Albion PD, Sheriff’s Office send police reform plans to state

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 March 2021 at 8:27 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Albion Police Department Sgt. Brandon Annable, left, and Lt. David Mogle are pictured outside the Albion police station on Platt Street. The two officers worked on a police reform plan that was required by all 500 law enforcement agencies in the state.

ALBION – The police reform and reinvention plans for the Albion Police Department and Orleans County Sheriff’s Office were both sent to the state by their governing bodies last week.

The Albion Village Board and Orleans County Legislature both voted on Wednesday to send the plans to state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo last June gave all 500 law enforcement agencies until April 1 to submit the plans after public feedback.

Albion gave residents a chance to comment on the police department through a five-question online survey.

“What we heard was vastly positive,” Lt. David Mogle told the Village Board last week.

The Sheriff’s Office held at least three public forums. Both the Sheriff’s Office and Albion PD formed committees with residents to go over the agencies’ policies for use of force and de-escalation, community relations, and training of officers on bias in profiling.

Mogle said the process allowed the Albion PD to hear from the community. One concern from the committee is people don’t like the tinted windows on the Chevrolet Tahoes driven by officers. Mogle said as those vehicles are rotated out the replacements won’t have tinted windows in the future.

The committee also suggested the Albion PD have more officers spend time in school buildings. The department currently has a dedicated school resource officer, Chris Glogowski. He has worked at the school district since February 2019, with the district contributing $81,250 annually to the village to have the officer dedicated to the schools.

More officers could spend time in the schools with the district’s approval and if it works with the Police Department’s staffing, Mogle said. Those officers could spend part of a shift with the school resource officer, Mogle said.

The department, under Police Chief Roland Nenni, has annual training for officers that far exceeds the annual state requirements. Albion officers do annual training with firearms, use of force, updates in laws such as bail reform and “Raise the Age,” Emergency Vehicle Operation Course, Stinger Spike Strips (vehicle pursuit termination efforts), administering Narcan, using tourniquets and other First Aid, and defensive tactics, Taser and use of less lethal bean bag shotgun, reality-based training focused on de-escalation, Bloodborne pathogens, and active shooter training.

The department has long banned the use of chokeholds. It has a policy against racial-based profiling. The Albion PD also is looking to add a Racial Justice training, the department states in its reform and reinvention plan.

To see the Albion PD plan, click here.

The Sheriff’s Office is responsive to the community, embracing more training to de-escalate volatile situations, Sheriff Chris Bourke said during a public forum on Feb. 4.

Bourke said deputies have received more training in responding to people in a mental health crisis. They are trained to help de-escalate those and other potentially volatile situations.

The Sheriff’s Office operates with the purpose that “all persons have the right to dignified treatment under the law; protection of this right is a duty which is binding upon all members,” according to the community relations policy.

Sheriff Chris Bourke

The policy about bias-based profiling states that all members of the Sheriff’s Office “will not affect a stop, detention, or search of any person which is motivated by race, color, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation.”

Bourke said the Sheriff’s Office has about 100 employees with 45 at the county jail. There are usually 22 to 24 deputy sheriffs, which includes two investigators, three sergeants, a lieutenant and one civil sergeant. The Sheriff’s Office currently has two vacancies for deputies and an investigator.

Jeff Gifaldi, the chief deputy, said the Sheriff’s Office has three patrol cars out 24-7, except on the weekends, when it is increased to four cars.

The Sheriff’s Office also runs a marine patrol from April 1 to Nov. 1 with a full-time deputy and 10 part-timers. The work in 26 miles of water along Lake Ontario, as well as Lake Alice, Glenwood Lake, the Erie Canal and other smaller bodies of water, Bourke said.

The Sheriff’s Office also runs the 911 dispatch center with nine full-time dispatchers and two part-timers. Last year they handled 32,000 calls.

“We’re proud of the services you provide in Orleans County,” County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said during last week’s meeting.

She faulted the state for threatening a funding cut for the municipalities that didn’t submit a plan by April 1.

“I commend the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office for all of their labor getting this plan together under threat of no funding, which wasn’t fair to you,” Johnson said.

To see the police reform for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, click here.