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"I am a Niagara County guy and I make this promise to my fellow citizens of Niagara County – I will come to work every day brimming with energy, determination and law enforcement expertise. My primary goal is to continue to keep our community safe and to enhance quality of life in every part of Niagara County. I promise to bring honor and integrity to the Office of the Sheriff and to continue to wear the badge with pride." 

PUBLIC SAFETY INITIATIVES

 

Niagara County Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti today announced he is a candidate for Niagara County Sheriff.  He issued the following statement:

“I am announcing my candidacy for Niagara County Sheriff.  I was humbled and exhilarated when my longtime colleague and mentor Sheriff James Voutour selected me to be his Undersheriff as of January 1, 2012.  For the past eight years I have had the privilege to work side-by-side with Sheriff Voutour at the most senior level to turn the words of the Mission Statement of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office into reality by ‘safeguarding life and property, preserving the peace, preventing and detecting crime, enforcing the law, and protecting the rights of all citizens.’  This has been done without partisan politics. There is no place for politics in law enforcement. Law enforcement is too important. There is too much at stake. 

“I will miss Sheriff Voutour and his honest and skilled leadership.  But, I believe that after 27 years as a professional law enforcement officer, I have the experience and core values required to lead the Office of the Sheriff.  I understand the Office of the Sheriff is not about one person. It is about being a visible leader of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office with responsibility to provide the kind of criminal justice services that every citizen deserves.  It is about teamwork. It is about family. I pledge to be tough on crime, work closely with other law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and individuals whose jobs and homes are in Niagara County in order to allow all to reap the benefits of living here.      

“To that end, some of my most recent efforts include serving on the law enforcement subcommittee for the Niagara County Opioid Committee since its inception; in the area of school safety, pushing for more technology and School Resource Officers (SROs);  increasing technology in law enforcement through use of body cameras and keeping pace with other advancements in technology; making available Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to both deputies and correction officers to better confront mental health issues present in those they encounter when discharging their duties and ensure the proper law enforcement reaction.  Each of these measures is designed to protect the rights of law abiding members of our society and guarantee due process for all. I am fully aware of the seriousness of these and other law enforcement matters and how they should be dealt with.

“I was born and raised in Niagara County.  Those who knew me as I was growing up would remember I constantly said ‘I want to be a police officer when I’m an adult.’  My dream came true. My wife and I have raised our children here. I am a Niagara County guy and I make this promise to my fellow citizens of Niagara County – I will come to work every day brimming with energy, determination and law enforcement expertise.  No one will outwork me. My primary goal is to continue wearing the Sheriff’s six-point star with pride and integrity to enhance the quality of life in every part of Niagara County. 

“I remember someone once told me ‘Jim Voutour will be a tough act to follow.  But, you know, Mike, he picked you to be his Undersheriff. I guess it’s clear he thinks you can be that one to follow.’ 

“Here’s the key point, though – even if he didn’t – I am confident that I’m the one.  I eagerly accept any challenges that await us.  I want to keep working, and working hard, for the people of Niagara County. 

“With all the humility I can summon, I feel there is no one who is more qualified to be the next Sheriff of Niagara County and I respectfully ask for your vote and support.”

 

Statement Regarding NY Safe Act and 2A Sanctuary County

 

Throughout my campaign, many have asked questions regarding my stance on the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms (NY SAFE Act). It is often challenging for me to answer every inquiry on this topic, so I offer this position statement to answer many of those questions.

 

 I am not a proponent of the NY Safe Act. The duties of the Sheriff include upholding the Constitution of both the United States and the State of New York. The Sheriff is empowered to maintain law and order in our great county.

 

The second amendment of the United States Constitution affords citizens the right to bear arms. If you are a responsible law abiding gun owner, rest assured your second amendment rights will not be infringed upon. Responsible gun ownership has been a time honored tradition amongst many families, and I can appreciate that.

 

Where I think we can find common ground is if you are a criminal, drug dealer, or a domestic abuser, I will apply the contents of the NY Safe Act accordingly in order to protect our community. My hope is that we can agree that these are examples that are an appropriate use of the law. 

 

Some have asked my position on Niagara County becoming a 2A sanctuary county. What you must understand is that this designation is merely symbolic and does not void any law regarding firearms. Further, this is a legislative action and even the passing of this designation provides no relief for any public official for fulfilling their sworn duties. 

