LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli had pointed words for county lawmakers Thursday during their last meeting of the year.
Via Zoom, the sheriff reiterated his non-enforcement stance when it comes to COVID-19 regulations and he says he wants lawmakers to quickly fill one of the positions in his department after a road patrol deputy resigned earlier this month.
The sheriff was asked if a school resource officer could fill that gap, prompting an exchange between the sheriff and Board of Legislators Chair Larry Dolhof.
“That’s a moot point sir. You’re still decreasing my force without any reason and you’ve given none. So you’re actually holding back on the people, agreeing with the Black Lives Matter and Antifa with defunding the police department. That’s exactly what’s happening here and we know that. If we want to go down that line we can and we can go publicly with it, that’s fine,” said Carpinelli.
“We have not defunded you whatsoever. We’ve made major increases. We have not abolished that position and probably that position will be filled,” said Dolhoff.
Dolhof says lawmakers will discuss the sheriff’s deputy position in committee next month.
In a press release Thursday evening, the Board of Legislators wrote it has a “strong track record of supporting public safety initiatives, increasing the Sheriff’s budget 15% in four years, and adding 10 public safety positions since 2017.”
The Board also welcomes the Sheriff “to use his platform as a community leader to contribute to our community’s effort to contain the spread of the virus by collaborating with public health officials, and encouraging his department to be a positive example for our community.”
Read the entire statement below: