Organisciak says he would be working sheriff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – Don Organisciak worked 30 years as a police officer for Medina, with 16 years as a patrolman, then a year as a sergeant and the final 13 years as the Medina Police Department’s first full-time criminal investigator.

Organisciak retired in June 2008 and would work two more years as the school resource officer for Lyndonville Central School.

He misses police work and welcomes the chance to return to law enforcement. On Wednesday he was backed by the Democratic Party as its candidate for sheriff.

“I wouldn’t reinvent the wheel,” he said about the job as sheriff. “I’m a cop’s cop. If you don’t have happy employees they won’t want to work for you.”

Organisciak currently is a part-time school bus driver in Medina. He has lived in Medina all of his life. He and his wife Jacalyn have two grown sons.

Organisciak said his top goals would be good response times for officers called for complaints and emergencies, and a department with strong morale.

“The first thing is to protect the residents of Orleans County,” he said. “With the staff I’d have an open-door policy.”

There is now a three-way battle to be the next sheriff to succeed Scott Hess, who is retiring on Dec. 31. The Republican Party endorsed Tom Drennan, chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Department, and the Conservative Party backed Randy Bower, a dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Department.

Republicans holds a 2-1 edge in enrollment over Democrats in Orleans County and that makes it difficult for a Democrat to win a county-wide election.

However, political observers note that Drennan and Bower could split the Republican vote, and Organisciak could pull out a narrow win in November with a big turnout from Democrats as well as votes for Organisciak from other residents.

Organisciak said he believes he has the experience to do the job and be a strong leader for the department. The job is largely administrative, but Organisciak said he wouldn’t limit himself to working at a desk.

“I’d be a working sheriff,” he said. “I wouldn’t ask my men to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. From my time as criminal investigator, I’m used to being called out at night.”

Organisciak said he knows many of the officers in the Sheriff’s Department, State Police and even FBI from his time as criminal investigator.

“I have a good rapport with the other law enforcement agencies,” he said.