Sheriff Elect Todd Baxter preparing for transition

Baxter says he's learning everything he can before taking office, and once it's January, he plans to keep listening. (WHAM photos)

Rochester, N.Y. – It’s been three weeks since Todd Baxter was elected as the next Sheriff of Monroe County; it’s now one month until he moves into the office.

“Now it's all about transition, building your team, building the people around you who are going to support you through this transition and values as you move forward,” said Baxter.

Baxter said the last several weeks have been full of interviews and meetings.

He’s learning everything he can before taking office, and once it's January, he plans to keep listening.

“I’m a firm believer that if nothing is really dangerous, if nothing is illegal, let’s go in there and look, listen and feel for a while and get to know the lay of the land, get to know the people who are actually doing the job.”

But there will be change. Baxter has some policy changes he knows he will make, like new expectations for zone captains.

“I expect them to be the ‘chiefs of police’ in those communities that they're policing, and with that expectation of ownership, you know if they're policing Pittsford, or their policing Henrietta,” said Baxter.

“There’s a lot of expectations on leadership there and those are values that I'll share with the staff over the next month as I get to meet with those folks.”

The office is in far better shape than the Greece Police Department was in when Baxter became chief in 2010.

But it’s had its issues - especially with union contracts. The jail deputies have been without a contract since 2012.

Baxter said coming to an agreement is a priority and he will be at the table.

“I need those rules of the road, they need to understand what they're doing for their life and their family, and how they're being taken care of the next few years,” said Baxter. “Having that fresh idea in there and holding people accountable on both sides, look at tell me one more time why we can't, I need the contract as the sheriff, I need the contract for many reasons.”

Baxter says good contracts make for good employees, which in turn will make for a good sheriff’s office to keep our community safe.

Baxter has met with Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn and District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

Next week, he has a meeting with County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo.

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