Tolbert Announces Candidacy for Erie County Sheriff

                                           Bernie Tolbert

                                           Bernie Tolbert

Buffalo native brings three decades of law enforcement qualifications

BUFFALO, NY- Bernie Tolbert, a Buffalo native and experienced law enforcement and security official, on Tuesday announced his candidacy for Erie County Sheriff. In making the announcement, Tolbert spoke of the responsibilities of the job.

“The sheriff is responsible for investigating and stopping crime, keeping county roads safe, handling public emergencies, and protecting women, children and others threatened by domestic violence,” Tolbert stated. “Additionally, the sheriff is responsible for the county jails, and the holding center. Each of these important jobs is faltering under current leadership and Erie County deserves the best possible sheriff in charge of addressing them. We need someone who understands our community’s needs. Someone with extensive law enforcement credentials and experience. Someone with fresh ideas to improve the operations of the Sheriff’s Department and overcome tough new challenges to public safety. Equally important, we need someone who won’t play politics with the sheriff’s badge.”

Tolbert’s 35-year law enforcement and security career includes leading the FBI’s Buffalo Division where he supervised all foreign counterintelligence, counterterrorism and civil rights investigations throughout the 17 counties of Western New York, including Erie. Tolbert’s experience provides him with the vision and leadership skills to clean up the holding center that has been beset by mismanagement and unexplained deaths, halt the alarming rise in street violence and attack the opioid epidemic destroying families and robbing lives in urban and rural communities.

“I want to protect and extend Buffalo’s renaissance across the entire county, from Grand Island to Sardinia and from Lackawanna to Lancaster. When elected I will partner with law enforcement, community leaders and private citizens across all neighborhood and political boundaries to make our county safer.”   

ABOUT BERNIE TOLBERT: Bernie Tolbert is a Buffalo native and attended Elementary Schools 31, 6 and 76. After graduation from Lafayette High School he attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1971 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1973.

Bernie has been active in WNY community organizations for many years including an association that spans more than 50 years with Cradle Beach. Bernie is the father of three adult children, all living in Buffalo, where he and his wife also reside.

Latest Update on Tolbert:

( printed in our may 10th edition)  

The Bernie Tolbert for Erie County Sheriff Campaign has formed a finance committee and named its first members.  The committee is led by Campaign Treasurer James Tilley, the former President and CEO of Evans Bank, and Assistant Treasurer Peter Grogan, Managing Director at United Capital Financial Advisors. Its membership includes John Elmore, a Partner in the Williamsville law firm Boyd and Elmore; Jonathan Gardner, a Partner at the law firm Kavinoky Cook; H. McCarthy Gipson, the former Commissioner of Police for the City of Buffalo; John Horn, the Managing Partner of the Buffalo office of the law firm Harter Secrest & Emery; Dr. Richard J. Lee, Dean Emeritus, Buffalo State College; Catherine Schweitzer, Executive Director of the Baird Foundation; and Leslie Shatkin, a prominent Democratic Party Activist from Amherst.

Announcing the committee, Bernie Tolbert said, “I’m thrilled and honored to have these  prestigious community leaders join our campaign for sheriff. Each of these members brings skill and expertise to the campaign, not just in terms of raising the funds we need to wage a winning race, but in terms of good judgment and great ideas for how best to serve the people of Erie County. Ultimately, that is what this campaign is all about.” Campaign Treasurer James Tilley said, “I am honored to serve with this impressive group of community leaders to help elect Bernie Tolbert as Erie County Sheriff. Bernie is a trusted friend who will serve the department and the citizens of Erie County with distinction.” Speaking for the committee, Catherine Schweitzer said, “Bernie Tolbert has the community background, the law enforcement experience and the best ideas and practices to make the sheriff’s department one we can all be proud of.”