Allegany County Sheriff Whitney honored by human services agencies coalition

Retiring Allegany County, NY, Sheriff Rick Whitney has been recognized by a county coalition for his extensive efforts in helping to address drug and alcohol and other prevention issues during his tenure in office.

Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (Ppac Central), comprised of a broad sector of human services agencies and other organizations in the county, honored the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office NY head during its bi-monthly meeting at Genesis Bible Church at Scio.

The sheriff, who has served for the past dozen years on the group’s Environmental Strategies Committee, said he feels the future focus of the group needs to be in working with the youth population.

He said he believes the coalition is “very beneficial to the county with all the agencies working together.”

Some of the successes he noted in recent years include biannual Prescription Drug Take Back Days, along with pill drop boxes which now have been installed in more than a dozen Allegany County locations, and the Risk and Protective Factor Surveys which are conducted every two years in Allegany County schools to gather information from youth as to what they are encountering to enable planning for various initiatives.

He also cited the Promises Campaign, which builds accountability and awareness among young people to not participate in underage drinking, with a particular focus on the prom and graduation seasons, along with post-prom parties hosted by parents.

One activity he cited as “not really successful” was Town Hall meetings on the opioid crisis, noting that he “would have liked to see more of the general public attend.”

The sheriff also gave a report at the meeting about this year’s unused prescription drugs collection efforts, with over three-quarters of a ton of the pills taken out of circulation to date during the first 10 months.

The effort is designed to keep pills out of the hands of children, unauthorized users and public water supplies.

In April, the Prescription Drug Take Back Day effort, sponsored nationally by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), resulted in 34 cars leaving 70.6 pounds of unused prescription drugs at Wellsville and 10 cars disposing of 38.6 pounds at Canaseraga, totaling 44 vehicles and 109.2 pounds of drugs.

Last month, there were 11 cars with 61.4 pounds at Angelica and 20 vehicles with 29.6 pounds at Cuba for a total of 31 cars and 91 pounds.

For the year to date, there have been 51 collections by his department at Allegany County pill drop box locations for a total of 1,465.2 pounds, according to the report.

Sheriff Whitney will have served 47 years in law enforcement at retirement, including 12 as sheriff and 35 as police chief in Bolivar. He also has served in various capacities as an officer of the New York State Sheriff’s Association.

He is being succeeded in his post on January 1 by current-Undersheriff Scott Cicirello of Wellsville.

PPAC Photo: Allegany County Sheriff Rick Whitney is honored at meeting of county human services agencies and other organizations.
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