Howard cannot ignore laws he disagrees with

I was stunned to read Sheriff Timothy Howard said recently that he would not enforce the SAFE Act, despite the fact that it is the law of the state.

The sheriff is not free to determine which laws he will enforce or to what degree. He was elected by the people of Erie County to enforce the laws of New York State. He took an oath of office and swore to uphold our laws – all of them. The Legislature enacted the SAFE Act; it is his job to enforce it, like it or not. If Howard has questions about the constitutionality of the SAFE Act, that is the job of the judiciary to decide, not his.

Thankfully we have legislators like Assemblyman Sean Ryan holding elected officials like Howard accountable. I wonder what other laws the sheriff thinks are unconstitutional. We may never know, but it is unnerving to think that we live in a county where our top law enforcement officer decides what laws he will enforce.

Sheriff Howard, do your job, and stop the election-year politics.

If Howard won’t do the job he was elected to do, perhaps we should find another sheriff.

Paul McQuillen