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Sheriff Barry Virts

Dear Neighbors,

   In my December report to the Wayne County community, I spoke of the “Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act,” which protects law enforcement officers, emergency workers, tow and service vehicle operators and other maintenance workers who have stopped along roadways, performing their duties. That generated several questions on what motorists are required to do. 

   At the least, motorists need to slow down. On two-lane roadways, marked or unmarked by roadway lines, you are still responsible when you cross the lines for oncoming traffic and the officer or worker is in the road. You have to stop until the officer, tow operator, EMS personnel or highway maintenance worker is out of the way or it is safe to drive in the oncoming lane at a reduced speed using due care. On divided highways and other controlled access highways with multiple lanes, motorists must move from the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency or hazard vehicle at a reduced speed, using due care. 
   I am honored to have been appointed to the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) Domestic Violence Committee; I traveled to the NSA Winter Conference in Washington, D.C. attending the Domestic Violence Committee meeting, but also taking advantage of this time to attend the Jail and Detention Committee and Ethics, Standards and Accreditation Committee meetings. My appointment requires me to attend two committee meetings a year in different parts of the country. This is at no expense to the county taxpayer, but is covered by the NYS Sheriffs’ Association and by me personally. 
   While registering for the conference, I was greeted with a friendly hometown smile by Aimee (Welch) Peterson, who proudly told me she grew up in Marion. From what I observed, Aimee does a superb job for the NSA. Aimee is the daughter of Allen and Diane Welch of Ball Road, Marion. I also attended the NYS Sheriffs’ Winter Conference in Albany, where I was elected by my fellow County Sheriffs to serve as a Trustee on the NYS Sheriffs’ Association Executive Committee. 
   Corrections Officer Scott Carr has completed 30 years of service and Sergeant Terri Bushart has completed 20 years. I salute Scott and Terri for their service!  
  In December 2011, 90 males and 22 females (112 total) were committed to the jail facility, 141 court transports, 9,856 inmate meals were served and $48,725 was collected from 35 inmates released on bail and/or fines. Inmates worked a total of 2,725 hours of labor in laundry, facility cleaning and food service. Court Security Officers cleared 3,080 people entering the Hall of Justice through the magnetometer, securing 101 weapons (knives, razors, and scissors). Deputies traveled 93,701 miles on patrol, investigating 125 motor vehicle accidents, 3 missing persons, 26 animal complaints, 2,073 miscellaneous complaints, 474 minor crimes, 11 major crimes and 8 fires totaling 2,720 complaints received. Deputies issued 340 traffic tickets, 16 DWIs and made 139 misdemeanor and felony arrests. The Records Office processed 36 pistol permit applications and 60 pistol permit amendments requiring a Brady Check. The Civil Office served 123 legal papers and 105 Family Court orders, handled 6 evictions, received $116,044.50 and paid out $114,243.49 to creditors. $12,277.35 was remitted to Wayne County Treasurer Thomas Warnick for the county’s General Fund. 
   Our officers were busy in training in January: Deputies Gabe DeSanto and Craig Pagnotti attended the Technical Accident Investigation Course in Oriskany, NY and Lieutenant Robert Milby, Sergeants Gifford and Dallas attended the Central NY Multi-County Terrorism Zone two-day training in Syracuse. Deputies, correction officers, court security officers and local police trained on the continuum of appropriate “Use of Force and OC Gas.”   
   Please contact me at 315.946.5797 or bvirts@co.wayne.ny.us with any questions or concerns you may have.


Barry Virts


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