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Candidates for Erie County Sheriff makes final pitch to voters

Erie County Sheriff's Office candidates discuss their strengths, staffing, the budget and jail deaths.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On January 1, 2022, a new Sheriff will lead Erie County for the first time in over a decade.

Kimberly Beaty, the democratic nominee said she is ready. "I don't have a need to do on-the-job training. I'm ready to walk in the door and take over the Erie County Sheriff's office."

Beaty once served as a deputy commissioner of the Buffalo Police Department and currently serves as the Public Safety Director for Canisius College.

When it comes to jail employees in Alden who have expressed being overworked and ignored, Beaty said "we need to right-size the Sheriff's office there are huge staffing issues. We have to put leadership in place that is going to support my goals and that of the officers that are working there. They are literally incarcerated when they have to be forced to stay at work, so we have to do better management."

Credit: WGRZ-TV

Ted DiNoto is running as an Independent. "I am going to be a leader in the Sheriff's office. Every day I will step foot in all of the facilities."

DiNoto is an Amherst Police detective lieutenant. When asked about Holding Center deaths and the mental health of inmates, he acknowledged it is a huge concern and he has a plan. He wants to erase the stigma that has dogged the Holding Center.

"I am going to ask a mental health person to take care of the mental health issues," he said. We train police officers in recognition of mental health issues, substance abuse issues,  but at the end of the day, they are law enforcement officers. I am going to bring in the mental health professionals right at the beginning so when a person walks into the holding center or correctional facility they are evaluated."

Credit: WGRZ-TV

Republican John Garcia retired from the Buffalo Police PD and runs a private security firm.

"You can't just say you want to change, you have to bring in solutions."

He said he welcomes "the New York State Department of Corrections and their federal counterpart because what I'm looking at is how to make things better," he said.

Credit: WGRZ-TV

Staffing at the jails will be reviewed. 

"As far as the staffing levels, that is an issue. I've talked to a lot of jail deputies and corrections officers," he said "doing something like changing the schedule on day one and also training and equipment. It goes beyond that, that's the sheriff walking the halls, the leadership walking the halls."

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