 

I am a pro-second amendment law enforcement officer and will continue to support your right to bear arms. I am honored to have received the support and endorsement from the 1791 Society which works to protect our second amendment rights and responsible gun ownership.

Combat Opioid Epidemic


 

In many instances it is good to be ranked number one amongst others.  When it comes to opioid overdoses and related deaths it is not good to be at the top of the list.  Niagara County has taken the fight against the opioid epidemic head on.  With the creation of the Niagara County Opioid Task Force (OASIS) the goal was to reduce opioid overdoses.  The concept was to bring all stakeholders to the table to come up with creative new ideas that will have a direct impact in the community.  There has been some success, as shown by the numbers, but there is still more work to be done.  Again, it will take the efforts of the entire community to tackle this issue.


 

  • Further advertise the use of drug drop off bins that are placed throughout the county.  Thousands of pounds of unused pharmaceuticals have been destroyed as a result of this program.

  • Expand our working relationships with organizations like Save the Michaels to provide better exit strategies for our released inmates.

  • Bolster our response to overdose incidents in tandem with mental health professionals to offer better avenues to addiction treatment.

  • Continued expansion of the Sheriff’s Office substance abuse treatment POD to offer inmates the opportunity for success.

  • Continue our focused efforts with the Niagara County Drug Task Force with local and federal law enforcement agencies across Niagara County.

 

Law enforcement first realized that we cannot arrest our way out of this epidemic.  We have now started moving forward with new and creative programs to fight this problem.  We can’t stop now, we must move forward with our partners to prevail!
 

  • Serve on LE Subcommittee for Niagara County Opioid Task Force (law enforcement partners, fire/ems service, mental health, political leaders, district attorney’s office)  Come up with creative ways to help combat opioid overdoses in Niagara County.  

  • Serve on advisory board of Save the Michaels 

  • Expanded drug drop off bins throughout the county - recently added Wilson, Newfane and Degraff Hospital.  Thousands of pounds of drugs have been destroyed.

  • Expanded narcan program within the Sheriff’s Office.  Each deputy carries narcan to help overdose victims.  Additionally each deputy has narcan on their person in the event of accidental overdose.

  • Expanded use of Mental Hygiene Law - Enacted use of MHL 22.09 to provide us the opportunity to bring an individual to the hospital for treatment and potential long term help.

  • Discussion on LEAD diversion program and starting with one agency at a time to see if it is feasible.  Hold on arrest and divert for treatment in lieu of that arrest. 

  • Through our HIDTA analyst at the Niagara County Drug Task Force we are able to analyze and track more efficiently the number of overdoses in the county and follow trends.

  • Two prong approach to investigations was implemented to better investigate overdose deaths.  CIB and DTF to backtrack and locate where the drugs came from in an attempt to prosecute.

  • Other Opioid subcommittees have done a wonderful job in many areas; primarily education and opening up more opportunities for treatment.

  • Worked collaboratively with multiple entities (Mental Health was the lead) on applying for a grant to fund quick response teams to respond to overdoses and provide immediate transition to support services.  

  • Still in the fight and much more needs to be done.  Our numbers are trending down - 2017 -

  • Drug Treatment POD and MAT (medically assisted treatment) - POD in effect for a few years now and we have had hundreds go through the treatment POD.  Intensive treatment and VIVITROL upon release if a good candidate.  Release plans and follow up.  MAT is to provide further use of medicine to help qualified inmates beat their addiction problems.  

 
School Safety Initiatives


 

As a father of two children and the spouse of a school teacher in Niagara County, school safety is very important to me. Our schools in Niagara County hold within their walls some of our most vulnerable population, our children. Teachers and students meet to forge young minds and create our future leaders.  Our teachers should be focused on teaching and our students on pursuing their dreams through education.  My goal as your Sheriff is to create the safest environment possible for our learning institutions.  Here’s how we will accomplish this together. 

 

  • Implementation of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign with a special emphasis on schools.

  • Continue to push for more funding to ensure all of our schools have School Resource Officers.

  • Work with our School Violence Prevention Coordinator and school districts to enhance school safety technology, emergency planning and collaboration on best practices.

  • Our law enforcement personnel will receive the most up to date training to ensure the proper response, should an emergency situation arise.


 

As a community we must work together to obtain the best possible outcomes!

Paid for by Friends to Elect Mike Filicetti.