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Retired law enforcer Dobson announces candidacy for Erie County Sheriff

Photo courtesy Dick Dobson For Sheriff

As Erie County Democrats search for a candidate for sheriff, a retired sergeant is tossing his hat into the ring. Richard "Dick" Dobson announced his candidacy for Erie County Sheriff Friday morning. Dobson, who is seeking the Democratic endorsement, says he brings a great deal of experience to the job.

"[I have] 32 years with the Erie County Sheriff's Department. I came in as a deputy, was a detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and afternoon watch commander. I come from a law enforcement family," Dobson told WBFO News.

"I've worked for six different sheriffs of both political parties and each of those sheriffs had a different management style. I learned what works and what doesn't."

Dobson says the focus of his candidacy will include the sheriff's department's "long-running NYD decertification of the road patrol division" and the "costly lawsuits against the ECSD that have deeply impacted county taxpayers."

Democratic Party leaders are reportedly discussing the race with several possible candidates. 

Republican incumbent Sheriff Timothy Howard has not yet declared his candidacy, but is expected to seek re-election. 

Dobson is the father of Kevin Dobson, a New York State trooper who was struck and killed by a motorist as he was issuing a traffic ticket on I-290 in the Town of Tonawanda March 26, 2011.

Dobson responded to Friday's news that four sheriff's deputies were attacked over the span of 12 hours, saying "ongoing problems in the sheriff’s department, particularly in the holding center, have had a tremendously negative impact on the deputies and on the morale of the entire department.  It is a situation that is becoming more problematic as time goes on."

"I am relieved to know that the four deputies involved in the two separate altercations at the Holding Center are not seriously injured.  They put their lives on the line every day for the safety of the citizens of Erie County.  Now it’s time to start putting policies into effect that will more closely protect our deputies in return."