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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Sheriff announces hiring of four corrections officers

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Jail, Sheriff's Office

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recently filled four vacant Correction Officer positions with the hiring of Eric T. Hayes, James M. Smart, Brett J. Peters, and Kevin P. Thomas. 

These four Correction Officers graduated in a class of 19 on Thursday, April 2, 2015, from the Erie County Basic Corrections six-week Academy that was held at the Erie County Training Facility. Speakers at the graduation were Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha and Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory J. Rudolph.  Training at the academy included instruction in the care and custody of inmates, inmate supervision, defensive tactics, firearms training, and other topics pertaining to corrections.

Sheriff Maha stated, “Correction officers Hayes, Smart, Peters and Thomas will be great assets to the Jail Bureau and excelled at the Corrections Academy."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 10:25 am

Sheriff delivers first quarter review to county legislators

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

The number of incidents handled by Sheriff's deputies during the first quarter of 2015 reflect a 19-percent increase over the same time period of 2014, according to a department review delivered by Sheriff Gary Maha to county legislators.

There were more felony investigations; the jail population was down during the first quarter of 2015, according to Maha.

There were complicating factors during the first three months of the year.

Dispatchers handled more calls, medical expenses rose for the jail, and the department has operated with fewer deputies following some key departures.

Jail Superintendent William Zipfel said the jail population is older and substance abuse problems are more complicated, leading to increased medical expenses.

While there were only 11 female inmates during the first quarter, some of them were harder to place in area facilities that can handle female prisoners. Some jails don't want to take on some of the kind of substance abuse issues some inmates have, and while the local jail is careful to keep pharmacy expenses down, other jails don't necessarily seek out generic prescriptions for inmates with health problems.

Some female inmates have monthly pharmacy bills of $3,000 to $5,000 per month.

Deputies made 470 prisoner transports compared to 465 a year ago.

The department currently has six fewer deputies following retirements, a medical injury to one deputy and the death of Frank Bordonaro. The Crash Management Team is down an investigator.

Two more deputies may retire this year.

Three new deputies are in training and there are two background investigations under way for potential candidates.

As the number of calls for service keeps increasing in the county, Maha is considering a request for more personnel in the 2016 budget.

Since 2009, the number of calls in to the dispatch center has increased 38.8 percent. There were more than 75,000 calls in 2014.

The calls are increasingly complex and require more staff time to handle.

The department will likely need to add a senior dispatch position in 2016.

Deputies responded to 7,197 incidents during the first quarter, a 19-percent increase from a year ago.

There were 58 felony cases handled by investigators during the quarter, compared to 70 a year ago.

Investigations have grown more complicated with the rise of identity theft and computer fraud.

There is an increase in felonies committed by people outside of Genesee County.

Genesee Justice handled 145 release under supervision cases in the first quarter, significantly more than the typical 100 per quarter in previous years.

The department is dealing with more opiate addictions, which complicates supervision.

The DWI caseload has remained steady, the reports says.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Deputy Bordonaro's name to be included on memorial in Washington

post by Howard B. Owens in law enforcement, Le Roy, Sheriff's Office

Press release:

Sheriff Gary T. Maha has been informed by the Board of Directors of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund that Deputy Frank Bordonaro’s name has been approved for inclusion on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Frank passed away a few hours after his night shift ended on July 8, 2014, after 19 years of service with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. His name will be formally dedicated, along with other fallen officers during 2014, on May 13, 2015, during the 27th Annual Candlelight Vigil held during National Police Week in Washington, D.C.  

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts tens of thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers each year to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others that share a common brotherhood. 

“Several officers from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office are planning on attending this event to pay tribute to Deputy Bordonaro,” stated Sheriff Maha.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Sheriff's Office annual report for 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

Here are some statistical highlights from the annual report of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office for 2014:

There were 28,518 total calls for service.

Jail Bureau: Total bookings, 1,200. Highest single day population, 57; lowest, 54; average female population (housed at other facilities) 16.6; total meals served 75,987; inmate food expenses, $124,279.30; inmate medical expenses, $221,114.58.

