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Drennan announces his choice for undersheriff, a Rochester PD sergeant who lives in Kent

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Orleans County sheriff candidate Tom Drennan, left, and Brett Sobieraski meet with reporters this afternoon. If Drennan is elected sheriff on Nov. 3, he said his choice for undersheriff would Sobieraski, who has a 27-year career in law enforcement.

KENDALL – When Brett Sobieraski’s house was broken into, and guns and jewelry were stolen seven years ago, the Rochester Police Department sergeant knew what it was like to be a victim of a crime.

He didn’t like feeling so vulnerable.

Sobieraski lives in Kent. About two days after the crime, Tom Drennan and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office had it solved. Drennan, the chief deputy for the Sheriff’s Office, worked with investigators to make the arrests. Sobieraski’s possessions were returned to him.

“Tom Drennan was most responsible for solving that crime,” Sobieraski said today when he stood by Drennan, a candidate for sheriff. “I was astounded by the professionalism shown by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department.”

Drennan announced today if he is elected on Nov. 3, he would make Sobieraski his undersheriff. The two have known each other for about two decades. Their children attended Kendall Central School together.

Drennan and Sobieraski made the undersheriff announcement today at the Kendall community park gazebo across from the elementary school. Drennan wanted to highlight his small-town roots and commitment to protecting residents.

Sobieraski has a 27-year career in law enforcement. He started with the Lockport Police Department, and has worked the past 23 years with the Rochester Police Department, including the past 15 as a supervising sergeant with the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team.

He leads the multi-agency task force of undercover officers. He has participated in more than 2,000 search warrants, including some with the Major Felony Crime Task Force from Orleans County.

Tom Drennan and Brett Sobieraski take questions from the media this afternoon.

Sobieraski said Orleans County is not immune from drugs, especially heroin, and violent crime. He wants to take his years of experience and help train and raise the standards of professionalism in the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

He said he and Drennan are similar in expecting high standards and accountability for officers.

“When someone shows up for work, they work hard for their paycheck and their community,” Sobieraski said.

Drennan has shied away from picking an undersheriff, saying residents should focus on the sheriff’s name on the ballot. Randy Bower won a close primary over Drennan for the Republican line on Sept. 10, 1,671 to 1,650.

Bower, a public safety dispatcher, has been campaigning with Chris Bourke, a long-time lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Office, as the undersheriff choice.

Drennan said he has been asked repeatedly who he would name as undersheriff.

“It’s a topic that everyone’s bringing up and I don’t want it to be a distraction anymore,” he said.

Drennan said Sobieraski would bring “fresh eyes” to the department and help Drennan in his push for an accredited department through the state. To be accredited, the department will need clear policies and training for officers, as well as regular audits.

Drennan said accreditation would establish uniform standards and responses for deputies when they are working with the public.

“It would create standardization, whether it’s Deputy A or Deputy Z,” he said. “It would become a much more professional agency.”

Sobieraski has served as a police academy instructor the past nine years. He has taught SWAT, police supervisor, active shooter and enhanced in-service classes.

He also is a board member and former chairman for seven years of Huther Doyle, an outpatient addiction recovery agency.

Sobieraski said he welcomes the chance to work where he lives. He wants to help equip and train the local deputies. He also said the department is small enough, where Sobieraski can spring into action and help on calls.

Drennan said he too would be visible and working on police calls.

The Nov. 3 election also includes retired Medina police investigator Don Organisciak, who is running as a Democrat. He hasn’t said publicly who would serve as his undersheriff.