The Town of Greece Police Department handles over 85, 000 calls for service annually while providing law enforcement services to the 95,499 people (2019 US Census Bureau) who reside within the 47.52 square miles of Town land area. The Department has provided law enforcement services to the community since 1932.
The Greece Police Department is a New York State Accredited agency. The Department was initially accredited in 1994 and has maintained its accreditation status since. The accreditation program encompasses four principle goals, those being: To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement agencies utilizing existing personnel, equipment and facilities to the extent possible; To promote increased cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies and other agencies of the criminal justice services; To ensure the appropriate training of law enforcement personnel; and To promote public confidence in law enforcement agencies (New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services). An agency must demonstrate to New York State Assessors compliance with the 110 standards as established by the New York State Accreditation Council.
On August 17, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed Executive Order 203 – the ‘New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative’ which required local police agencies to develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs in their community based on community input. The Town of Greece formed a Police Reform and Reinvention Committee to perform the above duties. This Committee included members and leaders of the Greece Police, members of the community, and members of the non-profit and faith-based community, the local office of the district attorney, the local public defender, and local elected officials. The committee was charged with:
- Reviewing the needs of the community served by its police agency;
- Evaluating the police agency’s current policies and practices;
- Establishing policies or recommending adjustments to current policies that allow police to effectively and safely perform their duties;
- Developing policy recommendations resulting from this review;
- Offering a plan for public comment, and;
- Presenting the plan to the Town Board to ratify or adopt it.
Supervisor Reilich and the Greece Town Board invited the residents of Greece to participate in a Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Survey. The survey was available to Greece residents from January 2nd until January 16th. The survey was launched as a way to give the community a voice at a time when groups and gatherings were prohibited due to COVID restrictions. The results served to focus the committee on topics important to the Greece Community. They are as follows:
- Investigation of Crimes, including crimes against people and property and those involving drugs.
- Targeted patrols of high crime areas.
- Vehicle and Traffic Law enforcement.
- Response to quality of life issues (noise complaints, nuisance locations, loitering, etc.)
- Programs geared toward developing and maintaining positive relationships with community members.
- Participation in Police-Community forums.
- Victim support services.
- Social media presence/outreach.
In developing this plan, the Town of Greece Collaborative Committee and/or committee members considered, among other topics of study and research, all of the following areas relevant to police reform as set forth in the Governor’s Executive Order Number 203: Evidence-based policing strategies, including but not limited to, use of force policies and procedural justice; Studies addressing systemic racial bias or racial justice in policing; Implicit bias awareness training; De-escalation training and practices; Law enforcement assisted diversion programs; Restorative justice practices; Community-based outreach and conflict resolution; Problem-oriented policing; hot spots policing; Focused deterrence; Crime prevention through environmental design; Violence prevention and reduction interventions; Model policies and guidelines promulgated by the New York State Municipal Police Training Council; and Standards promulgated by the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. Although all of these areas were considered, not all of these items were deemed to be imperative topics set forth in the initial improvement goals recommended by the Collaborative Committee. Because this plan is intended to be a continuous improvement plan and a living document, any topics not made an immediate priority may become priority topics to be addressed in the future.
The committee considered that change can be viewed as not something which is imposed, but rather a voluntary on-going process of evaluation and improvement. The committee also considered an empowered police officer is best prepared to serve and empower members of the community. The following recommendations and associated commentary were agreed upon by members of the committee:
- Enhance community outreach to reach a larger and more diverse group of people by participating in community meetings and enhancing social media outreach by enlisting faith-based organizations and community groups as networking force multipliers.
- Implementation of an on-going customer service survey program geared toward reaching a larger and more diverse group of people. The results to be considered in the Police Department internal evaluation and improvement processes.
- Improved focus on Department member well-being so they are best prepared to serve the community. The focus will encompass:
- Training regarding available mental health services, identifying signs and symptoms of a person struggling psychologically and how to effectively intervene.
- Fostering a culture of self-evaluation, empathy, caring for one another, and freedom to feel and talk about emotions.