Civil Bureau: Subpoenas served, 560; family court summons, 1,220; evictions, 123

Road Patrol: Training hours, 5,346

Warrant Activity: 345 cleared; 11 out-of-state warrant arrests

Safe Child IDs processed: 267

DWI arrests: 165; 58 were between midnight and 3 a.m.; 50 were on Saturdays, 40 on Sundays; 128 arrestees were male; 80 were age 21 to 35; nine were underage, including two under age 18; 35 were with a BAC of .18 or higher; 32 were felony DWI; 17 were ability impaired by drugs; 17 refused breath test; there was one BAC at least .31.

There were five fatal accidents in 2014. 

There were 206 personal injury accidents handled by the Sheriff's Office, 475 property damage accidents and eight involving pedestrians or bicyclists. Of the accidents, 114 were hit-and-run.

There were 579 motor-vehicle accidents involving animals.

Fifty-three of the accidents reported involved alcohol, and of the accidents, 560 resulted in arrests.

Of the fatal accidents, only one involved alcohol.

There were 321 citations issued involving vehicle inspection or insurance violations. 

Total equipment violations: 364

License and registration: 717

There were 857 citations issued for moving violations. Of those, 258 for disobeying traffic control device, 92 for failure to keep right, 42 for driving left of pavement markings, 89 for moving from lane unsafely, 61 for following too closely, and 94 for failure to stop for stop sign.

In all, 947 speeders were cited.

There were 403 total alcohol-related violations.

The total number of seat belt violations, 194, with 18 related to improper restraints for a child.

The total DWI arrests included 37 felony arrests and 122 misdemeanor arrests.

On the criminal front, there were 180 felony charges against arrestees, 503 misdemeanors and 1,036 violations.

Charges included 152 for burglary, 102 for criminal mischief, 103 for grand larceny, 137 for harassment, 319 for larceny, 343 for liquor law violations, 138 for unlawful possession of marijuana.

The office took 182 non-criminal reports, 437 domestic incident reports and 86 mental health complaints.

Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 1:20 am

Deputy says he's leaving satisified after 21-year law enforcement career

post by Howard B. Owens in John Duyssen, Le Roy, Sheriff's Office

The best way to describe John Duyssen's decision to retire after 21 years as a deputy sheriff is, it's just time.

That's what he said in an interview Friday, his last day of duty, "It's time."

In law enforcement, you're always on the edge, more so in today's environment. The death of his friend and fellow Le Royan Frank Bordonaro weighed on Duyssen, a father to five adopted children. As a member of the crash management team, he's seen enough mangled and battered bodies. The son and brother of farmers, he has his own spread on Bater Road to run. The Le Roy School District can use him as a bus driver and that seems like a good route to take at this juncture in his life.

It's just time.

"I've had a great career," Duyssen said. "I'm leaving happy. I'm not disgruntled. I'm at the top of my game. The Sheriff just gave me an awesome award here the other day. That was kind of cool because it was almost like a career wrapper. "

The best part of the job, Duyssen said, was seeing justice work. He takes a lot of satisfaction in the confessions he's obtained and the convictions of people who did bad things to his friends and neighbors.

Mostly working the east side of the county, he gave his personal cell phone number out to hundreds of people. They called him with their complaints and when appropriate he opened cases.

One such case was a series of thefts of timber from several property owners in the Le Roy area in 2010.

The investigation took more than a year. It involved several victims, including older residents and farmers and landowners who simply enjoyed the park-like settings of their property.  

Duyssen made arrests and defendants eventually entered guilty pleas.

"When you work a case hard and you see it to the end, and see the people who were stolen from, defrauded, to see them get justice, is my biggest thing," Duyssen said.

Law enforcement, however, isn't without its dangers. Living on the edge takes its toll, even physically, Duyssen said.

"You don't know what you're pulling up on," Duyssen said. "Last year when that one guy attacked us in Pavilion, we didn't know what to expect. He was huge. I had a recruit with me, brand new, out of the academy, and he came right at us. We won, but when you've got a guy that has arms that big around and he's way bigger than me and you're not prepared for it, the door comes open and he comes flying at you, yeah, you're adrenaline goes through an adrenaline rush."

