Bail reform is the main subject with this newly elected Allegany County Legislator
By Michael T. Baldwin
“Bail reform is a trainwreck,” according to Andover Police Chief Jim Rumfelt. During a one-on-one interview, the chief had some serious words. He said “they had good intentions to deal with the cities, where the most serious issues can be found. The bail reform that is ‘for us’ doesn’t make any sense. Rumfelt recalls one man (allegedly) committed four societal crimes and was shocked when he was actually arraigned and sent to jail.
However, Rumfelt now needs to share several credentials: He is a police officer, EMT, and as of this week, a new county legislator.
In 2019, the village of Andover had a population of less than 900. Didn’t seem to slow him down. He has called and emailed plenty of local, state and federal lawmakers. His purpose? Show the city residents the state of law enforcement, fire and EMS.
Downstate, you may have to wait 6 minutes for an ambulance. In Allegany County, it’s not unreasonable during the day to wait 15+ minutes for help during a medical emergency. Rumfelt is a staunch Republican and his stomach had to burn some when he offered these comments. He doesn’t want downstate lawmakers to come to Andover for a police or EMS ride along.
One elected official returns his call…Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) from the Bronx. Rumfelt recalls, she asked if this was a setup…and Jim professionally explained the purpose. Another official the chief said who reached out to little Andover and Wellsville was U. S. Senator Charles Schumer. Jim admits we was not a fan…but was impressed by the Schumer communication.
As the county legislature organizes, Rumfelt hopes he at least can get appointed to the Public Safety Committee. But let’s remember what Jim said, along with nearly all police agencies in the county: “Bail reform is a train wreck.”
Listen a segment of this exclusive interview: