Sheriff Tim Luce on COVID-19

Sheriff Luce Announcement to Seneca County Citizens on COVID-19

As this situation unfolds it is important not to give in to rumors, unsubstantiated reports and fake news. The Sheriff is in daily contact with the Health Department and other County Officials to keep up on developments. Seneca County is on top of the situation and public officials are taking all reasonable precautions. A great way for citizens to keep up on the situation is to download the Seneca County Sheriff’s App at https://apps.myocv.com/share/a25713148 The App is constantly updating COVID-19 info. Local news media and the CDC website are also a reliable sources of updated information

Many measures have been taken in all Sheriff’s Office divisions to minimize exposure. For the duration of the COVID-19 situations the public can expect the following from the Sheriff’s Office:

1. There will be no reduction of emergency services and emergency responses to complaints.

2. Officers will be making enhanced use of personal protection gear such as facemasks, gloves, and other barrier protection

3. Non-emergency complaints will be handled by phone when possible.

4. Officers will to meet complainants outside of their homes when possible and appropriate.

5. Jail visitation is suspended. Inmates will be allowed a quantity of free electronic communications with family and loved ones.

6. Non-essential divisions such as Records, Pistol Permits and Civil are temporarily closed. Non-essential personnel have been furloughed and are working from home when possible.

7. The Civil Office will continue to handle emergency matters such as serving Orders of Protections and Custody Orders. Civil work mailed in will be handled. Civil Sgt David Smith is available for messaging at dsmith@co.seneca.ny.us or 315-539-1706

Sheriff Luce stated that fear and panic are the biggest challenges we face. When people are scared they can act irrationally. The Sheriff is urging all citizens to stay calm and use common sense precautions during this situation. It is important to remember that sickness like the cold and flu routinely happen and do not necessarily indicate a COVID-19 infection. Citizens should follow the advice of their medical providers and keep up on reputable news reports of the COVID-19 situation.

Sheriff’s Non-Essential Offices Closed

Seneca County Sheriff Tim Luce reports that the following cautionary measures are being implemented during the COVID-19 situation.

The Sheriff’s Office Records, Civil and Pistol Permit Offices will be closed starting March 18th, 2020 and will tentatively re-open April 6th, 2020.

Inmate visitation at the County jail will continue to be suspended until further notice. During this suspension inmates will be given an opportunity for a quantity of free phone calls and electronic communication with their family and loved ones.

Emergency Civil matters such as Orders of Protection and Custody Orders to be served will still be addressed. Civil Sergeant David Smith can be reached or messaged at 315-539-1706 or dsmith@co.seneca.ny.us

Freedom Of Information Requests will not be processed until after April 6th, 2020.

Sheriff Luce states that there will be no reduction in emergency police services and that the public’s patience in any delay of non-emergency services is appreciated.

Inmate Visitation Suspended

March 13, 2020: Sheriff Tim Luce has temporarily suspended all visitation to the Seneca County Correctional Facility effective this date. This is a cautionary move to reduce risk on any Covid19 exposure issues. The correctional medical staff agrees with this temporary order. The Sheriff’s Office regrets any inconvenience to the public caused by this precaustion.

Sheriff W. Timothy Luce

Monthly Snapshot

SENECA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MONTHLY SNAPSHOT FOR FEBRUARY 2020 LAW ENFORCEMENT:

Total Calls For Service: 1018

Total Arrests: 41 D.H.S.

Fraud Cases: 7; Yearly Total Cost Recouped: $28,671

NARCO: Total new drug cases: 7 Total arrests: 9

CORRECTIONS: Average Number of Inmates: 51 Monthly Total Made for Boarding In: $36,842.34; Yearly Total: $78,101.03

CIVIL: Total Summons/Complaints/Services: 46 Total Income Executions: 15 Total Evictions: 4

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH:

February 3rd, 2020: A California jury found Karl Karlsen guilty of killing his first wife 29 years ago. Seneca County Sheriff’s Office began the Karlsen Murder case in 2012 and assisted California with their part of the case.

