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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General FAQ Answers

My new job requires non-criminal fingerprinting (only INK-TEN prints), who do I call for information?

Call the Fingerprinting Non-Criminal Application Department at (716) 858-6566

Does the Erie County Sheriff's Office issue a Photo Identification Card to citizens?

The Erie County Sheriff's Office discontinued Photo Identification cards to the general public in the year 1982. One can call the Erie County Clerk's Motor Vehicle Department and ask about a New York State Non-Drivers Identification card or consult the local community center in your immediate area of residence.

I'm interested in taking an exam for Road Patrol Deputy, Holding Center Deputy, Correctional Facility Deputy or other position with the Erie County Sheriff's Office. Where would I find out information on possible jobs?

Information on most county jobs can be found on the Erie County Employment Web page. Or Information and applications are available at Erie County Personnel (95 Franklin Street, City of Buffalo, Room 604) (716) 858-8484. Applications are available at all City of Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Branches, Town and Village Halls, County Office Buildings, the New York State Employment Service and at some non-profit agencies. You can also download an application from the County of Erie web-site. If you don't already have it installed on your computer, you'll need to download free, Acrobat Reader software from Adobe Systems to view and print the file.

The titles of current exams are also available on the Civil Service Exam Line, a 24 hour taped message at (716) 858-8729. Any Deputy Sheriff Exams that are posted on the Erie County Exam site will also be posted on the Sheriff's website.

Where would I call to find out information regarding the Erie County Sheriff's Citizens' Academy?

Call Chief Joseph Savarese at (716) 858-7609 for more information regarding the Academy and when future Academies will be held.   If unavaible, please be sure to leave a complete message with your name and phone number.

All applications must be completed, signed, notarized and postmarked. Download the Citizens' Academy application.

I am interested in the Erie County Sheriff's Explorer Unit, where would I call to get further information on this Sheriff's youth organization?

Call (716) 743-6194 to ask for further information on the Sheriff's Explorer Unit.

Police Services Division FAQ Answers

What department would I call when I have questions regarding a narcotic arrest?

Call the Erie County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Squad: (716) 858-7755

If an emergency always call 9-1-1

How do I acquire an Erie County Sheriff's Office Traffic Accident report or information?

Crash Reports taken by the Erie County Sheriff's Office are available online.

Use DORS (Desk Officer Reporting System) to generate a report online.

If you have any questions, please call (716) 858-3292.

How Would I Acquire an incident report?

Call the Erie County Sheriff's Office ID Bureau at (716) 858-7618

How would I acquire a Fire Investigation report?

Call the Erie County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigators at (716) 858-7618.

Who would I call regarding a Local Criminal History Background Check?

Call the Erie County Sheriff's Office ID Bureau at (716) 858-6566

Who would I call regarding the surrender and pick-up of a firearm (non-emergency)?

Call the Erie County Sheriff's Office Weapons & Ordnance Unit at (716) 858-7618

Who would I call regarding Pistol Permit information?

Call the Erie County Pistol Permit Bureau at (716) 858-6600

Where would I call to report a crime of non-emergency nature, but want to keep it anonymous in the Village of Springville and surrounding area of Erie County?

Anyone can call the Erie County Sheriff's Office at (716) 858-2903. The information will be forwarded to Sheriff's Deputies and Detectives who will attempt to use the information to solve crimes and to prevent crimes.

I would like to talk to a Marine Division Officer, where would I call?

If the call is an emergency, please call 9-1-1

If you need a marine pamphlet or some minor information, please call the Patrol Headquarters at (716) 858-2903 and advise the Dispatcher that you would like a Marine Deputy to call you when it is convenient. Be sure to advise of all pertinent information so the Sheriff's Marine Deputy can be prepared.

Who would I call in case of a Bomb Threat?

Write down any and all information that the caller gave you. Immediately call 9-1-1 and inform the police agency of the call, they will contact us if necessary. Inform your boss or owner of the business. Take notice of any strange packages and strange individuals that may have been on the business property.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad may or may not be called to your work site. The Sheriff's Bomb Squad's telephone number is (716) 858-7618. If they are not in, please advise the police operator what the emergency is, and they will contact the Bomb Squad immediately.

To contact the Sheriff's Departments Radio Room / Dispatch directly, please dial (716) 858-2903. 


Civil Process Division FAQ Answers

What is the location, hours of operation, phone numbers for the Civil Process Division?

The Civil Process Division is located at 134 W. Eagle St., 4th Floor, Buffalo, NY 14202. Hours of Operation are 8 AM to 3:45 PM, Monday thru Friday, excluding legal holidays

The Civil Process Division can be reached at (716) 858-7606. The Civil Process Division can be faxed at (716) 858-7621

Must I come down to the Civil Division's office, or can I file papers via mail?

Papers may be filed by mail, but call to confirm required documents.

