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Several Erie County sheriff's deputies will spend the holidays with their families when volunteers from a local Jewish organization take their place at work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

As they have done for a number of years, members of the local chapter of B'nai B'rith, the international Jewish service organization, will answer telephones, file reports and prepare care packages for Sheriff's Department inmates.

"It's an excellent gesture on their part, to help our people," said Edward Sobczyk, assistant superintendent of the Holding Center. "We really appreciate it. We can have a couple of more people off to be with their families."

Sobczyk said six or seven deputies would have to work on the holidays.

Seven volunteers will work in non-security roles -- most preparing care packages for inmates -- at the Holding Center on Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo. Five others are scheduled to answer phones and file reports at the Sheriff's Department command post in Chestnut Ridge, Sobczyk said.

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