COLUMNS

From the Sheriff: Available resources for sexual assault, child abuse

Sheriff Barry Virts

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, as well as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sexual assault and child abuse is very complex, having everlasting emotional anxieties to the victim and their families. We all need to be aware and assist in the prevention of sexual violence and child abuse. Reports of suspected child abuse should be made immediately to the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-342-3720. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Calls to the hotline are anonymous; callers' identities are protected from disclosure.

April 18-24 is Crime Victims’ Rights Week, bringing recognition, honor and help to victims to restore their lives. The New York State Sheriffs’ Victim Hotline or VINE is a free confidential service that notifies those that register by phone and email when an offender is released from jail or prison. For more information and to register, contact VINE at 888-VINE-4-NY or go to vinelink.com. You have a right to know. 

Wayne County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth Miller and District Attorney Michael Calarco have joined me in two proclamations addressing sexual assault awareness and prevention, child abuse prevention and Victims’ Rights Week that will be presented at the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 20. If you know of and/or have witnessed a sexual assault or child abuse, please report the crime by calling 911. For victim’s assistance, contact the Victim’s Resource Center in Newark by calling 315-331-1171.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. U Drive — U Text — U Pay is a campaign centered on aiding law enforcement officers in their efforts to keep distracted drivers off the road. Distracted driving is a first offense in many states and continues to gain recognition across the nation as a deadly problem. 

What is distracted driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. 

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

Please continue to wash your hands, cough into your elbow, don’t touch your face, social distance staying 6 feet apart, stay home if you are sick and 3ear a mask when you cannot social distance. 

In February 2021, 39 males and six females were committed to the jail facility. There were 36 transports, 5,220 inmate meals served and $22,581.74 collected from seven inmates released on bail and fines. Inmates worked 1,190 hours of labor in laundry, facility cleaning and food service.

The Jail Facility boarded two inmates from the Cayuga County and Ontario County sheriff’s offices, and secured eight parole violators and eight inmates that were ready for transfer to state prison. 

Court security officers cleared 967 people entering the Hall of Justice through the magnetometer, securing four weapons and two other contraband items similar to TSA airport security (firearms, ammunition, knives, scissors, cell phones, glass bottles, umbrellas, helmets, hand tools, etc.).

Deputies traveled 123,226 miles on patrol, investigating 90 motor vehicle collisions in which eight people were injured, 68 crash investigations, one missing person, 17 animal complaints, 1,417 miscellaneous complaints, 347 minor crimes, two major crimes, five fire investigations and 641 other complaints. Deputies issued 354 traffic tickets, 13 DWIs and made 144 violation, misdemeanor and felony arrests, plus 23 mental health arrests.

The Civil Office processed 44 legal papers and 93 Family Court orders, received $108,595.34 and paid out $108,738.18 to creditors. This month, $8,266.69 was remitted to the County Treasurer’s Office for the general fund.

Wayne County law enforcement charged 27 people with DWI: one by the Newark Police Department, one by Palmyra PD, 13 by the Sheriff’s Office and 12 by New York State Police. Please drink responsibly!

Correction officers Dean Barnes, Daniel Cario and Francesco Surace are attending the Seneca County Correction Academy in Romulus. Lt. Joe Croft, Sgt. Joe Roeland and Deputy Nick Yates attended a K-9 Selection at Shallow Creek in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, and Sgt. Joseph Hendler assisted as a defensive tactics instructor for the Correction Officer Academy at the Seneca County Jail in Romulus.

Correction Officer Tina Jackson completed 25 years of service, Correction Sgt. Vance Carr completed 20 years of service and Correction Officer Courtney Brownell completed five years of service to the Sheriff’s Office. I salute Tina, Vance and Courtney for their service!

Search Wayne County NY Sheriff to download the mobile app onto your smartphone or tablet. It is available free of charge from the iTunes and Google Play (Android) app stores. The new app will help Wayne County citizens stay tuned to important information from the Sheriff’s Office. After downloading the app onto your smartphone, you can receive alerts, news and resources.

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.

Please contact me at 315-946-5797 or at bvirts@co.wayne.ny.us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Stock photo.