- Implement procedures wherein Department members are provided more opportunities to provide input and receive feedback related to the policy development and personnel-related decision making processes.
- Implement a Department Chaplain Program wherein members readily have access to Clergy.
- Provide members free access to enhanced exercise facilities on the Town Hall Campus.
- Enhance ability to effectively interact, and develop positive relationships, with diverse groups of people
- Obtain training for Department members related to cultural differences and effective communication with diverse groups of people.
- Implement Chaplain Program and offer as a resource to community members in need.
- Develop the Victim and Witness Advocate program into a more proactive program.
- Strive to ensure all Patrol Officers receive Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) within the next several years via sending groups to training on a regular basis, subject to open classes per the Monroe County Public Safety Training Facility.
- Update the Vehicle Pursuit policy to reflect enhanced risk management language.
- Research tools that can be utilized to reduce risk of injury in force situations
- Establish a grant search/writing program to obtain funding enabling the Department to obtain devices and de-escalation training designed to reduce risk of injury to all involved during potentially volatile encounters.
- Enhance current Crime Analysis/Info Sharing program via designating personnel to focus on tracking trends and pattern recognition. Disseminate information accordingly to be used in developing targeted enforcement strategies.
- Enhance Crime Prevention through environmental design initiatives. Utilize Community Services Unit-sponsored events to educate community members regarding how to “police the community “and deter crime.
- Law-enforcement assisted diversion programs
- Establish liaison/POC with County agencies (DA/Family Court, etc.) to foster having the most up to date information related to diversion programs and related procedures.
The Department will strive to implement the aforementioned recommendations within the next twelve months unless otherwise noted, notwithstanding superseding Executive Orders or Legislation.
Supervisor Bill Reilich is pleased to announce that Town-Sponsored DMV-Approved Defensive Driving Courses have been scheduled for the months of April, May, and June. Each course will be held in two separate session (6:00pm – 9:00pm) on weeknights. You must attend both sessions in order to complete the course.
Greece Residents who are interested in attending Defensive Driving Courses may sign up via the Town of Greece website. Visit the Town of Greece website at www.greeceny.gov, click the “Residents” tab on the upper right hand corner of the home page, select “Defensive Driving Course”, and follow the link to submit the online registration form. You may also access the registration link directly by clicking here: https://greeceparksandrec.greeceny.gov/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/splash.html. Please note that the online registration form is submitted through the Town of Greece Community Center. This means that a few of the registration questions may be irrelevant, but are nonetheless mandatory that you answer in order to complete the online registration process. There will be a section on the registration webpage to input your credit card information. Accepted credit cards are Visa/Mastercard/Discover. If you have any pre-registration questions, please call 723-2425.
*Please note that new online registrants to the Town of Greece Community Center must complete all required sections. Any optional questions may be left blank if the registrant so chooses.
Defensive Driving Courses are currently being offered to Greece residents only at a rate of $18/student. Class sizes are limited to the first 20 students who register, which means that registration will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please note that there are no refunds for these courses.
Defensive Driving Courses will be held at Greece Town Hall – Vince Tofany Boulevard, Greece, NY 14612. Please see below for the schedule of upcoming classes:
Tuesday, April 13th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, April 15th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
Tuesday, May 11th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, May 13th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
Tuesday, June 15th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (first session)
Thursday, June 17th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm (second session)
All course material questions will be covered during the extensive class sessions. Additional information regarding the course and point and insurance reduction can be found on the DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/brochure/point-insurance-reduction-program.
What is defensive driving? The DMV defines defensive driving as a safe driving technique that all drivers should use, which includes:
- Looking ahead and expecting the unexpected.
- Controlling your speed.
- Maintaining a safe following distance.
- Preparedness for the reactions of other drivers.
- Driving safely for weather and/or road conditions.
- Being alert and distraction-free.
- Watching and respecting other drivers.
Benefits associated with completing the Defensive Driving Course according to the National Safety Council and the Department of Motor Vehicle:
- Reduction in fines associated with a traffic ticket.
- Offsetting ticket points on your driving record.
