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Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Winter coats and jackets for children in need can be dropped off at Sheriff's Office

There are children in our community who need winter jackets and the Justice for Children Advocacy Center, along with the Sheriff's Office and Olympia Sports are teaming up to request donations from people in the community for new or slightly used coats and jackets.

The group is seeking donations from Nov. 14 through 30 for coats and jackets for children of all sizes.

Donations can be dropped off during normal business hours at the Sheriff's Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia. Donors will receive a 10-percent-off coupon from Olympia Sports.

Photo: Stacey Bauer, left, district sales manager for Olympia Sports, Undersheriff Bill Sheron, Grace Flannery, CAC, Shannon Ford, Genesee Justice and Anne Bezon, CAC.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Former head of drug task force looking forward to more normal hours after retirement

post by Howard Owens in Sheriff's Office

After more than 20 years with the Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Steve Mullen, head of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, retired Friday.

Sheriff Gary Maha announced the retirement today.

Mullen has taken a job as a private investigator.

For nearly two years, Mullen has been talking about retirement. As one of the department's lead investigators, Mullen worked cases day and night, weekdays and weekends.

"I'm looking forward to a more routine schedule," Mullen said. "I will have more time to spend with my wife and kids.

"I'm just excited to get into something different," Mullen added.

At the supervisor level within the Sheriff's Office, turn over is traditionally low and Mullen said he also wanted to step aside and give an opportunity for somebody to move up.

"There's a lot of good people in the department who deserve the opportunity," Mullen said.

Maha has not yet announced a replacement or how a promotion would be handled.

Typically, the head of the task force is somebody who is a supervisor within the Sheriff's Office. The task force is comprised of members of law enforcement from the Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD and Le Roy PD.

Mullen has been lead investigator on some of the county's biggest drug cases over the past few years, including a series of meth lab busts from 2009 until 2011, and the arrest of Carlos Torres as well as a number of small-time drug dealers. All of Mullen's arrests during that time have stood up in court.

Mullen also handled other major felony investigations and some fatal accident investigations.

One of the biggest cases under Mullen's supervision was the arrest of two city firefighters and a state employee for allegedly operating a sports book. That case is still pending and the defendants are scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court this afternoon.

Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Genesee County Undersheriff William A. Sheron Joins Undersheriffs from across the State to Receive Trainin

post by Howard Owens in announcements, Sheriff's Office

Press Release:

Genesee County Undersheriff William A. Sheron, along with thirty-six undersheriffs from across New York State, recently attended a training conference at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Sponsored and organized by the New York State Sheriffs' Association and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, the program provides the undersheriffs with training in the latest advances in law enforcement and correctional practices and a forum to discuss current law enforcement issues and share best practices.

Representatives of several New York State agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Department of State, and the Comptroller’s Office, met with the group.

Topics covered at the three-day program included: discovery rules for police in a high-tech environment, next generation 911 issues, and updates on homeland security labor laws, foil law, retirement law,  and personnel and budget issues.

“The undersheriff is appointed by the county sheriff and most often functions as the chief administrative officer,” said Sheriffs’ Association President and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith. “In this role, undersheriffs review all operations of the sheriff’s office, including the sheriffs’ road patrol and investigative divisions, the county jail, the civil law enforcement division, court security, and 911/communications and dispatch division,” he said.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.  The Sheriffs’ Association is committed to providing education and training to advance the professionalism of all aspects of the office of sheriff. Visit www.nysheriffs.org.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Inc. was established in 1979. The mission of the Institute is to assist the office of the sheriff in advancing education in the criminal justice community, preventing juvenile delinquency, developing lawful and productive citizens, and supporting victims of crime and their families. Visit www.nysheriffsinstitute.org

Photo:  Genesee County Undersheriff William A. Sheron (center), upon completion of the 26th Annual Undersheriffs’ Training Program, with New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute Executive Director Chris O’Brien (left), and New York State Sheriffs’ Association President and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith. (right).

Friday, August 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Program will help identify accident victims with medical conditions

post by Howard Owens in Sheriff's Office

Press release:

In an effort to better serve and protect the citizens of Genesee County, Sheriff Gary T. Maha in conjunction with more than 30 county sheriffs and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association are offering the Yellow Dot Program.

Yellow Dot is a free program available to individuals of all ages that was designed to help first responders provide lifesaving medical attention during the first “golden hour” after a crash or other emergency.

