I live in a direct suburb of Buffalo, NY in Erie County and you absolutely can use LE as a reference for your pistol permits. However it does state something about your references cannot be employed by the Sheriffs Dept. So if you live in a municipality with it's own PD, they can be used as references if you know one. If you live in an area serviced only by the sherrifs department, I guess you cannot. Dont know why that is but thems the rules.