Democratic sheriff candidate Toby Shelley answers your questions
11:50
syracuse.com: 
Good morning, readers. Toby Shelley, the Democratic candidate for Onondaga County sheriff, will begin answering your questions at noon, but you can begin posting your questions now.
Monday April 14, 2014 11:50 syracuse.com
11:53
Toby Shelley: 
Hello. I look forward to your questions.
Monday April 14, 2014 11:53 Toby Shelley
11:58
syracuse.com: 
From the comment queue, from aberrant: Remember when Toby's son pulled a gun on a trooper and was shot? Wonder if anyone will mention this?
Monday April 14, 2014 11:58 syracuse.com
12:01
Toby Shelley: 
The three-year anniversary was March 26. Joel's been incarcerated since that date. I've learned a lot about the justice system, fairness and mental health as a result of that singular incident. It was a very surreal day. I'd like to also add that he didn't steal a gun. I was told he bought it at a garage sale. The only person physically hurt that day was Joel.

A number of mental scars are left with a lot of people.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:01 Toby Shelley
12:02
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
How can you be sheriff of Onondaga county and protect and serve when your own son is in jail?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:02 Guest
12:02
Toby Shelley: 
I think a sheriff with personal experience with jails and the justice system can better serve.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:02 Toby Shelley
12:03
[Comment From chrischris: ] 
During an era of consolidation, What are your thoughts on why there is two jails operating in the county and being managed by two different entities?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:03 chris
12:03
Toby Shelley: 
There are two jails because one is for people convicted of misdemeanors and the other is people awaiting trial. Could we work it with the sheriff supervising both? I think so. But it's a conversation we'd have to work in cooperation with the county legislature and of course the people in the leadership of Jamesville.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:03 Toby Shelley
12:04
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
As a militay man, can you plese explain your relationship with Notorious war protester Kathleen Rumpf
Monday April 14, 2014 12:04 Guest
12:05
Toby Shelley: 
As a 30-year military man and a combat veteran, I respect Kathleen Rumpf's right to protest.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:05 Toby Shelley
12:05
[Comment From Jerry SJerry S: ] 
I want to know what you want from your community to do to help make Onondaga a better and safer place to live.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:05 Jerry S
12:07
Toby Shelley: 
One of the points I've been working on is connecting with communities. As sheriff, I would like to bring a level of transparency to enable people to connect not only with the sheriff, but the deputies who work their areas, whether it be attending a town board meeting or attending the meeting at the Rod and Gun club.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:07 Toby Shelley
12:07
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
whats your take on the safe act?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:07 Guest
12:08
Toby Shelley: 
Having read the Safe gun act twice, I disagree with the Safe gun act in its entirety. We should not make criminals out of honest citizens. However, the additions to the family court act, the mental hygiene law and the criminal procedure law are good aspects of the act. Discretion is written in the law. The law will be enforced fairly and with discretion.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:08 Toby Shelley
12:08
[Comment From gertiegertie: ] 
What are your thoughts about take-home cars?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:08 gertie
12:10
Toby Shelley: 
I've been talking about take-home cars for four years and I agree with justified take home cars, where the person with the take-home car serves the public in their off time. But take-home cars that do not serve the public, I'd like to bring in and use that money to save Air 1 and put more police officers on the street. I call it my Copter and Cops for Cars program. It costs 59 cents a mile to operate a police car. I'm projecting over $2 million in savings by implementing this plan.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:10 Toby Shelley
12:10
[Comment From Nancy BunnNancy Bunn: ] 
Do you know how much of the county budget is allocated to the Sheriff's Dept. and if so, do you have any idea's how overtime can be cut back? Also, any ideas on other ways to cut back on spending?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:10 Nancy Bunn
12:11
[Comment From Teri WeaverTeri Weaver: ] 
Please name three things you would do to reduce the sheriff department's overtime budget.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:11 Teri Weaver
12:11
Toby Shelley: 
When I ran for county legislator in 2011, I read all 8 pounds of the county budget. At that time, public safety was 32 percent, almost 1/3, of the county budget. Almost all of my ideas are cost savings, whether it's take-home cars, better schedules or greater efficiency.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:11 Toby Shelley
12:13
Toby Shelley: 
The first thing I would do is unschedule scheduled overtime. In 2010, I worked out a better schedule for deputies. I would revisit and adapt that schedule and implement it, which would save overtime by pushing deputies from the quiet times to the busy times and overlapping shifts.

