Greece, NY – Greece Chief of Police Patrick Phelan is furious that a statewide order from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services (DOCCS) released more than 50 prisoners from jail – including sex offenders – into his community without warning.
The Monroe County Jail released more than 50 prisoners on Saturday and eight of them were sex offenders, WROC reported.
Chief Phelan said nine of those inmates are staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Greece, less than 100 yards from a school and without spitting distance of a neighborhood.
Four of the inmates at the Holiday Inn Express are sex offenders, and three are Level 3, meaning they are considered the highest risk to re-offend, according to WROC.
“It doesn’t make any sense. If you could present an argument to me that makes sense, I’m willing to listen. But this doesn’t make any sense,” Chief Phelan said.
Those inmates were moved to the Holiday Inn Express after the DOCCS ordered jails to release low-level parole offenders, WROC reported.
“So you have a violent criminal who’s done time in state prison who’s been given the chance of parole, and not followed the conditions of their parole. That’s who you’re talking about right now,” Chief Phelan said.
He said neither the state nor the county bothered to notify local law enforcement that they were releasing more than 50 prisoners into their community, WROC reported.
“We weren’t told by anyone,” the chief said. “I think good practice would be if you’re going to release convicted felons. Some of them very violent some of those level 3 sex offenders, you might want to give law enforcement the heads up.”
Chief Phelan was very critical of the state’s decision to release the inmates from a jail that has not had one single case of coronavirus, WROC reported.
There is a coronavirus crisis in some New York prison facilities in other areas of the state and it is only expected to get worse because New York correctional officers are not allowed to bring or wear their own face masks to work with them in detention facilities because it violates the uniform.
On Monday morning, New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association President Michael Bowers tested positive for coronavirus, WKTV reported.
“This significant action is being taken in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases in local jails over the past few days and weeks,” DOCCS said in a statement, according to WROC. “Our top priority remains the public health and safety of New Yorkers during this global public health emergency and this measure will further protect a vulnerable population from contracting and transmitting this infectious disease.”