One of Duyssen's duties the past several years was leading the investigations on many fatal accidents. It's a matter of science and mathematics to reconstruct a scene, but you're also dealing with the human costs, the dead bodies and their friends and relatives. 

"I can remember, as I drive around the county and see the crosses, the memorials from fatal accidents," Duyssen said. "All the guys who have to work these cases, the community doesn't know the carnage that a deputy, trooper, police officer sees throughout 20 some years. You can remember smells, sights, sounds, and you can relive that.

"So I know what PTSD is all about. In the crash world, to use the science and the evidence and translate that to reconstruct a scene, to see that those who are physically wrong, if it's a DWI manslaughter case, and justice serves, there's nothing better."

Never, Duyssen said, are these accidents really accidents.

They're collisions.

"An accident is if you or I spill our coffee or milk," Duyssen said. "A car crash is either reckless, careless or negligent."

Drugs, drink, not enough sleep, speed, distracted driving, are all choices.

"I've seen some of these little kids tear me up," Duyssen said. "You just say, 'why?' and that's why it's time. I've seen enough. I've done enough. It's time for another, younger guy to take over."

A decade ago, Duyssen received the Carl Drexler Award, one of the highest honors in the state for a deputy sheriff for exceptional career achievements and conscientious devotion to duty. Both Duyssen and Sheriff Gary Maha mentioned at the awards ceremony memorable moments in the deputy's career.

One of the things that made Duyssen an exception deputy, Maha said, was his ability to relate to people. He was so good at getting suspects to talk and even confess, that Maha said he would have made a great detective.

"He had a lot of common sense and sometimes that makes a big difference in an officer," Maha said.

Yup, Duyssen, said, he could always talk with people.

"Law enforcement doesn't mean you have to be the biggest Hulk Hogan guy to enforce the law," Duyssen said. "I'm definitely not the biggest guy. My biggest asset is talking with people and solving things that way. If you treat people nice, they reciprocate I think, and they'll tell you want they did wrong. How do we get confessions? By treating people the right way. You know that hard-ass cop stuff just doesn't work."

More than once, Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster would remind him, "Just go out and talk, John," Duyssen said. "Talk to them."

"So, you head back out, things start rolling and next thing you know, you hand them a pen and a piece of paper and tell them, 'why don't you just tell me what happened?' " Duyssen said. He smiled, mimicked writing on a piece of paper, and added, "Five pages was the last one."

John and his wife, Jessica, decided to go the adoption route to start a family, and one adopted son encouraged them to try a second, then a third and finally a fourth and fifth.

They are Jonah, 17, Colt, 17, Julian, 13, Miranda, 6, and Jaden, 5.

All are homeschooled, though Jonah and Colt started at Le Roy High School this year, their senior year. Jonah is playing his first year of varsity basketball and will attend Bible Baptist College in Scranton, Pa., next year, where he plans to continue pursuing his hoop dreams. Colt is a wrestler and soccer player.

With more time for the farm, Jonah might get that second hog barn he wants and John will add some beef cattle. They'll continue to grow and sell their famous strawberries and raspberries.

And John will drive a school bus, working a morning shift, coming home to do chores and then heading back to the bus garage to start a round of afternoon drop-offs.

That's how John Duyssen will spend his time.

At shift change Friday afternoon, Sheriff Gary Maha presented John Duyssen with a Certificate of Appreciation and a keepsake retired deputy badge and ID.

Deputy John Duyssen signs off as GS-33 for the last time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 10:22 am

Sheriff's Office announces retirement of two deputies

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

Press release:

Deputy Daniel M. VanValkenburg, of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office retired December 20, 2014, after 20 years of service. Deputy VanValkenburg started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on December 5, 1994, as a Correction Officer at the Jail.  He was appointed Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol in 1998 and for the past two years, was assigned to the Court Security Detail. In addition to his normal duties, he also participated in community events on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office with the Safe Child ID Program. During his career, Deputy VanValkenburg has earned two Commendation Awards. 

Deputy John R. Duyssen, of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will retire effective at the end of his shift tomorrow, January 30, 2015, after 21 years of service. Deputy Duyssen started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on April 19, 1993. In addition to his normal duties, he was also a Crash Reconstructionist, Field Training Officer and also conducted farm safety training for the agricultural community. During his career, Deputy Duyssen earned several awards which included Officer of the Year in 1998, three Meritorius Awards, and four Commendations. 

“Deputies VanValkenburg and Duyssen have been valued employees with the Sheriff’s Office, and everyone here wishes them all the best in their future endeavors,” stated Sheriff Gary Maha.

Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 12:31 am

Deputy Frank Bordonaro posthumously honored by Sheriff's Office

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

Deputy Frank Bordonaro, who died in July at age 44, in his 19th year of service to the Sheriff's Office, was honored today during a luncheon as Officer of the Year.

Accepting his award where his wife Robin and sons Bryce and Chase.

It was a solemn moment during an event otherwise often punctuated by laughter and hearty handshakes.

The Officer of the Year is nominated by Sheriff's Office staff members. The selection committee is comprised of members of the command staff and union representatives. 

Several members of the department, Sheriff Gary Maha said, nominated Bordonaro. A nomination letter written by Deputy Kevin McCarthy was read by Deputy Matthew Butler.

McCarthy recalled how Bordonaro encouraged him as a rookie deputy, gave him space to ask questions, to learn, to grow. He also said Bordonaro led by example, recalling an incident in Le Roy during one midnight shift when, as watch commander, Bordonaro could have ordered the younger deputies into an apartment where there was a possibly armed suspect holed up, but Bordonaro took the lead position himself.

As Butler read the letter, throughout the room, heads were bowed and a few tears were shed (two pictures below).

Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp received the Distinguished Service Award.

Longevity Awards went to:

  • Correction Officer Vincent S. Maurer, 10
  • Deputy Joseph M. Graff, 10
  • Dispatcher Stephen R. Smelski ,10
  • Deputy John P. Weis, 15
  • Deputy Brad D. Mazur, 15
  • Investigator R. Pete Welker, 20
  • Deputy Nathan W. Balduf, 20
  • Deputy Eric J. Koziarski, 25
  • Investigator Roger M. Stone, 40

Commendations were awarded to:

  • Correction Officer Howard O. Wilson
  • Dispatcher Michael T. Sheflin
  • Correction Officer Michael A. Cox
  • Sr. Dispatcher James W. Holman
  • Correction Officer Andrew D. Hurley
  • Deputy Joseph A. Corona
  • Deputy Andrew B. Hale
  • Deputy Kevin R. McCarthy
  • Sr. Dispatcher Barbara J. Eddy
  • Dispatcher Nathan L. Fix
  • Deputy Jason E. Saile
  • Deputy Lonnie A. Nati
  • Deputy Brian A. Thompson Sr.
  • Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp

Meritorious Service Awards went to:

  • Dispatcher Lynn B. Riccobono
  • Community Victim/Services Counselor, Correction
  • Officer Vincent S. Maurer
  • Deputy John R. Duyssen

More on the awards from the Sheriff's press release:

Officer of the Year: Deputy Frank Bordonaro
Deputy Frank G. Bordonaro distinguished himself as a professional, dedicated, hard-working officer who quietly and consistently provided a high level of service to the citizens of Genesee County and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Bordonaro was a Field Training Officer (FTO), a Child Safety Seat Technician and mentored several new officers during his tenure with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. He served as Officer-in-Charge on several occasions and was highly respected as a leader. Deputy Bordonaro set an example for others to strive for and was always concerned for his fellow officers. Deputy Frank G. Bordonaro is being awarded this recognition posthumously and has brought great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and is most deserving to be named Officer of the Year.