I would also implement a train the trainer program, which would end training that creates overtime.

I would also improve morale, which would decrease sick time, which would decrease overtime.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:13 Toby Shelley
12:14
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Will you allow people to get a carry conceled Pistol Permit without cause?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:14 Guest
12:15
Toby Shelley: 
The carry concealed pistol permits are the purview of the county judge, not the sheriff. I personally am not opposed to carry concealed permits.

Something interesting in a Time magazine article from March 2013 was a study that showed NY State has the strictest gun laws in the nation. NY state also has the most murders by guns in the nation.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:15 Toby Shelley
12:16
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
Do you feel there should be an officer in each and every school I the County?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:16 guest
12:17
Toby Shelley: 
I'm working on a safe schools program, which would move the current full-time school resource officers back to patrol, thereby cutting overtime.

For the same cost of having four full-time deputies in schools, we could place 17 retired deputies or police officers at $20 an hour and no benefits, into the school system. How those school resource officers would be deployed would have to be worked out through the schools.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:17 Toby Shelley
12:17
[Comment From Doug RDoug R: ] 
What are your thoughts about have overtime NOT included in calculations for police retirees payments? This would significantly reduce long term financial obligations to the County.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:17 Doug R
12:19
Toby Shelley: 
I personally am opposed to retirement padding. I feel fortunate that I have a 20-year retirement, which most taxpayers that paid for my retirement do not have.

If I'm the sheriff, I will create a not-for-profit with a board of directors who will distribute my retirement to charity.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:19 Toby Shelley
12:19
[Comment From Mike B.Mike B.: ] 
In response to your posting about the jails, Jamesville is NOT just holding convicted misdemeanors. Parole, federal and county unsentenced are housed their.The two jails house the same inmates. Having said that, do you feel that consolidation would be a benefit to the tax payers?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:19 Mike B.
12:21
Toby Shelley: 
I was aware that the justice center overflow was going to Jamesville. From an outsider, looking in, I feel that consolidation would be a benefit to the taxpayer. But there would have to be many meetings with people from the justice center and Jamesville to discuss the consolidation and its benefits.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:21 Toby Shelley
12:21
[Comment From Jerry SJerry S: ] 
How would you improve morale amoung the dept? Any example?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:21 Jerry S
12:22
Toby Shelley: 
The leading sign of poor morale is high sick leave, which I talked about in 2010. I would put in place suggestion boxes and deputies advisory boards. The members of the various advisory boards would meet directly with the sheriff and have their voices and concerns heard.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:22 Toby Shelley
12:22
[Comment From Jerry SJerry S: ] 
How is your relationship with the sheriffs union? Do you believe in what the uion stands for?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:22 Jerry S
12:22
Toby Shelley: 
I currently do not have a relationship with the sheriff's union because I am retired. Any union that is still working for the people, I support. Any union that's working strictly for the union and forgot the people, I do not support.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:22 Toby Shelley
12:23
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
What are your thoughts regarding improving public safety response to an active shooter type event (at an educational institution or other location) through integration of Fire and EMS with Law Enforcement as part of the early response once the first arriving officers have addressed the active threat? Some communities call this type of response a Rescue Task Force. Regardless of the name, the goal is to reduce the amount of time medical personal stage away from the scene by enabling law enforcement officers to escort those medical providers in to the warm zone. Changing response policies would not happen overnight and would require significant training but are those changes something you would consider?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:23 Dan
12:25
Toby Shelley: 
I have a unique perspective, because not only am I a police officer and a military veteran, but also a firefighter. In my Master's program, I wrote a paper about active shooters. While assigned to the supervisor of civic center security, I started building the foundation to a downtown active shooter plan. As sheriff, I would gladly work with other responders to train for and deal with an active shooter. Sadly, it seems an active shooter is just a matter of when, not if.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:25 Toby Shelley
12:26
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
As a city taxpayer I pay for a sheriff's office and a city police force. What are your thoughts about consolidating these two forces?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:26 Guest
12:27
Toby Shelley: 
Consolidation is an issue for the people to decide. In the interim, what I've been proposing and would try to do is to cooperate with Syracuse police and all the agencies within the county to work smarter and work better to save money.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:27 Toby Shelley
12:27
syracuse.com: 
We still have lots of time, readers, so keep your questions coming!
Monday April 14, 2014 12:27 syracuse.com
12:28
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Why would you give your pension to charity? That means taxpayers are still paying.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:28 Guest
12:29
Toby Shelley: 
Rather than give the money back to Albany, I would rather have people from the local community decide how best to help the community.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:29 Toby Shelley
12:31
syracuse.com: 
From cats4us in the comment queue: Gene Conway was a Captain in the Sheriff's Dept. and for the past 10 years has been Chief of Dewitt Police. A sergeant (Toby) cannot have the experience a Captain and Chief have. Gene stayed within his budget the entire time as Chief so he definitely has management and financial skills
Monday April 14, 2014 12:31 syracuse.com
12:34
Toby Shelley: 
My experience comes from my many walks of life. I'm a small business owner. I was the deputy fire chief. I led a team of firefighters as an operations chief in Iraq and I was a police supervisor. I've worked with budgets. I've built budgets. I've managed people and I've led people.

