. Uhly, 15 years
  • Correction Officer Michael F. Lindsley, 15 years
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp, 15 years
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Beth A. Hynes, 15 years
  • Correction Officer Kelly P. Creegan, 15 years
  • Investigator Christopher A. Parker, 20 years
  • Deputy Sheriff Matthew R. Butler, 20 years
  • Deputy Sheriff Lonnie A. Nati, 25 years
  • Deputy Sheriff Dana J. Richardson, 25 years
  • Sergeant Thomas A. Sanfratello, 25 years
  • Undersheriff Gregory H. Walker, 30 years
  • Jail Superintendent William A. Zipfel, 35 years
  • Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr., 40 years

Certificates of Appreciation:

  • Batavia Police Detective James M. DeFreze
  • Le Roy Patrolman Emily J. McNamara
  • Batavia Patrolman Jason A. Davis
  • Batavia Patrolman Frank J. Klimjack
  • Batavia Patrolman Christopher J. Lindsay
  • Genesee County Assistant District Attorney Kevin T. Finnell

Commendations:

  • Deputy Sheriff Kyle D. Krzemien
  • Correction Officer Justin M. Gugel
  • Correction Officer Jason M. Buck
  • Deputy Sheriff James D. Stack
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan W. Young
  • Deputy Sheriff Jeremy M. McClellan
  • Deputy Sheriff Mathew J. Clor
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Stephen R. Smelski
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Zackery W. Czudak
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Samantha L. Conibear
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Andrew Z. Mullen
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Frank A. Riccobono
  • Dog Control Officer Ann Marie Brade
  • Deputy Sheriff Dana J. Richardson
  • Deputy Sheriff Matthew R. Butler
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Andrew K. Merkel
  • Sergeant Bradley D. Mazur
  • Deputy Sheriff Howard O. Wilson
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher John W. Spencer
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Nathan L. Fix
  • Correction Officer Vincent S. Maurer
  • Investigator James M. Diehl
  • Investigator Andrew B. Hale
  • Sergeant Eric K. Seppala
  • Communications Coordinator Russell L. Lang

Meritorious Awards:

  • Deputy Sheriff Eric J. Meyer
  • Deputy Sheriff Michael J. Lute
  • Deputy Sheriff Kevin P. Forsyth
  • Deputy Sheriff Ryan M. DeLong
  • Investigator Chad J. Minuto
  • Case Manager Nicole M. Easton
  • Financial Clerk-Typist Tracy L. Ranney
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Kelly E. Smith
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Beth A. Hynes
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Jenna L. Bauer
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Peggy D. Richardson
  • Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson
  • Principal Financial Clerk Margaret A. Sheelar
  • Sr. Correction Officer Robert W. Mattice
  • Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp
January 17, 2018 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, law enforcement, news.

High school students in Genesee County are going to be offered an opportunity to learn about law enforcement through a new program in the Sheriff's Office called Teen Academy.

If the pilot is successful, it will become a regular program for the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff William Sheron presented the idea to the Public Service Committee yesterday.

He said the idea was brought to him by the resource officer at the school, which he modeled after a program in Monroe County.

Each academy will be a week long and will include visits to the jail, the 911 Center, and the Sheriff's Office. Participants will get to see the emergency response team in action, learn about hostage negotiation, the K-9 program, and evidence recovery.

There will also be daily physical fitness runs, defensive tactics training, and team building exercises. The students will also receive classroom training in penal law and the state's traffic laws. Finally, students will participate in mock DWI stops and procedures.

The program is free to students selected to participate. There will be up to 15 students per academy.

Classes will be held at Byron-Bergen High School.

Eligible students are juniors or seniors in good academic standing with little or no disciplinary issues. They must be able to participate in physical fitness activities. Students need to have a positive attitude. Qualified students will be interviewed and screened.

"I think in today’s day and I age, I think we need to try to get our youth more involved with police officers to see what the role of law enforcement really is rather than what is depicted in the news media all too often," Sheron said. "It’s also a great recruiting tool."

CORRECTION: This story originally stated that the program would be available only to students at Byron-Bergen in the first class. That was incorrect. It will be open to students from all of the high schools in the county. Classes will be held at Byron-Bergen.