The program has launched in 30 counties across the state.

“When you can’t speak for yourself, Yellow Dot can speak for you,” said Peter Kehoe, executive director of the sheriffs’ association.

The Yellow Dot kit contains a medical information card and a Yellow Dot decal. Participants complete the card, attach a recent photo, place it in the glove compartment of their vehicle, and place the Yellow Dot decal on the rear driver’s side window.

First responders arriving at the scene of an emergency will be alerted by the Yellow Dot decal to look for the medical information card in the glove compartment.  

To obtain a Yellow Dot kit, contact Carolyn Della Penna at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 345-3000, ext. 3510, or visit www.nysheriffs.org/yellowdot.

Yellow Dot materials will also be available at Genesee County fire departments.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of sheriffs’ services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.

Yellow Dot was started in Connecticut in 2002 by People’s United Bank. Originally developed for senior citizens, the program can be used by anyone of any age.

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Animal health and safety are first concern when dogs are left alone in hot cars

post by Howard Owens in animals, animal control, pets, Sheriff's Office

Some owners get angry when pulled out of a store because somebody complained about their dog being left in a hot car.

"Most do not even recognize it as abuse at all," said Animal Control Officer Aggie Jaroszewski. "They get mad because we interrupted their shopping day. They say we don't know what we're talking about. Their dog is OK."

When it's 85 degrees out, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes and within 30 minutes it can exceed 120 degrees.

A dog can suffer brain damage or die in short order when temperatures exceed 107 degrees.

Leaving a dog in the car on a hot or very cold day violates Article 26, Section 353d of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.

A person shall not confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury due to exposure to such extreme heat or cold.

Fines range from $50 to $100 for a first offense, from $100 to $250 for a second.

Jaroszewski said citations are generally only issued where an order cannot be located and the dog must be removed from the car and taken to an animal hospital, or when the dog is in obvious distress and must be removed from the car.

Since Jaroszewski is not a deputy, she relies on sworn officers to open cars and issue citations as necessary.

The first order of business is the health and safety of the animal, Jaroszewski said. Whether she responds first or a deputy, the first responder tries to locate the owner of the car. Typically, the owner is paged in the store they have most likely entered.

If the owner is found and the dog is not in distress, they are given a stern lecture and the incident is documents in the law enforcement computer system. The temperature at the time of the incident is also recorded.

Jaroszewski is looking into getting a laser temperature gun (example). That would enable her to point the laser at a surface in the car and get a precise reading of the temperature inside.

Not only would it give her evidence to show a dog owner of just how hot it is in the car, but with a second witness, any citation would have a better chance of holding up in court.

Today, The Batavian drove out to two calls involving dogs left in a car at a time when the sun was beating down and the temperature was 92 degrees.

Our initial headline on the first case was "Dog sweltering in gray TrailBlazer in Walmart parking lot."

It turns out, and what the initial caller may not have realized, the owners left their SUV running with the air conditioner on. The dog was fine, but Deputy Tim Westcott still tracked down the owners inside Walmart because it's a violation of NYS law to leave an unattended vehicle running.

The owners are visiting from Florida and vowed not to leave their dog in their car again and not to leave the vehicle running while unattended. No citation was issued.

In the second case, Wescott located the owners shopping in Michael's. The soon-to-be-married couple left the back windows down on their sedan, and the front windows cracked. During the 10 minutes they told Wescott they were in Michael's, the dog did her job, protecting her master's property by barking at every passerby.

But barking dogs, Westcott noted, dissipate energy faster and that makes them more susceptible to the heat.

In a day and age when more people are aware of the dangers to animals left in cars and everyone has a mobile phone, emergency dispatchers get more calls for dogs left in cars, Wescott noted.

And he wasn't complaining.

The Sheriff's Office takes such calls seriously and if an owner can't be located, deputies will use their car-lock kit to open doors and remove animals.

When that happens, Wescott said he leaves his business card in the car with a note about where the dog was taken.

Typically in such situations a citation is issued.

The more frequent, quicker calls these days probably mean there is intervention by a deputy or animal control officer before a dog is overheated to the point of injury or death.

While dog owners often feel put out by a member of law enforcement paging them in a store, and often claim it was just a matter of minutes that the dog was left alone, typically when paged, as with the couple in Michael's today, they're still in the middle of shopping when located.

With the engaged couple today, Wescott waited for Jaroszewski to arrive, which took about five minutes.

