Ellicott Police Chief Says Township Made “Narrow-Minded” Decision to Leave Jamestown Drug Task Force

ELLICOTT-Police Chief Wlliam Ohnmeiss voiced his displeasure Tuesday to the news his town’s board will cease further funding for a police officer assigned to the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.

“The level of drugs in this township…We’re not Mayberry anymore,” said Ohnmeiss. “This is a beautiful community and I don’t want people to think we’re losing the battle.”

Although Ellicott only had one officer working with the task force, the loss of town resources is what really gnaws at Ohnmeiss.

“They bring narcotics, lieutenants, buy money, equipment, undercover cars, and the SWAT team. I could never begin to battle this epidemic without those resources,” Ohnmeiss said.

Ohnmeiss expressed optimism Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Senator Cathy Young and a host of local politicians will continue supporting his agency’s efforts to fight the drug trafficking issue in this community.

The chief also expressed regret his own board supervisor chose not to continue to fund an officer to work with Jamestown’s Metro Drug Task Force.

“I guess I would say I am very discouraged that the town board is that narrow-minded to see we can’t not afford to fight this fight, “Ohnmeiss said.

The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force was started in 2014 by Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings who chose to form the squad after more aggression was needed against drug traffickers in the city.

When reached by WNY News Now, Chief Snellings pledged to lend his assistance to the Town of Ellicott when possible.

“I assured Chief Ohnmeiss that we will continue to assist their agency as much as we can,” Snellings said.

WNY News Now has scheduled a face-to-face interview with Ellicott Town Board Supervisor Patrick McLaughlin for Thursday to get his side of this story.



  1. Maybe Patrick Mclaughlin should think twice about his desidsion on this matter. People will be very unhappy if he does this. The good people and myself of this town want our town back to the way it use to be.
    I’ve live here 42 yrs. It use to be the greatest place to live. Never had to be worried about going for an nice evening walks by ourselves or with our pets. Now I’m afraid to walk out my door at night.
    The JPD and the Drug Task force are doing a great job.

  2. Retired Captain from FDNY, parents graduated from Jamestown in The 1940s, Still have Family there, But Knowing Members of Both Police Depts who are SO Dedicated, Very bad choice to Pull out of Team, Find The Funding!!!!!!! Things only getting Worse! Don’t Retrea NOW!!! K

  3. I love the fact that people in this community and this counts try as a whole think that they can demand certain things while the bottom line of the budget says that it can not be afforded! You want to complain that we are a country on the verge of bankruptcy… yet you demand more services with less taxes… it doesn’t work that way! Plain and simple it all comes down to the bottom line items in a budget!

  4. Poor decision made by town board. I see nothing has changed since I retired eight years ago with the board. They always thought they New better how to do your job.

  5. I wonder if the “bottom line” of the budget takes into account the true cost of having a growing drug epidemic in your community.

    This is exactly what the captain means by “narrow-mindedness”

  6. Town of Ellicott voters, seems like you have a problem. The supervisor is blaming the chief of police for pulling out of the Metro DRUG task force! The Chief is blaming the supervisor and board.

    I blame all of the above!! So you pull out, you are a small fish in huge lake!! Your coverage isn’t that great. Who are you going to call with you drug problems. Don’t call Jamestown they’re to busy with there drug issue!

    As a tax payer I DEMAND SHARED SERVICES!!!!

    Please let Pat Mc Laughlin, Chief Ohmeisse and the town board know your displeasure!!

    Paying taxes in Jamestown, why after pulling out would we want to spend OUR taxpayer dollars to help you??

  7. If there are budget issues then you need to see what you can cut. You obviously have not been affected by this epidemic. I do very happy for you.
    I deal with it daily. More and more continue to come in searching for help. We can have only so many in a suboxone program. Can’t tell you how many we’ve lost.
    I want to irradicate from our area, I would love to see Jamestown a thriving town.
    Talk to your town!!!

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