- Up to a 4-point reduction with NYS DMV.
- An insurance rate reduction.
- Mandatory insurance premium reduction of up to 10% for 3 years.
- Prevention or reinstatement of a suspended driver’s license.
- The opportunity to be part of a program that sets the standard for accident prevention and vehicle safety in New York State.
Benefits associated with completing the Defensive Driving Course in the Town of Greece Police Headquarters classroom setting:
- You will have direct access to an instructor for questions and thorough explanations.
- You will have multiple visual aids in differing formats.
- You will be sharing the room with other drivers you may learn and receive support from.
- You will have a structured learning environment.
“I am pleased to start bringing back our popular Defensive Driving Courses for Greece residents, which were on pause for the past several months due to Pandemic safety concerns. We have secured a large room to hold our upcoming classes and will be following all safety and social-distancing protocols” said Supervisor Reilich. “Bringing cost-efficient services to Greece Town residents has always been one of my top priorities, and I am pleased to offer these courses at the very reasonable rate of $18/student, which covers the cost of the materials provided. I hope you will take advantage of this great service the Town of Greece offers!”
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich and members of the Town of Greece Youth Board have announced that applications are now being accepted for the Jerry J. Helfer Youth Engagement Scholarship. Jerry Helfer was a man of exceptional character and virtue who always exhibited kindness to anyone he encountered. Throughout his life, Jerry dedicated his time and talents to making our community a better place. One of Jerry’s first positons in public service was being a member of the Greece Youth Board. Additionally, Jerry served as Town Councilman from 1998 until 2009 and as Deputy Supervisor from January 2014 until his untimely passing in July of the same year.
“Jerry was an upstanding citizen, co-worker, and friend” said Supervisor Reilich. “It is an honor for me to announce this scholarship in memory of Jerry. His respect for public service and his love for learning are the foundations of this scholarship. Jerry loved his community and we want to be able to engage our youth to enable their participation in local government and community service. I encourage all seniors in high school to apply for this scholarship and continue on Jerry’s lifelong legacy of public service and learning”.
The Jerry J. Helfer Youth Engagement Scholarship provides the Greece community with the opportunity to recognize a student that regularly upholds exemplary moral values, devotes time and energy into helping serve the Greece community, and consistently displays outstanding leadership skills.
Scholarship applications can be found on the Town of Greece website: https://greeceny.gov/departments/parksandrecreation/jerry-j-helfer-youth-engagement-scholarship. The scholarship deadline is Friday, May 7, 2021.
The GROW Greece Commercial Occupancy Incentive Funds are available to assist with the cost of physical improvements and renovations necessary to re-occupy an existing commercial space that has become vacant as a direct result of impacts associated with the COVID-19 public health crisis (Renovation Funds). Additional funds are available to help cover certain social distancing improvements (Adaptive Improvement Funds). This is a reimbursement program and funds must be matched by the applicant.
The town will begin accepting applications on Friday, March 5, 2021, and awards will be granted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Program funds have been allocated from a supplement to the town’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. There is $250,000 worth of funding available with a 50% cost match up to $25,000 maximum award. An additional $10,000 is available for certain social distancing improvements.
“The COVID-19 public health crises has had a devastating effect on many small businesses in our community” said Supervisor Reilich. “The GROW Greece Commercial Occupancy Incentive is the next step in the town’s plan for a strong and speedy economic recovery. Economic development programs are among the core recommendations of the town’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan, and they are more important now than ever. The Town Board and I are committed to strengthening our local economy, and we look forward to working with you”.
This morning, Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich hosted a proclamation ceremony in recognition of Greece resident and Greece Arcadia Senior Adam Strand. Present at the ceremony were Adam’s mother, Diana, father, Greg, and sister, Audrey. Also attending the ceremony were Greece Arcadia Principal Gina Larsen and Superintendent Kathleen Graupman.
Adam was named a National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. His Finalist status qualified him for full-ride offers from several universities. Adam’s 2019 PSAT score of an outstanding 1500 gave him program eligibility and his application enabled him to advance from Semifinalist to Finalist. Adam has a cumulative GPA of 98.958 and has earned High Honor Roll with Distinction every quarter.
