Seneca Sheriff issues response to opponent

If it weren’t bad enough that my opponent has proposed feeding “road kill venison” to inmates or have inmates perform work for private citizens, both of which are against the law and would result in lawsuits or closing of our jail, now, he and his choice for Undersheriff want to review inmate medical records in violation of Federal HIPPA laws. “How a candidate for the Office of Seneca County Sheriff could risk the closure of the jail or having state wide accreditation taken away when we have taken in more than $1.6 million dollars by in boarding inmates by serving them “road kill venison” or having inmates performing work at the homes of our senior citizens is beyond me. To take convicted criminals around the county to the homes of our most vulnerable citizens to shovel their walks and driveways is just plain reckless and dangerous” said Sheriff Stenberg. “But, his new proposal to personally review inmate medical records is beyond belief. Federal HIPPA laws are in place to protect a person’s medical history and this unwarranted invasion by my opponent and his Undersheriff is perhaps the most outrageous thing I have ever heard” continued the Sheriff. “There is not enough money in Seneca County to defend against all the lawsuits his schemes he will put us in jeopardy of” commented the Sheriff. Our corrections medical and mental health staff has both the medical and psychological credentials and expertise to make informed diagnosis and develop treatment plans, but, now under my opponents plan they will be subject to review by him and his Undersheriff. This is not only dangerous but against the law. My opponent’s weekly campaign rhetoric runs the gamut of replacing non-emergency vehicles with low cost fuel efficient vehicles. To sell all non emergency vehicles and replace them with costly fuel efficient vehicles is both an unneeded and unnecessary cost and one which I will not subject the taxpayers of this County to. He reports our arrests our down by 10%. That is not the fact. Yes, the total number of arrests made by all law enforcement agencies in the County is down 10%, but arrests made by the members of our office has in fact increased over the past four years. My opponent is disparaging the work that every police officer in Seneca County has done by reporting a drop in arrests, when in fact; crime in New York has decreased. He claims that all by himself he will work to relieve unfunded state mandates. We believe that “power in numbers” by working hand in hand with other Sheriff’s and Chiefs of Police state-wide, along with our elected representatives to cut state mandates. There is strength in numbers, but my opponent is trying to lead voters into believing that he can get all state mandates cut single handedly. In his latest press release he says he is going to allow road deputies to preserve crime scene evidence and assure victims the case will be handled. Quite frankly, this is being done day in day out already. One of the most basic tasks of any police officer responding to a crime scene is to protect and secure evidence. He says he is going to have zero tolerance with child and elder abuse and implies that is not being done now. My opponent fails to report that each year our deputies and investigators handle hundreds of child and elder abuse cases and have an excellent working relationship with all social service agencies that serve children and seniors. My opponent proposes establishing a hot line after hours where a victim can speak with a deputy handling their case. In Seneca County, we are fortunate to have a victim/witness coordinator, who is a specially trained professional who works with crime victims on a daily basis along with our deputies. Our deputies routinely and as a matter of policy update victims and complainants as to case status. I feel it is much more important to have deputies on the road rather than in the office waiting for a phone to ring as my opponent wants to do. Jail population: My opponent wants to make sure we have plenty of room for local inmates. He feels that when I spoke to the magistrates and asked that they try to use Alternatives’ To Incarceration Program that is run by the Seneca County Probation Department, and spoke of considering bail instead of incarceration, in some situations, that I was more concerned about making money for the county thru the housing of Federal inmates. I believe the new jail was built was to house local inmates and produce income for the County by housing outside inmates and help reduce the taxpayers burden. We take serious our obligation to provide a professional service orientated Sheriff’s Office to the citizens of Seneca County and my opponent’s constant diminishment of those accomplishments and the men and women of this office is deplorable and not a way to run a campaign.

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