Every day, our Wayne County school districts host roughly 15,000 students and staff members in the 12 school districts around the county, including the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES campus in Williamson. It is my vision to provide a school resource officer to every school district in the county by this office and/or with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies to provide safety and security to our most vulnerable population and sites.
The most important point is this is not just about having an “armed guard” in our schools. Arming teachers or hiring armed security officers is up to each individual school district; however, I think law enforcement is better positioned to provide both security and a SRO program partnering with school officials and students. I strongly have the opinion of we should not look to make fortresses out of our schools, but find the balance between education and security.
Schools know troubled students very early on in elementary school with inappropriate behavior that many times increases in middle and high school. Early intervention with school officials and a SRO can address these concerns and help with prevention efforts. With the Raise the Age legislation decriminalizing those ages 16-17, a SRO and school officials together could prevent and deter many incidents, in school and after school, from ever occurring in the first place. Most of the time prevention efforts are not funded, because it is difficult to quantify what was stopped, avoided and/or deterred.
Providing funding for a SRO program in every school by a law enforcement agency would be invaluable for cultural change and security. Kids have formed bonds with SROs, and many opened up enough to tell the SRO about abuse at home, kids that were bullying and many other things going on that otherwise would have went on without anyone knowing.
This office has had short term success with full-time SROs in the Sodus and Williamson school districts and part-time success in Palmyra-Macedon Central School District that have ended with lack of funding. Currently, part-time SRO programs are in the Wayne and Sodus school districts provided by this office and Gananda CSD, provided by Macedon Police Department. North Rose-Wolcott CSD is the only school district in the county with a full-time SRO program.
Since 2010, I have advocated for a countywide SRO program in Wayne County when New York State Police stopped providing the service because of the loss of funding through a Community-oriented Police Services Grant that funded seven NYS troopers as SROs assigned to several Wayne County schools. County supervisors and school superintendents support the idea, but few want to fund a countywide SRO program. This is a complex issue that schools, law enforcement, local and county governments must address in partnership.
In January 2018, 75 males and nine females were committed to the jail facility. There were 87 transports, 8,507 inmate meals served and $15,500 collected from 22 inmates released on bail and fines. Inmates worked 1,585 hours of labor in laundry, facility cleaning and food service. The jail facility boarded 16 inmates from Genesee, Ontario and Oswego sheriff’s offices, and secured 13 parole violators and 13 inmates that were ready for transfer to state prison.
Court security officers cleared 2,796 people entering the Hall of Justice through the magnetometer, securing 63 weapons and 732 other contraband items similar to Transportation Security Administration airport security — firearms, ammunition, knives, scissors, cell phones, glass bottles, umbrellas, helmets, hand tools, etc.
Deputies traveled 106,657 miles on patrol, investigating 109 motor vehicle accidents in which 12 people were injured, 45 animal complaints, 503 minor crimes, 14 major crimes, eight fire investigations and 3,069 miscellaneous complaints, totaling 3,785 for the month. Deputies issued 517 traffic tickets, eight DWIs and made 162 violation, misdemeanor and felony arrests and 19 mental health arrests.
The Records Office registered 58 sex offenders. Deputies verified 92 offender home addresses, processed 149 requests for reports and conducted 91 records checks. The Pistol Permit Unit processed 46 pistol permit applications and 163 pistol permit amendments requiring a Brady Check. The Civil Office served 116 legal papers and 66 Family Court orders, handled 11 evictions, received $122,390.84 and paid out $118,620.37 to creditors. The county treasurer received $15,659.64 for the county’s general fund.
Wayne County law enforcement charged 16 people with DWI: Macedon Police Department, one; Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, eight; and New York State Police, seven. Please drink responsibly.
Lt. Matt Ryndock, Sgt. Craig Pagnotti and Deputy Joe Roeland are assisting as instructors for Field Training Officer School at Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy in Canandaigua. Deputies Sam Ross, Zach Aunkst, Justin Lucia, Tom D’Amato and Brian Steinruck are assisting as well. Undersheriff Jeff Fosdick attended the Onondaga County for Jamesville Jail Assessment. Sgts. Joe Hendler and Josh Koeberle attended the Department of Criminal Justice Services Correction Supervisor Course at Steuben County Public Safety Building. Lts. Rob Milby and Matt Ryndock; Sgt. Matt Hilkert, Craig Pagnotti, Gil Sterk and Tammy Ryndock; and deputies Andrew Hares, Chris VerStraete and Joe Roeland are assisting with the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Police Officer Academy Basic Course at Ontario County Training Center in Canandaigua as instructors. Deputy recruits Thomas Radka, Rachel Lansing, Felicia Stevens, Tim Newcombe, Eric Wellington, Mason Craine, Ethan Derr, Matthew Gumina, Walter Quintanilla, Edward Camp and Jacob Jackson are attending the Police Officer Academy Basic Police Officer course at Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy in Canandaigua at Ontario County Training Center. Court Security Supervisor Dawn Pisciotti attended the New York State Sheriff’s Association Court Security Accreditation in Canandaigua. Deputy Brian Pitt attended Policing the Teen Brain at Monroe County Training Center. Deputy Sam Ross and Correction Sgt. James Smith attended the funeral detail for former Seneca County Sheriff Thomas Cleere at St. Mary’s Church in Waterloo, and I attended the National Sheriff’s Association Winter Conference in Washington, D.C.
Deputy Matt Carr, Investigator Sgt. Mark Loveless and Correction Officer Deb Blondell completed 25 years of service. Investigator Sgt. Joe Ayotte completed 20 years of service. Correction Officer Jonathan Tyler completed 15 years of service, and Correction Officer Philip Bustos completed 10 years of service. I salute Matt, Mark, Deb, Joe, Jonathan and Phil for their service!
If you see something, say something. Call 911 to report any suspicious activity.
Social media is used to inform you of events and arrests that would be released to the media, but timelier to keep you informed. Social media sites are not used as an official communication tool. Concerns and inquiries should be directed to me by calling (315) 946-5797, by emailing bvirts@co.wayne.ny.us or mailing Sheriff Barry Virts, 7376 state Route 31, Suite 1000, Lyons, NY, 14489. If you have a complaint that is an emergency or time sensitive, call 911 to have law enforcement respond immediately.
Visit us at our social media sites, Facebook page “Wayne County Sheriff’s Office,” Twitter accounts @SheriffVirts and @WayneCoSheriff and waynecosheriff.org. Load the free MobilePatrol App on your smartphone for a one stop resource for all WCSO information.
Please contact me at (315) 946-5797 or at bvirts@co.wayne.ny.us with any questions or concerns you may have.