Adam has been very involved at Greece Arcadia. He played Varsity Soccer for 3 years, earning Co-MVP and Second Team All County honors this past Fall. He has also been the captain of the JV Soccer Team. Adam also plays clarinet and was selected for the District Honor Band. He is also on the Chess Team and often plays first board position. Adam has received some noteworthy awards, including the Clarkson Leadership Award, the College Physics Award, and the AP Scholar Award. Outside of school, Adam is very involved in his church – Hope Church. He serves as co-leader of the Kids Sundays Tech Team and is a volunteer at Flower City Work Camp and the annual summer mission trip. Adam has been offered full tuition scholarships from several universities and has decided to attend Washington State University. He is interested in studying mechanical engineering and has committed to the Honors College.
“Adam is 1 of only approximately 15,000 high school seniors to be named a National Merit Finalist” said Supervisor Reilich. “I was proud to acknowledge Adam and present him with a proclamation recognizing his outstanding achievement!”
Supervisor Bill Reilich is inviting Greece Town residents to submit original renderings for the official logo to be used as we prepare to celebrate the Town’s 200th Birthday.
March 22, 2022 marks the two-hundred-year anniversary of the Town of Greece! Originally called Northampton, the town was named after the country of Greece, which was fighting a war of independence from Turkish rule. Planning for this historic bicentennial celebration has already begun and we look forward to celebrating Greece's rich history as one of the largest municipalities in New York State.
To officially kick things off, we wanted to open up this opportunity to all Greece residents and businesses who would like to submit a logo idea which, if selected as the finalist, will be used on all official literature, documentation and social media relating to the Town’s plan to celebrate this historic event.
“We are anxious to engage our community in this historic milestone” said Supervisor Reilich. “We have so many events that will delight our community as we gather together to celebrate what makes our town so unique.”
In the upcoming months we will begin to organize activities and events all in honor of the Town Of Greece 200th birthday celebration. There will be many opportunities for members of the community to participate in the planning and development of what we foresee will be nearly a year-long celebration which we will kick off in 2022.
Keep tuned to Bill Reilich Greece Town Supervisor Facebook page and the Town website for future announcements as we work to celebrate 200 years together.
The Town of Greece has always looked for ways to engage ALL of our residents, to provide amenities and opportunities for young and old alike – regardless of their abilities or challenges.
“My team and I always look for ways to think outside of the box, and today we want to grow that box – we want to help pave the way for a playground that is not only accessible, but one that is inclusive. Inclusive play is a powerful experience that impacts childhood development, family bonding, and social perspectives” said Supervisor Reilich. “It is with great inspiration that I announce our partnership with Endless Highway, Inc., an organization that works every day to ensure that goals of local youth with disabilities - and the needs of their families - are matched with equipment, funding, opportunity and friendship”.
Our project, Build to Include, will build something in Greece that will transform experiences for kids and families of all ages and abilities. We encourage you to start by visiting this link: http://bit.ly/endlesshighwaybuildtoinclude to see the story of a young Greece resident, an organization with a great vision, and our Town of Greece that will connect the pieces.
“Stay tuned: the support from the Town of Greece is just beginning. In the coming weeks, look to my Facebook page – Bill Reilich Greece Town Supervisor - to learn how we will invest in the aspirations and inclusive environments of our younger generation and their families” said Supervisor Reilich.
During last Thursday night’s meeting of the Greece Town Board, a special Oath of Office ceremony was held for the newest member of the Greece Town Board. Michael Bloomer has been appointed to represent the Third Ward of the Town of Greece. Joining Supervisor Reilich and Michael Bloomer for the ceremony were Michael’s family members and Greece Town Councilmembers Mike Barry, Bill Murphy, and Diana Christodaro.
