BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A retired Buffalo Police Homicide Detective and Crisis Management Team Commander has announced his candidacy for Erie County Sheriff.
John Garcia made the announcement in front of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday morning. He is seeking the Republican nomination.
Sen. Patrick Gallivan, a Republican who previously served as Erie County Sheriff, introduced Garcia during the morning.
Garcia, who spent 25 years with the Buffalo Police Department, says some of the big problems he would focus on as Sheriff are the opioid epidemic, mental health crises, the surge in violent crime and mistrust of law enforcement officers.
Garcia wants to work on transparency between law enforcement officers and the public. He also wants the Sheriff’s Office to work better with the County Legislature.
“This is a service industry, and that’s what people are going to get,” Garcia says.
In addition, he says he will address local jail issues. Noting that the jail is “not a hospital,” Garcia would like to make sure people in custody who are in need of medical or mental health attention get it.
He also spoke of increasing diversity in road patrol and jail management division employees.
“A vote for John Garcia will not be wasted,” he says. “I will not disappoint you.”