Erie County Unit Wins Prestigious Award for Outstanding Service in Statewide Competition
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz praised the award-winning work of the Erie County Probation Department Warrant Squad, which recently gained statewide recognition by winning the 2012 State Director’s Award for Outstanding Service by a Probation Officer. The award will be presented in Albany on August 9, 2012 by Robert Maccarone, Deputy Commissioner of the State Division of Criminal Justice Services and Director of the State Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.
“Congratulations to the hard working members of the warrant squad on this richly deserved recognition,” said Poloncarz. “Every day, they are doing the hard and often thankless work that helps to keep dangerous people off the streets while keeping County residents safe. Their willingness to take on extra work and training, as well as their ability to cooperate smoothly with other law enforcement agencies, should be commended.”
The current Warrant Squad began operations in 2008 and consists of 18 specially-trained Probation officers with fulltime caseloads, each of whom volunteers to be a squad member. They complete training in firearms and defensive tactics that is more rigorous than usual, and also participate in exercises involving searching for and apprehending suspects. When the squad began operations there were 845 outstanding probation warrants; since then, the squad has served 487 warrants.
“Prior to the creation of the Warrant Squad, a probation warrant had no teeth,” said Probation Director Brian McLaughlin. “We had to depend on the various police agencies to pick up probationers who had warrants issued, and those agencies didn’t have the resources to do that. Now, thanks to the members of the squad, we go get them ourselves. The willingness of the Warrant Squad officers to take on the dangerous and necessary task of executing warrants, in addition to their regular fulltime work as supervising probation officers, makes all the difference.”
In year 2012 to date, the Warrant Squad has served 112 warrants. This includes the apprehension of 6 sex offenders and the execution of 63 felony warrants. Additionally this year the Squad has made 4 felony drug arrests and 4 gun arrests.
The Warrant Squad is led by Supervisor Mike Lex. Joining Lex are squad members Scott Harmon, Deneen Anderson, Howarth Colon, Jeff Durski, Bill Diamond, Lisa Geier, James Knight, Gloria Roman, Kim Cedeno, Nancy Chu, Mike Zulewski, Dan Augustyniak, Gina Doyle, Richard Carter, Yvette Stocks, Matt Anderson, and Jen Curry.
There are generally two warrant details per month, with 8 officers participating on any given detail. These details go to the last known addresses of probationers for whom warrants have been issued and take them into custody. In addition to the warrant details, officers regularly participate in the Buffalo Police Department’s Operation Clean Sweep and in collaborative ventures at the state and federal level, initiating and cooperating in activities with the FBI, ATF, ICE, Erie County Sheriff, and police departments in Cheektowaga, Amherst, Tonawanda, Buffalo, and Lackawanna.
For more information on the Erie County Probation Department, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/probation/