As far as the town of DeWitt goes, I have read the town of DeWitt police budget. The town of DeWitt has 25,000 people and spends $4 million on public safety. That's almost double what the sheriff's department budget spends.

Not only do I have that experience, I have the education to back it up with my Master's degree, my military training and my personal experience.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:34 Toby Shelley
12:36
[Comment From Concerned about safetyConcerned about safety: ] 
The Sheriffs Patrol division is down approximately 50 officers and has taken over the responsibility of patrolling the Town of Clay which is the largest town in the County. How do you plan on getting more officers on the street?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:36 Concerned about safety
12:37
Toby Shelley: 
As I've discussed before, we can fund more officers by bringing in unnecessary take-home cars. I also plan to meet with and work with the county legislature in person.The positions are in the budget. I would work hard to get them filled.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:37 Toby Shelley
12:37
[Comment From BubbaBubba: ] 
Did you have a good relationship with your old co-workers at the sheriffs? what do they think if you?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:37 Bubba
12:39
Toby Shelley: 
The people I supervised, I had a good relationship with. Currently, I'm not sure what my relationship would be because I'm talking about taking away take-home cars. I'm talking about controlling overtime. I'm talking about changing schedules. What I promise the people working at the sheriff's department is fairness and accountability. Everyone Jan. 1 starts with a clean slate.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:39 Toby Shelley
12:39
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
You ever have any tattoo's covered up?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:39 Guest
12:40
Toby Shelley: 
No. I appreciate someone asking this question again. I do not have and never will have a rebel flag tattoo, which came up during the 2010 race. I do have an American flag and an American bald eagle tattoos, which I got while I was in the service, which I'll gladly show to anyone.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:40 Toby Shelley
12:42
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
You do have a unique perspective given your professional and academic experience. To follow up regarding changing the active shooter response policies, would you consider changes in the response to be more proactive but also slightly increase the risk to EMS/Fire Personnel or maintain the status quo which may lead to increased loss of civilian life but with a decreased risk to EMS/Fire Personnel? Thank you.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:42 Dan
12:43
Toby Shelley: 
The police officers will have the greatest risk, however all emergency responders are at risk. The risk benefit will always have to be weighed as we consider our options.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:43 Toby Shelley
12:43
[Comment From MarcMarc: ] 
What do you feel is the greatest challenge to the department.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:43 Marc
12:44
Toby Shelley: 
Accepting the inevitable change and taking advantage of the opportunity created by it.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:44 Toby Shelley
12:44
[Comment From KWKW: ] 
Do you actually think you can win any election?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:44 KW
12:46
Toby Shelley: 
I absolutely do think I can win because I lost the county leg race by 1.7 percent of the vote in a district where I was outnumbered 2:1. The 2010 sheriff's race, I brought over 13,000 votes to a line that normally gets a couple hundred. If a person understands the numbers, they realize this is a very, very winnable race.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:46 Toby Shelley
12:46
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
You talk about transparency, would you open up your personnel records?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:46 Guest
12:46
Toby Shelley: 
Sure. I have nothing to hide in my personnel records.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:46 Toby Shelley
12:47
[Comment From AlecAlec: ] 
You stated earlier that you read the "8 pound budget" Where did you see that the sheriff's budget was $2 million? I believe its around $80 million based on previous Syracuse.com articles.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:47 Alec
12:48
Toby Shelley: 
You are correct, the sheriff's budget is over $80 million. I was referencing how much is spent per person.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:48 Toby Shelley
12:48
[Comment From JohnJohn: ] 
Why do you think that a Sgt would be a better choice to be a sheriff than a Chief of police?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:48 John
12:49
Toby Shelley: 