When she did, she lectured the couple on the danger they put their pet in, gave them an informational card that explains the danger. While the couple got back into the car (it took a little time because one of them was in a wheelchair due to a leg injury), she took the dog over to a shaded area (top photo) and waited.

The dog was panting heavily, but otherwise seemed in good health.

And a dog who can go home in good health is the whole goal of deputies or animal control officers who respond to the calls from concerned citizens.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 7:23 am

Warrant Officer Eric Olson ends 37-year career with Sheriff's Office

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Sheriff's Office

Eric Olson retires from the Sheriff's Office tomorrow. Rather than The Batavian writing an article as we might otherwise do, he asked that we publish this photo of him with his son and this letter to the community:

Out with the old and in with the new…

My career with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office began in August of 1975. I was hired as a dispatcher. Seven months later I was sworn in as a Deputy Sheriff and was assigned to the jail. In August of 1978 I was assigned to the road patrol. In August of 1984, twenty-seven years ago, I was appointed to my current position as the Warrant Officer.

The Warrant Officer position was originally created and funded through the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Service and named S.W.E.E.P. (Special Warrant Enhancement Enforcement Program) The goal of the program was to provide funds and resources to law enforcement agencies throughout New York State to aggressively pursue wanted individuals on outstanding warrants. Although the S.W.E.E.P. funding was terminated in March of 1988, the Sheriff's Office determined that the results merited local funding, and the program has been continued to this day.

Serving as the Warrant Officer for the Genesee County Sheriff's Office has been a most rewarding experience. In time, though, I began considering retirement. My son, however, had thoughts of entering law enforcement. I determined that I would not end my career until he was well into his. Ryan has been a New York State Trooper for 5 years now assigned to Painted Post (Corning). I hope that our shared conversations have been useful to him, that they have given him insights into the field that he would otherwise not have had access to. In this sense, then, my work has been for both my community as well as my son.

My retirement plans, such as they are, consist of only two goals: to remain healthy and spend more time with my family. My wife, Judy, my daughter and son-in-law Melissa and Jason Armbrewster and their son, my grandson, Evan, and my son Ryan and his new bride, Kelley, can expect to see a great deal more of me in the immediate future.

Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 11:23 am

Annual report shows 2011 was another busy year for Sheriff's Office

post by Howard Owens in Sheriff's Office

In 2011, the Sheriff's Office saw another big jump in calls for service with dispatchers handling 25,923 calls.

That's up from 21,334 in 2010.

Calls for service range from anything from a loose dog to serious motor-vehicle accidents and structure fires.

A total of 54,134 calls were placed through 9-1-1.

On the crime front, investigators dealt with 794 total cases, which resulted in 84 drug arrests (19 cases remain pending) and 30 vice arrests.

Of the investigations, 476 were felony in nature.

A total of 178 arrests were made for DWI. The majority were age 21 to 40, with one arrest under age 18 and 20 people arrested between 18 and 20. Three people 60 to 69 were arrested for DWI and one person over age 70 was arrested.

The hours between midnight and 3 a.m. had the biggest DWI arrest activity, with 81 arrests. Between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., 38 people were arrested.

Saturday topped the days of the week for arrests with 64.

Of the arrestees, 146 were male and 32 were female.

Felony DWI accounted for 21 of the arrests, and 32 people were accused of having a BAC of .18 or greater.

The highest BACs recorded were .31 or higher and two suspects were charged with that level of blood alcohol.

Of the suspects given BAC tests, 28 tested .07 or lower, and 15 of those had no measurable BAC.

In all 178 tests were given and 10 were refused.

The juvenile division handled 178 investigations, including 32 dealing with runaways or missing persons, and 47 investigations for larceny and 24 for criminal mischief. There were 12 burglary investigations, two assaults, and four disorderly conducts.

Court security found quite a few weapons on people trying to enter the court, including two firearms, 604 knives,104 pairs of scissors and 27 razors.

Animal control handled 2,902 incidents, including 58 bite investigations, 454 lost animals and 10 livestock investigations. A total of 77 cats and dogs were euthanized, but 280 dogs were adopted through the shelter and 448 cats found new homes.

Genesee Justice handled 313 offender cases, and offenders performed 7,317 hours of community service. The agency supervised 433 people released from jail. There were 190 people supervised in the DWI program.

There were six fatal accidents handled by the Sheriff's Office in 2011.