What forms of payment are accepted?

Cash, certified or cashier's check and attorney checks only.

How can I evict a tenant?

Legal eviction (note: landlord lockouts are not legal evictions) must be done through the local court in the municipality where the premises are located.  Call the court clerk/personnel, who will walk you through the steps.

Can I seize a debtor's bank account?

Yes, although new laws provide certain protections for individual debtors (rather than businesses).

Where do I file my transcript of judgment?

At the County Clerk's Office, 92 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202

What are the costs for your services and who pays for them?

Costs vary greatly; refer to the Civil Process Division's website pages for details.  The creditor (i.e., the one owed the money) pays all associated fees in advance.  However, all fees, provided enough money is collected to cover them, are reimbursed before applying any money to the judgment interest & balance.

For how long are money judgments good?

Money judgments are valid for 20 years.

What rate of interest is applied to money judgments?

The rate is 9% per year.

What type or kind of debtor's property can be seized and sold?

Generally speaking, any property where ownership of the debtor can be established - can be seized and sold.  See the Civil Process Division's website for details.

Domestic Violence FAQ Answers

Who would I call regarding Domestic Violence information?

In an emergency always call the police at telephone number 9-1-1

Haven House - (716) 884-6002 Can help and assist you

Crisis Services - (716) 834-3131 can help and assist you

You can also call the Chief of Domestic Violence & Violence Prevention Education Programs at (716) 858-7063 where a deputy sheriff and an advocate are present to answer all your questions.

Who would I call regarding Sex Offense information regarding the Sex Offense Registry?

Call the Sex Offender Registry Deputy Alicia Gordon at (716) 858-3285.

Where can I report offenses against the family like child abuse, parent abuse, etc.?

If the offense is of an emergency nature, immediately call the police at 9-1-1

If you would like to talk to a Detective from the Sheriff's Family Offense Unit, please call (716) 858-7618.

Family Court Warrant Unit FAQ Answers

What is the Sheriff's Family Court Warrant Enforcement Unit?

The Family Court Warrant Enforcement Unit serve's Family Court Summonses, petitions and warrants. 

My children's father is not making support payments. What can I do?

Support enforcement starts with the Support Collection Unit, (716) 858-8909. From there, the case proceeds to the Family Court and the presiding Judge decides if a warrant or summons is necessary to produce the defendant in court.

Can the Sheriff's Family Court Warrant Enforcement Unit force payment of child support?

No! The Sheriff's Family Court Warrant Enforcement Unit does not seize money or property or enforce judgments or garnishee payments.

My Children's father lives in Canada or another state. Can he be served or forced to pay?

This issue is decided on a case by case basis, and you must contact Support Collections or the Erie County Attorney's Office at (716) 858-2200 for advice on how to proceed.

My support order is from another state. Can a warrant or summons from another state be served Here in Erie County?

Yes, a summons can be served. A warrant will be served if the other state will transport that person back to that state for court proceedings.

A warrant has been issued for someone from Family Court. They have moved since the Warrant was issued.

Please call the Sheriff's Family Court Warrant Enforcement Unit at (716) 858-7618. Any information on locating a person is always helpful.

Jail Management Division FAQ Answers

Where is the Erie County Holding Center Located?

40 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

Where is the Erie County Correctional Facility Located?

11581 Walden Avenue, Alden NY  14004

What are the visiting hours at the Correctional Facility and the Holding Center?

Click here for updated visiting hours 

What can I expect when I enter the Holding Center?
  • You must clear the metal detector to enter the visiting room (strongly suggested to wear sneakers)
  • You will need medical documentation for all medical devices on your person 
  • You will be required to submit to a K-9 search 
  • You must dress appropriately 
  • You will not be admitted if you have any of the following items on your person: 
    • See through clothing 
    • Hats, scarves or hoods 
    • Shirts with inappropriate symbols or messages 
    • Suit coats 
    • Overly alluring, suggestive or revealing clothing 

The final decision as to the appropriateness of dress lies with the sergeant assigned to the visiting area.

You must clear the metal detector to enter the visiting room the visiting room (strongly suggested to wear sneakers)

What types of personal identification do I need to bring to the Holding Center? Can I bring my child to the Holding Center to visit an inmate?

Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • State Driver's License
  • State Non-Driver's License
  • Military Identification Card
  • Valid Passport or Passport Card
  • Social Services Card with Picture.
Can I bring my child to the Holding Center to visit an inmate?

Parents or legal guardians who wish to bring a child (anyone under 18 years of age) to visit a prisoner, must provide adequate identification for the child. Identification for the child MUST INCLUDE:

  • The child's birth certificate (original or certified copy)
  • Adoption papers (original or certified copy)
  • Guardianship papers (original or certified copy)
  • Student identification card issued by a recognized school district
  • Student bus pass
  • New York State Learner's permit
  • Any person under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to visit an inmate in the facility
  • Only one (1) child will be allowed per adult
  • Children are not to be left in the public lobby without a parent or guardian
  • Children will not be allowed to run, scream, or shout in the visiting area
  • Only one child and one adult will be allowed to visit an inmate at any one time.
Can I drop off clothing to an inmate?

