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Committee recommends filling vacant positions

YATES COUNTY—The Yates County public safety committee agreed to fill a criminal investigator and deputy sheriff position during their meeting Friday, Feb. 1. Undersheriff Jack Gleason said the investigator position was currently vacated, and a deputy sheriff would have to be hired once somebody from the department was promoted into the position.
Gleason said the investigator does work for both the sheriff’s department as well as the Department of Social Services (DSS), devoting about half of his time to investigating fraud for the DSS. He said if not filled, each department would lose one half of an investigator position, although the work for DSS could be contracted out. Legislator Robert Schwarting said he would like to know how it would impact each department if the position was not filled, since there are still two other investigators currently employed. Gleason responded saying the sheriff would have to re-prioritize and that work would get pushed back all the way down, causing a domino effect of delayed work.
Legislator Daniel Banach was the only committee member who opposed refilling the vacant post, saying he has been told by his constituents the county has to start doing things differently, and this is an opportunity to cut half a position.
Legislator Tim Dennis said he was in favor of filling the vacant position, but was uncomfortable in doing so until the manpower study of the sheriff’s department was completed. He said it is almost a “no-brainer” that it should be done, but he agrees they need to look closely at every position.
The committee agreed to recommend the county fill the vacancy, while also unanimously agreeing to hire a deputy sheriff that would become open upon promotion.
In other business:
• The committee discussed the recently approved New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act during their meeting. District Attorney Jason Cook said there was extensive discussion from both sides of the argument at the District Attorney’s Conference he attended, saying he does not believe there is a universal response from the district attorneys or the sheriffs in the state.
“It’s the epitome of feel-good legislation for the people who wrote it at the top,” Banach said.
Dennis said the law puts the state on the path to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, while Legislator Rick Willson also voiced opposition to the act.
“It is another example of the enslavement of the American people,” Willson said. “I am not a big gun guy, I don’t even believe in pistol permits. But it is what it is, it’s in the constitution.”








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