SILVER CREEK - Almost a year after the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office took over policing the village of Silver Creek, Sheriff Joseph Gerace attended Monday's village board meeting to give a progress report.
Mayor Nick Piccolo credited a recent drug bust in the village to the sheriff's office and said he has heard mostly good things about the sheriff's coverage.
"Overall everyone is satisfied. There will always be some Doubting Thomases, but most of the comments I have got are that people are shocked how many sheriff's cars are in the village," he said.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace (right) gives an update on the department’s coverage of the village of Silver Creek at Monday’s village board meeting.
Gerace said he has heard feedback that the sheriffs are very visible in the village.
"I was born and raised in Chautauqua County and all of it is important to me. I want to keep the residents in Silver Creek and across the county safe," he said.
Trustee Thomas Harmon said he thinks the sheriffs are doing a "fantastic job" and asked if there has been any input from deputies on improvements for the village's policing.
Gerace said all reports and suggestions are reported up the chain of command.
"If something comes up where we could use the help of the board, we contact you. Like with this drug dropoff box," he explained.
Piccolo brought the drug dropoff box to the board's attention at the last meeting, when it was decided it would be discussed further when Gerace visited.
Gerace explained the dropoff box, which resembles a post office mailbox, is a great way for residents to dispose of unwanted drugs.
"Our box in Mayville has been very successful. Mostly people drop off prescription drugs they do not use and don't want in the house because they are controlled substances. We do an annual drug dropoff day, but having the box means they do not have to stockpile prescriptions," he said.
Gerace said the box is not just for prescriptions, but all medicine and also illegal drugs with the exception of liquid and needles. He explained the box helps keep these drugs out of the water supply and the landfill.
Planning Board Member Sandra Lindstrom asked if the sheriff's office is still interested in moving its substation to the old police department office.
Gerace said they are still considering it, but it is not feasible to have an office in Silver Creek and Hanover.
"We want to know the future of the contract before we proceed," he said.
The village board was set to have a workshop on Saturday to discuss the village's policing options, but it was canceled and a rescheduled date was not set.
It was noted the plan for policing the July 3 fireworks is in place and a meeting has been set to discuss coverage of the Laurel Run.
Gerace concluded by saying residents can report suspicious activity, concerns or complaints to the sheriff's office.
The board unanimously approved the drug dropoff box to be placed in the court clerk's office in the old police office.
The board will next meet on July 7. There will not be a second meeting in July.