February 19th, 2020: NARCO charged a suspect for allegedly selling a narcotic medication in Seneca Falls.

February 22nd, 2020: The Sheriff’s Office, along with New York State Police, assisted the Seneca Falls Police Department with a conflict between Cayuga Indian factions that involved the demolition of properties on Route 89 in Seneca Falls.

February 25th, 2020: NARCO apprehended 2 suspects for allegedly possessing and selling crack cocaine in the Town of Waterloo.

February 27th, 2020: Investigators charged a Seneca County inmate with felony assault charges after the inmate allegedly attacked and injured 2 Correction Officers.

February 29th, 2020: The Sheriff’s Office, along with New York State Police, assisted the Seneca Falls Police Department with a Cayuga Indian Nation demonstration on Garden St. Ext. in Seneca Falls. The demonstration turned violent and degraded into a riot. The investigation is continuing. Sheriff W. Timothy Luce

Undersheriff John Cleere

Death Investigation.

Sheriff W. Timothy Luce reports that the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the death of a Department member. The incident occurred on March 2, 2020 at about 3:28pm in the Town of Fayette. The preliminary investigation has ruled that the death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At this time, Sheriff’s Investigators are continuing the investigation and the identity of the member is not being released at this time out of respect for the family. 

Monthly Snapshot

SENECA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MONTHLY SNAPSHOT FOR JANUARY 2020 LAW ENFORCEMENT:

Total Calls For Service: 1172 Total Arrests: 64

D.H.S. Fraud Cases: 17; Yearly Total Cost Recouped: $714.00

NARCO: Total new drug cases: 4 Total arrests: 3

CORRECTIONS: Average Number of Inmates: 53 Monthly Total Made for Boarding In: $41,258.69; Yearly Total: $41,258.69

CIVIL: Total Summons/Complaints/Services: 50 Total Income Executions: 35 Total Evictions: 10

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH: January 2nd, 2020: NARCO arrested an alleged crack cocaine dealer for selling and possessing an “A felony” amount of crack cocaine in Waterloo.

January 6th, 2020: The Family Services Unit charged a suspect with Predatory Sexual Assault and Rape 1st degree for allegedly molesting a young child in the Town of Covert.

January 13th, 2020: Investigators closed a Grand Larceny case by arrest in the Town of Junius.

January 23rd, 2020: Deputies responded to a 3 car accident on Route 318 in the Town of Junius. One person was killed. The accident is still under investigation.

January 24th, 2020: A new K9 and her assigned deputy finished training. K9 “Coski” and Deputy Zack Nelson are now on patrol. Coski is a tracking and narcotics detection dog.

January 24th, 2020: The Department’s newest DARE Officer completed training. Deputy Jordan Rapa will be instructing the DARE program at South Seneca School this year.

January 2020: Throughout the month the Sheriff’s Office has assisted the Calaveras County California D.A.’s office with the prosecution of Karl Karlsen alleged to have murdered his first wife. Karlsen was previously convicted in Seneca County for murdering his son.

Sheriff W. Timothy Luce

Undersheriff John Cleere

Monthly Snapshot

SENECA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MONTHLY SNAPSHOT FOR DECEMBER 2019

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Total Calls For Service: 964 Total Arrests: 69

D.H.S. Fraud Cases: 36; Yearly Total Cost Recouped: $200,833.54

NARCO: Total new drug cases: 6 Total arrests: 18

CORRECTIONS: Average Number of Inmates: 59 Monthly Total Made for Boarding In: $44,195.24; Yearly Total: $541,890.82

CIVIL: Total Summons/Complaints/Services: 33 Total Income Executions: 24 Total Evictions: 3

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH:

December 4th, 2019: NARCO charged 2 suspects for allegedly selling narcotic medication and possessing fentanyl in Waterloo.

December 7th, 2019: Deputies conducted the 5th annual “Shop with a Sheriff” event.

