Niagara County Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti has announced he is a candidate for sheriff. He issued the following statement:
I am announcing my candidacy for Niagara County sheriff. I was humbled and exhilarated when my longtime colleague and mentor, Sheriff James Voutour, selected me to be his undersheriff as of Jan. 1, 2012. For the past eight years, I have had the privilege to work side-by-side with Sheriff Voutour at the most senior level to turn the words of the mission statement of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office into reality by “safeguarding life and property, preserving the peace, preventing and detecting crime, enforcing the law, and protecting the rights of all citizens.”
This has been done without partisan politics. There is no place for politics in law enforcement. Law enforcement is too important. There is too much at stake.
I will miss Sheriff Voutour and his honest and skilled leadership. But, I believe that, after 27 years as a professional law enforcement officer, I have the experience and core values required to lead the office of the sheriff. I understand the office of the sheriff is not about one person. It is about being a visible leader of the men and women of the sheriff’s office with responsibility to provide the kind of criminal justice services that every citizen deserves. It is about teamwork. It is about family.
I pledge to be tough on crime, work closely with other law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and individuals whose jobs and homes are in Niagara County in order to allow all to reap the benefits of living here.
To that end, some of my most recent efforts include serving on the law enforcement subcommittee for the Niagara County Opioid Committee since its inception; in the area of school safety, pushing for more technology and school resource officers (SROs); increasing technology in law enforcement through use of body cameras and keeping pace with other advancements in technology; making available crisis intervention training (CIT) to both deputies and correction officers to better confront mental health issues present in those they encounter when discharging their duties and ensure the proper law enforcement reaction.
Each of these measures is designed to protect the rights of law-abiding members of our society and guarantee due process for all. I am fully aware of the seriousness of these and other law enforcement matters and how they should be dealt with.
I was born and raised in Niagara County. Those who knew me as I was growing up would remember I constantly said, “I want to be a police officer when I’m an adult.”
My dream came true. My wife and I have raised our children here. I am a Niagara County guy and I make this promise to my fellow citizens of Niagara County: I will come to work every day brimming with energy, determination and law enforcement expertise. No one will outwork me. My primary goal is to continue wearing the sheriff’s six-point star with pride and integrity to enhance the quality of life in every part of Niagara County.
I remember someone once told me, “Jim Voutour will be a tough act to follow. But, you know, Mike, he picked you to be his undersheriff. I guess it’s clear he thinks you can be that one to follow.”
Here’s the key point, though – even if he didn’t – I am confident that I’m the one. I eagerly accept any challenges that await us. I want to keep working, and working hard, for the people of Niagara County.
With all the humility I can summon, I feel there is no one who is more qualified to be the next sheriff of Niagara County and I respectfully ask for your vote and support.