January 17, 2018 - 1:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news, law enforcement.

Increasingly, police officers must deal with people who have mental health issues, so to help them do their jobs better, Sheriff William Sheron is seeking additional training for his deputies.

Sheron, along with Undersheriff Greg Walker, a sergeant, and a deputy chief, will meet with officials from the Mental Health Association next week to kick off a training program.

The goal is to have all the deputies receive some training and have several deputies on each shift who are part of a crisis intervention team.

Part of the program, Sheron told members of the Public Service Committee yesterday, will be identifying what resources are currently available and what services are missing or deficient.

One goal is to help reduce the number people with mental health issues who wind up in the jail.

Former Sheriff Gary Maha, now a legislator and member of the committee, said he certainly understands the need for the program.

"Sometimes we end up putting them in jail because we don’t know what else to do with them sometimes when it's only minor charges," Maha said. "If there is a way to steer a person to an option other than going to jail it’s certainly beneficial to all of us."

Sheron anticipates grant money being available for the training, especially for the crisis intervention team, so he will be coming back to the Public Service Committee at a later date with a request to accept such a grant.

December 30, 2017 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, gordon dibble, news, notify.

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In the time the world has gone from rotary phones to smartphones, and the nation has gone from Nixon to Trump, and Adam-12 and Kojak on network TV to viewers streaming Fargo and True Detective, Gordon Dibble has lived out a career in law enforcement.

Not much has changed in 43 years, though.

Dibble said the thrill for cops is still in catching the bad guys.

"Well, you know, the best part about it, and it sounds funny, but we all get in this job to catch the bad guys," Dibble said during his retirement party Friday at the Sheriff's Office. "That's really what we're here for. So, so many times you know who's done the crime. You can't prove it. You can't get them. And that's the most frustrating part.

"But when you're actually involved in catching one of them, physically catching them, like you chase them and you know it is somebody who you know did something wrong, and you know you know, and you get to chase them and maybe physically catch them, I think that was one of the more rewarding things that a guy (in law enforcement) will do."

Dibble feels fortunate to spent his entire career with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

He was hired Jan. 6, 1973, by then-Sheriff Roy Wullich, who was six days into his new job, making Dibble his first hire. Dibble, who spent four years in Chicago going to college and getting a degree in corrections, was assigned -- like all new deputies then -- to the jail. After a year, he was transferred to road patrol. After five years on the road, he became the juvenile officer. Then, in 1996, he was put in charge of road patrol with the title of chief deputy.

For a lot of people who work in law enforcement, they call it a career after 21 years. That's how long Dibble headed up road patrol after already putting 22 years in the Sheriff's Office.

"I think that people in this line of work," Dibble said, "they're either the 20-and-out type of people and they're going to maybe go do something different or you're here, you know it, and maybe hopefully become the sheriff or the undersheriff or whatever. You know I think that those are pretty common tracks.

"I was lucky," Dibble added. "I mean, I got different things to do and not everybody gets to do that. There are a lot of great people here that don't get those opportunities because it's just a small department."

Dibble said he was also lucky to work in the kind of job where you never know what your workday is going to be like when you show up at the office. Every day is different and unpredictable. That made 43 years go by fast.

"I know when I worked in factories that clock never moved on a wall," Dibble said. "But this job, you know, days went by, weeks, and months went by, years went by like nothing," repeating with emphasis, "like nothing."

During his farewell speech, Dibble said he felt lucky to work with a lot of good people, not just in the Sheriff's Office, but with Batavia PD, Le Roy PD, State Police, the County Legislature, and other agencies that interact with local law enforcement, and even the local media.

"That's why small towns are great," Dibble said. "Everybody knows everybody and we all want to get the job done."

At the end of our interview, asked if there was anything else he wanted to add, Dibble came back to the theme that he shared during the interview and his farewell speech, how lucky he has been.

"I'm very lucky that I've worked for a great department," he said before taking a long pause, " ... with some really good people. Like I said, I'm a lucky guy. That's all."

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Jail Superintendent William Zipfel, Undersheriff Gregory Walker, retired Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, Sheriff William Sheron, Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster.

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The incoming chief deputy of road patrol, Joseph Graff, and Gordan Dibble have fun changing name plates on Dibble's old office.

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December 7, 2017 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.

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Press release:

Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. recently announced that he has promoted Investigator Joseph M. Graff to Chief Deputy – Road Patrol, taking the place of Chief Deputy Gordon L. Dibble who is retiring on Dec. 30.

Chief Graff has been in law enforcement since 1999, starting his career as a Probation Officer for Genesee County. On Feb. 28, 2004, he became a Deputy Sheriff with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. He was awarded the Joseph Stebelein Memorial Award and the Academic Achievement Award for Exemplary Achievement at his basic academy graduation. In 2015, Joe was promoted to Investigator. He is a current member of the Emergency Response Team; is a field training officer; and is an instructor for firearms, TASER, ASP, and OC Spray.  Chief Graff has been awarded two meritorious awards, one commendation, and was selected as Officer of the Year in 2007.    

Chief Graff is a Batavia native and a 1991 graduate of Notre Dame High School. In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with a minor in Management Finance, from St. John Fisher. He resides in Genesee County with his wife, Erin, and their three daughters.  

“Chief Graff is a dedicated, professional officer who is well respected within the law enforcement community,” Sheriff Sheron said. “I am honored to have him join the administrative team of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.”

December 6, 2017 - 12:56pm

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Press release: 

On Dec. 9th, members of the Batavia Police Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police Troop A, will be participating in the third annual “Shop with a Cop” event at Walmart on Veterans Memorial Drive. 

Grant money from Walmart, designated specifically for this event was distributed equally to all three organizations. The schools within Genesee County assisted in choosing the children. 

The City of Batavia Police Benevolent Association, Genesee County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, City of Batavia CSEA members, the City’s “Jeans for Friday” program, Department of Public Works (AFSCME) Union, and H.E. Turner & Co. Inc. Funeral Home of Batavia & Bergen raised additional funds which enabled 20 extra children to participate. 

A total of 50 children were invited to participate in this year’s event. Once at Walmart, the children will take photographs with Santa Claus and meet with their individual "Cop."

Walmart graciously hosts the event, allocates employees specifically for the event, and also donates gift wrapping materials. Gift wrapping will be completed by the Young Adults Group from Batavia City Church, members of the Batavia Police Explorer’s Post and family members from Batavia Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

The Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police Troop A, would like to thank Walmart for their generosity and assistance to make this a great event. We would also like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Photo: File photo.

October 28, 2017 - 7:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, BOCES, news.

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It was an emotional moment when Jodie Hebdon radioed dispatch to sign off, signaling his last shift as a deputy with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office after 35 years of service.

Hebdon spent the past 16 as resource officer at the BOCES campus on State Street in Batavia. And it's leaving that job that is particularly difficult he said.

"I'm going to miss these kids," Hebdon said. "You know, there are some kids here that have been through horrible lives, horrible living conditions. Trauma, PTSD, whatever you want to call it. The ability to at least interact with them and make something happen for them is good."

Hebdon started his law enforcement career in the Army and when he came home after a hitch in Germany, he enrolled at Genesee Community College. After a stint as a corrections officer, Hebdon was transferred to road patrol before being asked to apply for the resource officer position at BOCES.

The majority of the students at BOCES don't have issues, Hebdon said, but it's dealing with the at-risk kids and helping them is what made the job worthwhile.

"I was the one person they interviewed (for the job)," Hebdon said. "Why I gravitated to the job is I like helping at-risk kids. Today I had six girls at different times who came up to me who were victims of severe abuse, sex abuse, rape. They see me as a safe adult, a safe male. They have the ability to speak in a good way to a man without being extorted or taken advantage of. They gave me some long embraces. They don't want me to go."

When it was time for Hebdon to leave, his coworkers both within the ranks of the Sheriff's Office, other local law enforcement officers and staff at BOCES formed two lines outside the BOCES entrances and saluted and applauded Hebdon.

Then it was time to sign out.

"This is hard," Hebdon said, brushing back a tear before informing dispatchers he was saying goodbye.

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