We already have in this state two sergeants who are sheriffs. It's not necessarily the position a person is currently in. It's about the person's experience, education and qualifications.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:49 Toby Shelley
12:49
[Comment From JoseJose: ] 
Is it true that you moved to Liverpool and are not living in the south end of the county?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:49 Jose
12:50
Toby Shelley: 
I do not live in Liverpool. I live in Otisco, on a farm that has been in my family for well over 100 years.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:50 Toby Shelley
12:50
[Comment From ncbncb: ] 
An earlier questioner mentioned Mr. Conway's experience and you answered showing how extensiive your experience is. Do you know why the present Sheriff didn't support Conway but someone else. Also, the DA had a fundraiser for Conway. I think that the DA wields a lot of weight and some how giving holding fundraisers for candidates he'd be working with is a conflict or at the very least it creates an unhealthy atmosphere for the election. What are your thoughts on the sheriff and the DA supporting different candidates.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:50 ncb
12:51
Toby Shelley: 
I obviously can't speak for Sheriff Kevin Walsh or District Attorney Fitzpatrick. We live in America. They can support whoever they want.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:51 Toby Shelley
12:52
syracuse.com: 
Hi, folks, Mr. Shelley will continue tom answer questions for a few more minutes but we have to stop taking questions now.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:52 syracuse.com
12:52
[Comment From DougDoug: ] 
Would you plan on any in-house training for internal advancement? There are quite a few double-dippers locally. For example, one local police chief taking his retirement, and pay, then taking on another local chiefs position (since no one else was deemed qualified). It seems like it benefits the leadership to NOT prepare their subordinates to succeed. Perhaps this is one of the current things dragging morale down?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:52 Doug
12:53
Toby Shelley: 
I'm a military-minded person, having been in the military 30 years and every promotion within the military requires additional training and education. I would borrow this concept from the military and adapt it to the sheriff's department.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:53 Toby Shelley
12:53
[Comment From Work permitsWork permits: ] 
If you were Sheriff would you allow Jail Deputies to work side security jobs when they have medical restrictions that prevent them from working their primary job in the jail? This is the current practice and seems odd.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:53 Work permits
12:54
Toby Shelley: 
I would assign a supervisor to manage the off-duty employment. Each person would have to be looked at individually.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:54 Toby Shelley
12:54
[Comment From MarcMarc: ] 
What do you consider the "inevitable changes" that need to take place, and you can't say take home cars again.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:54 Marc
12:55
Toby Shelley: 
Inevitable changes are going to be new leadership and management. There will be new chiefs. There will be a new undersheriff. There will be new ideas.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:55 Toby Shelley
12:55
[Comment From JoseJose: ] 
I will not vote for you.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:55 Jose
12:56
Toby Shelley: 
Jose, please go to ShelleyforSheriff.com and feel free to contact me. I can't change everyone's mind. Hopefully I can change yours.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:56 Toby Shelley
12:56
[Comment From LeeLee: ] 
Residents on the western side of county get almost nothing for sheriff coverage despite paying high county taxes. Will you fix that? Maybe buy Joanie an actual map of the county?
Monday April 14, 2014 12:56 Lee
12:57
Toby Shelley: 
My patrol post for eight years was Geddes, Camillus, Elbridge and part of VanBuren. I patrolled the western suburbs and flew the sheriff's flag. I would ensure that other people do the same.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:57 Toby Shelley
12:57
syracuse.com: 
That's all we have time for, folks. Thank you, Toby Shelley, for joining us, and thank you, readers, for asking terrific questions.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:57 syracuse.com
12:58
Toby Shelley: 
I've enjoyed the challenge of the questions. People with any further questions are welcome to reach me through our website.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:58 Toby Shelley
12:58
syracuse.com: 
Readers, join us again at noon Wednesday as Republican candidate for sheriff Gene Conway is our guest for a live Q&A.
Monday April 14, 2014 12:58 syracuse.com
 
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