December 12th, 2019: A Meth Lab was discovered in Ovid. After the execution of a search warrant a suspect was charged with multiple class A felonies.

December 14th, 2019: Deputies engaged in a vehicle chase in Interlaken. The suspect was revoked for DWI, driving without a mandated interlock devise and had 2 small children in the car.

December 20th, 2019: NARCO charged a suspect for allegedly selling a large amount of cocaine in Waterloo.

December 21st, 2019: Investigators charged a suspect with several felonies relating to Welfare Fraud in Waterloo.

December 2019: Preparing for Bail and other Criminal Justice law changes was a major activity throughout the month.

Sheriff W. Timothy Luce

 Undersheriff John Cleere

Longer Waits at Seneca County Sheriff’s Records/Civil/Pistol Permit Office

From Wednesday January 8th through January 9th 2020 there will be renovations in progress at the Records/Civil/Pistol Permit Offices of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. Citizens may wish to postpone their business if possible as these renovations will result in longer than usual waiting times. The patience of the public is appreciated and we expect business as usual by Friday January 10th,  2020.    

Methamphetamine Lab Identified

December 12th, 2019: The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and Criminal Investigation Division executed a search warrant at 2868 Munson Road, in the Town of Ovid.

Subsequent to the warrant execution Investigators charged Benjamin R. Nichols, age 26, of the same address with the following charges: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the second degree- Class A Felony Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the third degree- Class D Felony 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the third degree- Class D Felonies Criminal Possession of a Firearm- Class E Felony Sex Offender Failure to Register Address- Class E Felony 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the fourth degree- Class A Misdemeanor 3 counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia – Class A Misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the seventh degree- Class A Misdemeanor

Upon the execution of the search warrant, Deputies discovered a clandestine methamphetamine lab. Deputies also discovered numerous rifles, a 9mm handgun, methamphetamine, metal knuckles, digital scales, and approximately 1000 rounds of ammunition. Nichols is a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess firearms. Deputies were assisted at the scene by the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team and Seneca County Codes. NYSPCCSERT collected all of the hazardous materials from the residence. Seneca County Codes then deemed the property inhabitable and condemned it.

Nichols was held at the Seneca County Correctional Facility to await arraignment at CAP court. After arraignment he was committed to the Facility on no bail pending a hearing.

Sheriff Luce stated that the case began when Investigators developed information while doing a check on Nichols as a registered sex offender. Nichols is currently a level two registered sex offender. The Sheriff added that the case was an example of excellent police work and follow up that eliminated a hazard to the community.

Monthly Snapshot for October

SENECA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MONTHLY SNAPSHOT FOR OCTOBER

2019 LAW ENFORCEMENT: Total Calls For Service: 1084

Total Arrests: 67

D.H.S. Fraud Cases: 15; Yearly Total Cost Recouped: $165,736.54

NARCO: Total new drug cases: 5 Total arrests: 5

CORRECTIONS: Average Number of Inmates: 68 Monthly Total Made for Boarding In: $59,206.48; Yearly Total: $445,365.46

CIVIL: Total Summons/Complaints/Services: 32 Total Income Executions: 31 Total Evictions: 3

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH:

October 14th, 2019: Deputies apprehended a suspect after a foot chase in Border City. The suspect had been allegedly throwing rocks through a local business’s window.

October 21st, 2019: NARCO apprehended a suspect for allegedly selling and possessing crack cocaine in the Town of Seneca Falls.

October 26th, 2019: A house fire totally destroyed a residence in the Town of Romulus. The occupants safely escaped the blaze.

October 29th, 2019: Investigators arrested a suspect in Waterloo for several felonies relating to Welfare Fraud. The D.H.S. Fraud unit is continuing to work jointly with the State Inspector General’s Office on Welfare Fraud and Workman’s Compensation Fraud.

October 31st, 2019: Investigators charged two suspects in a Grand Larceny case from the Town of Varick. Over $2500 was stolen.

Sheriff W. Timothy Luce

Undersheriff John Cleere