Town News

Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich Statement on Inmate Release

We are all trying to navigate through these uncertain times. This generation has never faced a pandemic of this magnitude and there is great concern from everyone. As your Supervisor, I have been monitoring the conditions and restrictions brought forth by the COVID-19 virus. We have made adjustments in how we serve the public as there are many services that are deemed essential and we are providing them. These changes were made using guidelines that have been set forth, but first and foremost we are holding the safety of our residents and their families as our top priority.

I am outraged by the recent release of the 51 incarcerated individuals, 9 of who now reside in our town. They went from a prison cell, where they were serving their time as they were sentenced to living in a hotel, with more amenities than some of our families. They are not worried about running out of supplies, where their next meal will come from and of course the new (but part-time) social distancing. I would tend to believe that as we have all had to adjust limiting personal contact that the jails would adjust as well. And the answer isn’t “set them free”. In fact, I would think that perhaps minor adjustments in the amount of contact would be much easier with individuals in their cells. Limit time when the general population gathers and yes invoke what we all have to, strict social distancing.

We are all struggling, there is great uncertainty and yes we are all learning as we go how to get as much “normal” as we can while keeping in mind the safety of ourselves, our families and our neighbors. 

This action was reckless; we now have 9 individuals who have been “dropped off” in our town. Three of them are sex offenders and the other 3 I am uncertain what their background is. But what I do understand is that while we are working to keep our residents safe, the job just got a bit more interesting. A simple press release from the Sheriff was the notification, I received no phone call, no information, but most importantly I was not given the opportunity to debate my feelings on the entire directive.

Greece residents did not deserve another burden on their minds, I did not need to divert time and attention away from doing all I can to lead and navigate through this virus and its effects on residents, businesses and the viability of our community. This was an unjust distraction and action that I do not support; it was simply the wrong decision. I am calling on Sheriff Baxter and all law enforcement agencies to join me in contacting the Governor and insisting he reverse this directive and remove these inmates from our towns and neighborhoods and return them to their jail cells.