One of the many required duties of the Sheriff is to
act as the “conservator of the peace within the county” as
articulated by Section 650 or the New York State County Law. To
comply with this mandate, the Sheriff maintains a law enforcement
component to protect the lives and property of the people of
Chautauqua County and to provide public service, as requested. The
Patrol Division is the largest and most visible part of this
The primary responsibility of the Patrol Division is to
provide continuous proactive patrols throughout the 1,069 square miles
of the county. During the course of providing the deterrent presence
afforded by these patrols, deputies are engaged in a multitude of
various duties during their normal shifts. These include responding to
public requests for assistance, the detection and investigation of
crimes and offenses and arrest of violators, traffic safety and
enforcement, accident investigation, the transport of prisoners and
lending assistance to other law enforcement and public safety agencies.
In addition to these tasks, specialized law enforcement services,
including SWAT, Dive/Rescue, bomb disposal, fire investigation, forensic
investigations, crisis negotiation, accident reconstruction, K-9 and DWI
enforcement are provided by members of the Patrol Division. In most
cases, these are collateral duties performed by patrol deputies in
addition to their primary duties.
The Patrol Division is currently staffed by 21
uniformed deputies, 3 sergeants and 3 lieutenants. Around the clock
coverage is provided by 3 shifts of 8 hours each. Each shift
consists of 1 lieutenant, 1 sergeant and 7 deputies who ensure
countywide coverage 7 days per week. This minimal staffing is
currently not adequate to provide for sufficient patrol coverage or
officer safety, particularly when regular days off, vacations, sick
leave and required training are factored in. On some shifts, the
ability to assign a patrol car to each of the 4 traditional patrol
zones, consisting of roughly 6 townships, is impossible.
Since mid-2011, at the request of the New York State
Police, additional calls for service, received by the Sheriff’s
Office Communications Center, have been dispatched to NYSP patrols.
While this has been somewhat helpful in alleviating the backup of
calls and response times, particularly during periods of high call
volume, the impact on Sheriff’s Office operations has been minimal.
Some of this is due to a continuous increase in incident activity
and calls for service, but differences in the deployment of patrols
between the two agencies has also mitigated some of the potential
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