Michael Bloomer resides in the Town of Greece Third Ward. He is a life-long Greece Resident and graduate of Greece Olympia High School. He is a life-long Greece Resident and graduate of Greece Olympia High School. He received his associate’s degree in Fire Protection from Monroe Community College. Mike recently retired after serving more than 30 years with the Ridge Road Fire District. During his time with the fire district, he served in many capacities from dispatcher to interim fire chief, including 19 years as chief officer. While with the fire district he served as the Accreditation Manager, managed the 2015 Capital Improvement Project, served as a fire district liaison to the Unity Hospital Emergency Management Team, and represented the fire service on the Town of Greece Traffic Advisory Committee from 2010-2018. Michael is married to Lynn and together they have 2 sons – Jeffery and Matthew.
“I am honored to welcome Michael Bloomer as the appointed representative of our Third Ward in the Town of Greece” said Supervisor Reilich. “This seat was previously held by Joshua Jensen, who was elected in 2020 to the 134th Assembly District. Michael is an outstanding individual who will work hard to represent every voice the Third Ward. We are proud to have him as a member of our team”.
To view the full swearing-in ceremony, please visit the Facebook page of Bill Reilich Greece Town Supervisor: https://www.facebook.com/488197104572689/videos/210372360781616
For a link to Mike’s bio on the Town of Greece website, click here: https://greeceny.gov/government/town-board-members
During last Thursday’s meeting of the Greece Town Board, a special oath of office ceremony was held for incoming chief of the Greece Police Department Andrew P. “Drew” Forsythe. Joining Supervisor Reilich and Chief Forsythe for the ceremony were Drew’s family members and Greece Town Councilmembers Mike Barry, Mike Bloomer, Bill Murphy, and Diana Christodaro.
Drew Forsythe has had an “up-through-the-ranks” career in law enforcement. Drew recently served as the Greece Police Department Deputy Chief of Operations and Special Services, second in command of a $17 million organization with roughly 120 employees. Prior to his service in Greece, Drew served as the Undersheriff of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office where he was a member from 1991 until 2017. This position included the oversight of all day-to-day operations and four bureaus within the Sheriff’s Office. This service included the handling of a $150 million budget and the oversight of approximately 1,100 employees. Prior to him serving as Undersheriff, he gained valuable experience within the Sheriff’s Office. He served as Chief Deputy of the Police Bureau, Captain of Zone C, Captain of Criminal Investigation Section, and Unit Commander of the Internal Affairs Unit.
“Drew’s experience with strategic partnerships, program development, tactical deployment, program innovation, and community relations will all be valuable tools that he will bring to the table as the next Chief of Police in the Town of Greece. The Town Board and I have the utmost of confidence in his ability to serve our community and to help navigate the new challenges that are being faced throughout our Country. Of Note, in December of 2017, Drew earned the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office highest honor, The Purple Heart Medal, for injuries sustained and service above and beyond the call of duty. This is the model of the selfless service that we believe personifies the individual who should lead our department” said Supervisor Reilich.
An Oath of Office Ceremony was also held for Jason Helfer, who was appointed to the full time position of Deputy Chief of Police. Jason was joined by his family members for this special occasion.
“Jason is an outstanding individual who has dedicated his service to ensuring our community is kept safe. He is a valuable member of the Greece Police Department, and we are proud to appoint him to Deputy Chief of Police” said Supervisor Reilich.
Oaths of Office ceremonies were also held for additional members of the Greece Police Department. Andrew Potter was appointed to the full time position of Police Lieutenant and Kathryn Ritchie was appointed to the full time position of Police Sergeant.
“I would like to congratulate the outstanding members of our Greece Police Department on their appointments and promotions. We are honored to have them as members of our team” said Supervisor Reilich.
To view the full swearing-in ceremony, please visit the Facebook page of Bill Reilich Greece Town Supervisor: https://www.facebook.com/488197104572689/videos/210372360781616
The governor has ordered that the flags on the Greece Town Hall Campus be lowered to half-staff in honor of the three New York Army National Guard soldiers killed in a military helicopter crash that occurred this past Wednesday evening in Mendon, N.Y. Our hearts go out to the friends and families of these National Guard members. We will always remember these brave individuals who dedicated their service to protecting our nation.