Distinguished Service Award: Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp
Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp has distinguished himself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Senior Dispatcher Tripp has been instrumental with the implementation of the new Harris Radio System along with the collection, cataloging and packaging of county-owned radio equipment to be returned to Sprint/Nextel as part of a multi-million dollar capital project. Senior Dispatcher Tripp has been a Communications Training Officer for several years and assisted with the training of five new, part-time dispatchers during 2014. He has also provided critical insight and assistance with upgrades, maintenance, and operational configurations of the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center computer-aided dispatch program and phone and radio consoles. Senior Emergency Services Dispatcher Robert H. Tripp reflects great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

International Association of Chiefs of Police Tribute:
During the Awards Luncheon, Sheriff Maha and Undersheriff Sheron presented Robin Bordonaro, widow of deceased Deputy Frank Bordonaro, with a recognition award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police who pay tribute to active duty officers who die feloniously or accidentally during the course of performing their police functions while on or off duty. Deputy Bordonaro unexpectedly passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home shortly after completing his midnight shift on July 8, 2014.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office also paid tribute to Deputy Bordonaro by placing a plaque in the patrol briefing room in memory of Deputy Bordonaro's service.

Dispatcher Tripp receiving his Distinguished Service Award from Sheriff Maha, right, and Undersheriff William Sheron.

Investigator Roger Stone being congratulated by Maha on 40 years of service to the department.

Dispatcher Nate Fix, with his son, receiving his award from Director of Emergency Communications Steven Sharp.

Group photo with Deputy Frank Bordonaro's family.

To purchase prints, click here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 11:46 am

Sheriff's Office establishes drug drop-off

post by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office

There is now a prescription drug drop box at the Sheriff's Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia. Residents are encouraged to drop off unwanted pharmaceuticals anytime, 24/7. Drop-offs are anonymous. Sharps, such as syringes, as well as thermometers, aerosol sprays, inhalers and hydrogen peroxide are not accepted.  The Sheriff's Office will properly dispose of the pharmaceuticals. 

Photo and information submitted by the Sheriff's Office.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Deputy Frank Bordonaro answers his final call

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Sheriff's Office

In his homily during the funeral service for Deputy Frank Bordonaro, Father Michael Donovan addressed Frank's sons directly.

The one thing he wanted them to remember, what should be part of the stories they tell of their dad someday, Donovan said, was the outpouring of respect, love and support of the friends, family and colleagues gathered in St. Peter's today.

Bordonaro, 44, a 19-year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office died July 8 of an apparent heart attack.

He leaves behind a wife, Robin, and two young sons, Bryce and Chase.

In a memorial letter read by funeral director Vern Falcone, Robin thanked Frank for raising his sons right and setting them on a good path.

Nearly every member of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office (all but those required to be on duty) was at the funeral. Several members of the Batavia Police Department, the Le Roy Police Department and the State Police were part of the honor guard that lined up in front of the church before and after the service.

Bordonaro's casket was carried to and from the church in his pickup truck.

The service centered around Matthew 25:34-40.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ "

Father Donovan noted that most people think of a police officer as just somebody who arrests people, but an officer of the law does so much more than that for his community. Deputy Frank Bordonaro, he said, was that kind of professional.

Deputy Bordonaro provided help to those he found hungry, or thirsty, or lonely and in need, or homeless, or sick. He provided help to those who needed it, and thereby lived the life Christ bade his disciples to follow.

That is the memory, Father Donovan said, that Bryce and Chase should hold of their father.

After the service, after the casket of Deputy Frank Bordonaro was driven away in his truck, the radios on the hips of emergency responders among those gathered on Lake Street, could be heard with the final dispatch for Deputy Frank Bordonaro. It was the only sound on the street until a Mercy Flight helicopter paid Deputy Bordonaro one last tribute with a pass over the church.

Listen (mp3).

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Below: The funeral procession passes under a flag on Route 19 that was lifted by ladder trucks from Le Roy and Bergen fire departments. Photo submitted by George Henry.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Funeral services set for GS-29

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Sheriff's Office

Funeral services for Deputy Frank Bordonaro will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, St. Joseph's Oratory, 27 Lake St., Le Roy.

Bordonaro, a 19-year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, died unexpectedly at home some time Tuesday afternoon.

The 44-year-old Bordonaro is survived by his wife, Robin Radwich Bordonaro, his sons, Bryce and Chase, his parents, Lawrence and Arlene, of Batavia.

Family and friends may call on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc., 8700 Lake Road, Le Roy.

From his obituary:

He will be remembered as a very caring and compassionate man, who put his family and community first. He was very involved with all aspects of his sons’ participation in school and community sports programs.

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