Of the 1,178 total accidents reported to the Sheriff's Office, 164 involved injuries and 487 involved animals.

Alcohol was reported involved in 52 of the accidents and 521 accident-related arrests were made.

Deputies wrote traffic tickets for 4,095 suspected violations.

The office took a total of 1,931 criminal activity reports.

A PDF of the complete annual report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Sheriff's Office participating in statewide 'click it or ticket' program

post by Howard Owens in Sheriff's Office

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists of the importance of using seat belts and child safety seats. The Sheriff’s Office will participate in the statewide seat belt enforcement mobilization, which will run from May 21st through June 3rd which is designed to further improve highway safety.

This initiative will urge motorists to buckle their safety belts or face receiving a ticket. The message is simple: “Click It or Ticket.” The Buckle Up New York, “Click It or Ticket” enforcement and education initiative sends a clear message that seat belts and child safety seats save lives. New York State has been a leader in passenger safety restraint since enacting the very first seat belt law in the country in 1984 by utilizing efforts that combines public education with increased police enforcement of New York's seat belt law.

Under New York State law, safety restraint use is required for: all front seat occupants regardless of age; all rear seat passengers under 16 years of age; children under age 4 must be restrained in a federally approved child safety seat.

New York's zero-tolerance policy for seat belt violations means that violators will receive a ticket if stopped for not using a safety restraint. The fine for such violations is up to $100 if a motorist is stopped for having a person less than 16 years old unrestrained, plus 3 points on their license.

According to state law, motorists can be stopped in New York by a police officer for not wearing their seat belt; another violation is not necessary to initiate the stop.

Properly secured children will be a priority for the Sheriff’s Office during this enforcement effort.  If there is any question as to the proper installation of your child’s safety seat, call the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000 to set up an appointment to have your safety seat and its installation inspected by a certified technician.

Please help us make the highways of Genesee County the safest they can be.

Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

New correction officers graduate from academy

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

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recently filled two vacant correction officer positions with the hiring of Michael J. Robinson and Michael E. Glow. These two correction officers graduated in a class of 20 from the Erie County Basic Corrections Academy yesterday, April 26, 2012.

The speakers at the graduation were Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman and Erie County Deputy Executive Richard Tobe. 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.

Correction Officer Michael J. Robinson is a 2000 high school regents graduate from Oakfield-Alabama Central School and a 2003 graduate from Genesee Community College with an Applied Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. C.O. Robinson was previously employed as a mental health therapy aide for the New York State Office of Mental Health and as a security guard for Batavia Downs. C.O. Robinson enjoys roller and ice hockey and is Booster Chairman of American Legion Post 626 in Alabama, New York. He is a current resident of Elba.

Correction Officer Michael E. Glow is a 1998 graduate from Batavia High School and a 2002 graduate from Hilbert College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. C.O. Glow was previously employed as a collector for Admin Recovery, Creditors Interchange, Evans Law & Everest Receivable as well as being a foster care attendant for Genesee County Social Services. C.O. Glow is affiliated with Hometown Hoops for Hope and is a basketball counselor at YMCA’s Camp Hough and at Hilbert College’s basketball camp. He is a current resident of Batavia.

Sheriff Maha stated, “Correction officers Robinson and Glow are great assets to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division. They are both very dedicated, hard-working, and responsible employees. We are pleased to have them as part of our team."

Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

Sheriff's Office now accepting credit and debit cards for civil payments

post by Howard Owens in Sheriff's Office

Press release:

Civil payments for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office may now be made online with any major credit, debit or pre-paid debit card, or by phone, and in addition to in person at the Sheriff’s Office, 165 Park Road, Batavia, NY.

Individuals may make credit card payments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online at www.GovPayNow.com, or by phone at 888-604-7888. There is also a link for civil payments on the Sheriff’s Office home page, http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/sheriff/index.html, or Civil Bureau page.

Individuals must enter the Civil Payment Pay Location Code (PLC) #7403, or search by the agency’s name or payment type to access the payment screen.

A 3.5 percent processing fee ($3.50 minimum) will apply if the payment is made online, or in person, and a 5 percent processing fee ($5 minimum) if payment is made by phone.

Civil payments may still be made, in person at the Sheriff’s Office – Civil Bureau, 165 Park Road, Batavia, NY, with cash, check or money order; during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.), or by mail. Please make your check or money order payable to the Genesee County Sheriff.

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