Orleans County Sheriff

Article by Gary Kent

The candidates are endorsed Republican and Conservative, Randy Bower, Independence and Reform candidate, Tom Drennan, and endorsed Democrat, Don Organisciak. The story goes that the Republican committee chose Drennan in July, after many of them received phone calls on behalf of Tom from the District Attorney, but Bower upset their “apple cart” and took the line by winning the Republican primary in September. Some wondered why the Republican County committee would even name a candidate before primary day. But many believe the Republicans have been “grooming” Drennan to succeed retiring Sheriff Scott Hess for several years. Normally, whoever the County Republican committee chooses becomes the office-holder after an election rubber stamps their choice.

Drennan touts 23 years of experience in the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department and is currently the Sheriff’s Chief Deputy. Bower has a longer tenure in the Sheriff’s Department. He has worked in the control room of the County jail, but most of his experience is as a dispatcher. Organisciak worked in the Medina Police Department for 30 years, thirteen as its first full time Investigator. He spent two years in Lyndonville as the school resource officer.

Undersheriff choices:
Tom Drennan has tapped Brett Sobieraski , should Drennan be the victor on November 3rd. Sobieraski has considerable experience, as does Bower’s choice, Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Chris Bourke. Organisciak has asked another long-time law enforcement professional and former Holley Police Chief, Bill Murphy, to serve should Don be elected.

Positions, as indicated during the S.C.O.P.E. Candidate Forum in October:
On most issues there was little disagreement, though a wide variety of ideas were expressed.

Accreditation. Accreditation is favored by Drennan and Organisciak. Organisciak acted as though it was a no-brainer, saying it would lower insurance costs and improve access to grants. Drennan added that it would increase uniformity of service. Bower appeared to have little interest in accreditation.

Major Felony Crimes Task Force. Candidates Organisciak and Drennan favored allowing the District Attorney to continue to direct the “Drug Task Force,” as it is often called. Candidate Bower stated that this arm of law enforcement should be under the direction of the Sheriff.

S.A.F.E. Act. All suggested that no-one would have to be concerned about deputies coming to seize firearms without serious provocation, such as defiance of a court order. However, Randy Bower and Tom Drennan were in agreement that they would not enforce the S.A.F.E. Act. Organisciak stated clearly that it was the Sheriff’s job to uphold, teach respect for, and enforce laws regardless of one’s personal views. The S.A.F.E. Act authorizes court ordered mental health counseling in situations such as orders of protection cases. Organisciak would enforce such orders.