Court Clothing: (Holding Center and Correctional Facility)

Court Clothing may be dropped off/exchanged five (5) days per week (Monday - Friday), between 7:00 AM- 11: 15 AM and 12:30 PM- 2:15 PM. ONLY.

TWO outfits (no orange clothing), ONLY, will be allowed for court (TRIAL ONLY). This outfit includes pants (no metal decorations/attachments), shirt (no logos or hoods), dress, or a two or three-piece suit (no clip on ties, no belts). Jackets or coats will only be accepted during the months of November through March. 


If any inmate wants to change court clothing, arrangements must be made with your family/friends to pick up the court clothing already stored in your clothing bag. 



You can receive only one (1) package of the following per stay:

Males: No logos; White Only

6 pairs Socks

6 Briefs

6 T-shirts-no pockets

Females: No Logos White Only

3 bras, (No Bones or Underwires)

6 panties,

6 t-shirts,

6 Socks

What types of property will not be accepted by the Holding Center?

NO SNEAKERS will be allowed as incoming property.  The only sneakers allowed into the facility are those purchased on the inmate commissary or those worn into the facility by an inmate at the time of his/her arrest. 

NO sweat suits, jogging suits, shorts, hooded shirts, pajamas, robes or any other item of clothing will be accepted. 

NO belts, boots, shoes, sandals with steel toes, rivets, metal buckles, etc. will be accepted. 


*NOTE*: ALL PRINTED MATERIAL (magazines, newspapers, and books) ARE ACCEPTED THROUGH THE MAIL ONLY.  Inmates may receive printed materials or publications from any source.  Magazines must be dated current month and in new condition.  If any printed materials pose a threat to the safety, security or good order of the facility, those materials will be forwarded to the Superintendents’ Office for determination.  If the printed materials are found to be in need of censoring, the Superintendent will notify in writing the inmate as well as the sender within 48 hours of receipt of a periodical and, within seven (7) days for a publication/book.  If incoming printed material may involve a criminal offense, the appropriate authorities will be notified for criminal prosecution.  Due to the limited amount of space, inmates will be allowed no more than five (5) books or magazines and two (2) Newspapers in their cell at one time; this includes books from the facility library. 

UNACCEPTABLE MATERIAL:  may include but is not limited to: 

  • Text descriptive of actual or attempted jail escapes.
  • Material (s) related to drugs, gangs, weaponry or locksmithing.
  • Material(s) or photographs with an explicit sexual theme, which displays frontal nudity or penetration of any sort.
  • Polaroid photographs or other instant photographs.
  • The Superintendent of the facility has the final determination when censoring printed materials. 


THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED at the facility or through the mail Personal checks, nude personal photographs, musical greeting cards, oversized greeting cards, plastic-type cards, telephone calling cards, personal identification cards, sonograms (plastic x-ray type), Polaroid’s (whole or altered), more than ten (10) photo-graphs, medicine, personal hygiene items such as deodorant, hair products, combs, brushes, toothpaste, tooth- brush, shampoo, soap, washcloths, towels, cosmetics, metal or wooden crosses, chains, neck-laces, medallions, rings, watches, brace- lets, stamps, writing paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, pantyhose, metal objects, plastic objects, glue substances, decals, stickers, artwork: beaded, painted, glued, stringed, etc., belts, food items, candy, cologne or perfume, cassette tapes, electrical items such as radios, tape players, televisions, lottery tickets, hair, tobacco products. 

IN OTHER WORDS, any item which can be purchased in the inmate commissary and which is sent through the US mail will be considered contraband- and will be returned to sender at THEIR expense. 

I want to send an inmate mail - how do I address it?

Mail should be addressed to an inmate as follows:

Inmate's name and ICN # (on the inmate's bracelet)

Erie County Holding Center

40 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14202 


Inmate's name and ICN # (on the inmate's bracelet)

Erie County Correctional Facility

11581 Walden Avenue

Alden, New York 14004 

I want to give an inmate money - how do I go about that?

If you wish to provide money for an inmate while they are at the Holding Center, you may deposit it at the cashier's window located on the first floor near the Delaware Avenue entrance during the hours specified below:


7:00 AM-11:15 AM

12:30 PM- 2:15 PM

3:00 PM-5:15 PM

6:30 PM- 7:30 PM


7:00 AM-11:15 AM

12:30 PM-2:15 PM

I want to bail an inmate out with cash, what hours can I do this?

Cash bails will be accepted for the city, towns, and village courts 24 hours per day, seven days a week.