Protesters gathered at a restaurant in Williamsville to voice their frustration with the current Erie County Sheriff, just after the office is being honored for its work.
The New York State Sheriff’s Association spent the past two months reviewing the county’s jails and jail management, examining a number of criteria from policies, training and safety to the use of physical force and emergency preparedness.
The organization is made up of sheriff’s from across the state and it accredited the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday for its management of the county’s jails.
Sheriff Howard says he hopes this recognition can help restore some of the public’s trust in the county jails.
"So where we can have the public say 'wait a minute, of course the Sheriff is going to tell you how wonderful it is, the agency is'. But when we have outside people coming in and evaluating, the public will be more apt to trust it, more apt to accept it. This definitely is not the facility that it was 15 years ago," said Sheriff Timothy Howard of the Erie County Sheriff's Office.
About half of New York’s counties have been accredited by the organization for their management of jails.
The sheriff’s association says it did look at the inmate deaths in recent years and how the deaths were handled by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office before offering the accreditation.