CHEEKTOWAGA – Security at a bulk of Erie County’s Auto Bureaus is non-existent according to Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns.
He said Wednesday that the Erie County Sheriff’s Office would be conducting an assessment of security at each of the county’s eleven Auto Bureau offices and mobile locations and he is calling on the appropriate committee in the county’s Legislature to consider and review the issue of security at the local auto bureaus.
“Through talking with each of the employees working at the local Auto Bureaus it became clear that a top concern is the lack of security at offices outside of downtown,” said Mr. Kearns.
He says outside of the bureaus located at Old County Hall and the Rath Building, employees that have direct contact with over 750,000 customers each year must rely on emergency response from a 911 call.
The Cheektowaga location has security on Saturday’s only.
“I strongly believe that no one should go to work feeling unsettled in their work environment. The employees at our Auto Bureaus are dealing with high-stress situations and are also handling financial transactions. I thank Sheriff Howard for offering the services of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to develop a security plan for county employees who work outside of the downtown area, and I am looking forward to discussing this further with the County Legislature,” added Mr. Kearns.
He said a recent incident at the Cheektowaga location had a customer threaten county workers by saying he was going to return to the site with a gun.
According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, security has responded to 115 complaints at the Downtown Auto Bureau over the last year. These complaints included a suspicious person, disorderly person, assault, criminal mischief and served a warrant.