Volume 424
December 3, 2020
Governor's Order Causes Turkey Turmoil
The Governor’s order limiting in-residence gatherings to 10 individuals came just in time to disrupt a lot of Thanksgiving plans. Many citizens expressed concern that their homes would be raided if they continued with their plans for a traditional family gathering. Several Sheriffs felt compelled to speak out to allay those concerns, most expressing the view that there was no way, within the Constitution, that they could enforce the order, but still urged citizens to listen to the health experts and practice safe dining. Following are the public comments of several Sheriffs on the matter.
Cayuga County
Excerpted from a local opinion column, Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck wrote: 
“The Governor and I agree. We all should keep the size of our gatherings small, including those at private residences; however, his order for law enforcement to take enforcement action at private homes is not possible. His order comes with no enforcement mechanism, no available charge or sanction, no ability enter one's home to count guests. Instead, let’s work together to send the right message that people should limit gathering sizes and why, instead of trying to mandate the impossible.
Chautauqua County

In a recent interview, Sheriff James Quattrone said, “I do believe the only thing we are able to do is to ask people to comply with the order. Law-enforcement executives I have spoken with are not suggesting people have large gatherings, and we recommend following guidelines suggested. This is not necessarily law enforcement picking and choosing what laws to enforce, but recognizing that this order is unenforceable without violating individual rights.”
Erie County

Sheriff Timothy Howard: “I have no plans to utilize my office’s resources or deputies to break up the great tradition of Thanksgiving. This national holiday has created longstanding family traditions that are at the heart of America, and these traditions should not be stopped or interrupted by Gov. Cuomo’s mandates.”
Fulton County

Sheriff Richard Giardino, a former District Attorney and County Judge, said his opposition to the 10-person limit is rooted in his view that attempts to enforce the order would violate the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. “The basis of my feelings on it, has been, how do you enforce it, consistent with the Fourth Amendment? How do you get into a home?” he said.
Montgomery County

Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith said his department would respond to complaints about larger-than-10-person gatherings, as staffing permits, but would not go looking for violations. He urges citizens to be reasonable and responsible, and not conduct themselves in such a disorderly way that his agency would be forced to show up at someone’s home. In urging people to act responsibly he pointed out, “We don’t want people to get sick, and we want to respect our healthcare workers and the beds that we have left.”
Niagara County

Sheriff Michael Filicetti: “I have spoken with several media outlets regarding this topic. I will not be enforcing this mandate.” Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek said, “I support my sheriff's position on this matter. I believe we should all be diligent about masks and personal hygiene during these trying times.”
Putnam County
Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley, Jr., says he won’t encourage people to host large gatherings in their homes, as there are many factors to take into consideration.
“Rather than issuing orders, which are, at best, impossible to enforce, and, at worst, unconstitutional, the Governor would better serve the people of New York if he encouraged our citizens to be cautious,” Sheriff Langley added. “Use good judgment in weighing risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy our families and our great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe, until we get back to normal," he said. “As Sheriff, I see a better use of our resources than to disrupt families celebrating the holidays.” 
More Sheriff's News
Niagara County Sheriff's Office Captain Promoted to Chief Deputy
A Step Up — Sheriff Filicetti (l) announces the promotion of Captain Aaron C. Schultz to Chief Deputy.
Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti has announced the promotion of Captain Aaron C. Schultz to the rank of Chief Deputy effective November 29, 2020.
Chief Deputy Schultz is a graduate from Niagara County Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He was hired at the Sheriff's Office as a part-time Corrections Officer in 1998 and later joined the road patrol division as a Deputy Sheriff in 1999. Chief Deputy Schultz was promoted to Sergeant in 2011 and to Captain in 2017. His career includes being the Director of the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy, Master Instructor, member of the Accident Investigation Unit, Commander of the Emergency Response Team and leader of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team.
Sheriff Filicetti said, “Chief Deputy Schultz has continuously demonstrated his ability to be a leader to the men and women at the Sheriff's Office. He brings experience and knowledge to his new role and I am confident that he will be successful.”
Dutchess County Sheriff Recognized for 50 Years of Service
A Half Century of Service in Law Enforcement — In the photo above right, Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson stands with New York State Senator Sue Serino (left) and Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois. The photo on the left shows one of the plaques presented to Sheriff Anderson in honor of the occasion.
Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson was honored recently for his 50 years in law enforcement service to the people of Dutchess County. The Dutchess County Executive, County Clerk, County Comptroller, County Legislative Chair and Chief Assistant District Attorney — along with Senator Sue Serino and Butch's wife, Daniele — all presented plaques, mementos and stories about Butch for the crowd of about 100 guests, who gathered near the front steps of the Sheriff's Office. 
NYSSA Counsel Tom Mitchell presented Butch with a plaque from the Sheriffs' Association, and reminded all how Butch's help was freely given to the Sheriffs’ Association whenever called upon over the years. President Trump sent a personal message of thanks to Butch, which was read by Daniele. A caravan of over 50 cars rode to the Sheriff's Office from his home in Dutchess County. 
Butch shared many stories with his guests, some from his early days, and even told the crowd that he could still beat Tom at golf any day, anywhere (unfortunately true). He was gracious as always, thanking his family and extended law-enforcement family for all that they have done for Dutchess County.
Chemung County Sheriff's Lieutenant Honored Posthumously
For Work Well Done — The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has recognized the late Lt. Sharon A. Douglas (above) of the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office with its 2020 GTSC Chairman's Award.
The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) recognized the late Lieutenant Sharon A. Douglas with the 2020 GTSC Chairman’s Award, for her efforts which undoubtedly saved children’s lives. The award is given to recognize an individual who has “…produced programs that are innovative, superior and highly successful in promoting traffic safety.” Lt. Douglas was nominated for her persistence and determination in getting an unsafe child seat out of automobiles in this country.
During a routine traffic stop in 2017, Lt. Douglas, a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician, noticed that the seats in which the driver’s young passengers were sitting did not meet federal standards. Lt. Douglas, with assistance from fellow CPS Technicians, submitted a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to begin an investigation on the product, which resulted in a NHTSA Consumer Advisory warning drivers not to purchase, and to cease use of, the deficient product.

In making the award, GTSC expressed its gratitude to the late officer for her diligence in getting the lengthy investigation started, and acknowledged that her efforts undoubtedly will protect traveling children for years to come.

Lt. Douglas retired from the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office in 2018, due to her battle with cancer. Unfortunately, she lost that battle in November 2019, and she is sorely missed by her family, friends and coworkers.

In Her Honor — The award presentation was done virtually, with Lt. Douglas’ husband, Chemung County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Wheeler, accepting the award on her behalf.
In Remembrance
Former Niagara County Sheriff Anthony Villella (1935 – 2020)

Sheriff Villella, who passed away November 21, at age 85, began his career with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in 1961 as a jail deputy and eventually rose through the ranks of the patrol division to be appointed Undersheriff by then Sheriff James Murphy in 1968. In 1970 he was elected Sheriff and went on to win four more 3-year terms, unopposed.

Sheriff Villella, who was a very active member of the Sheriffs’ Association, did much to modernize the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, which today still reaps the benefits of his work, and served on several state bodies as the Sheriffs’ Association’s representative, before retiring in 1986. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Eleanor, six daughters and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
NYSSA Participates in Podcast on Police Reform

Alex Wilson, NYSSA Associate Counsel, recently participated in a 20-minute podcast sponsored by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), with a conversation between Alex and NYSAC Legislative Director Ryan Gregoire.

They discuss challenges facing law enforcement amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thoughts on the Executive Order 203 and police reform initiatives, and legislative priorities that both associations are advocating for in 2021.
In the Spirit of Giving
To Make Peace with the Times, Have a Piece of Pie . . . and some Eggnog
American Pies — Fulton County Sheriff’s staff, assisted by a future (we hope) Deputy Sheriff, distribute pies to the community for Thanksgiving.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office distributed nearly 100 Thanksgiving “Peace” Pies and servings of Eggnog to residents who did not have dessert on Thanksgiving. Sheriff Richard Giardino said the pies are a way to help people have a “peaceful” Thanksgiving in these very chaotic times.
Members from all Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office volunteered to distribute the pies and eggnog on their own time. The Sheriff thanks both the Alliance Union and the PBA Union membership for their help.
“I hope the only time you see a deputy at your home . . . will be when we deliver a pie and eggnog," said Sheriff Giardino. "I assure you that this is not a way to peak into your home and see how many chairs are set at the table.”
Colorful Quilts for Cayuga County Kids
The Cayuga Lake Quilters Guild has supplied a number of beautiful homemade quilts to the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office for donation to children in the community this holiday season. Pictured left to right are Sheriff Brian Schenck, Undersheriff William Smith, and Sheriff’s Fiscal Officer Evelyn Goodman, a member of the Guild.
Our Diamond Partners
 New York State Sheriffs' Association | 518-434-9091 | www.nysheriffs.org