No significant problems found; mayor seeks to clear up social media rumors

DANSVILLE — On Oct. 21, two members from Pittsford-based Bonadio & Co, a certified public accounting firm, met with officers Shannon Griese and Larry Burley to conduct an audit of the Dansville Police Department’s property room.

The firm concluded that the department should make several small changes.

According to a letter of agreement dated Sept. 20, the audit was to consist of “evaluating the policies, procedures and processes surrounding the intake, processing, handling, storage and maintenance of evidence and property within the Department’s possession.”

Mayor Peter Vogt said the audit was prompted because the evidence locker seemed disorganized, and the Village wanted to make sure everything was in order before a new chief took office.

The audit, as well as the sudden retirement of former Chief Charles Perkins and the executive session that led up to his retirement, was followed by a storm of rumors on social media.

Vogt wanted to make clear the rumors are false.

“The retirement had nothing to do with anything illegal, scandalous or salacious or anything like that,” Vogt said.

In addition, Vogt said the chief was not escorted out of the building in handcuffs, and, “the audit didn’t drive the retirement, the retirement drove [the audit].”

Vogt said the audit consisted of a substantial sampling, but not a thorough line-by-line examination. Overall, he said the results showed no major concerns.

“Most of it has to do with just cleaning it up,” said the mayor.

For example, he said some issues include items from this year that were bagged, tagged and identified but not logged in.

In addition, the audit found that the evidence room should have more shelves and drawers to better organize. Items of high value such as cash, jewelry, weapons and the like, should be more tightly secured. Some items were found stored in the evidence locker that shouldn’t have been there, such as the department’s own ammunition and old badges.

Other items have been in the locker for awhile and have been recommended to be either returned to the owner or destroyed. Another recommendation is to install climate controls such as a dehumidifier.

On a positive note, things that had been done well include the room itself being secure, cash and drugs having been appropriately accounted for, and a temporary storage locker to hold items before they are logged into the evidence room. The mayor said that the audit does not need any sort of follow up, and changes can be made relatively easily.

To clarify another rumor, the mayor said the Village is not intending to do away with the police department.

“There is a great need to have it,” he said.

As of Oct. 28th, the Village has so far received one applicant for new chief of police. There is no application deadline at this time.