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.Not sure what county you live in, but most county`s here in NY won`t let you use law enforcement as references (any county officials for that matter). I was told conflict of intrest is why we cant use LE (or county officials) for references in my county. You might want to talk to your county clerks at the court house on that. Make sure you`re in the clear, because that would suck having to start the process all over again and be delayed that much longer.
And GOOD LUCK, i hope you get it! Back when i got mine, 3 month wait, it was in my hand.