File 25

The New York State Sheriffs' Association
Volume 371

April 21,  2015

Thanks to Our Diamond Partners


Civil Division Staff from Sheriff's Offices around the State Attend Week-Long Training Program
Mike Grossi of the Westchester County Sheriff's Office teaches a session at last week's Basic Civil School at the NYSSAI offices in Albany, NY.

The Sheriffs' Association Institute held a week-long Basic School for deputy sheriffs and civilian staff of Sheriffs' civil divisions last week. Deputies and other staff from Sheriffs' Offices around the State attended the program, which was taught by deputies with expertise in civil enforcement law. We are grateful to the following instructors for dedicating their time: Kim Ward of Tioga County, Ed Vlack of Genesee County, Pat Flynn, retired, of Erie County, Ron Bill of Broome County and Mike Grossi of Westchester County, and a thank you to their Sheriffs for allowing them to participate.


The second week of this two-week school will take place from May 18th to the 22nd and will focus on more advanced topics. The school is required training for Sheriffs' Offices seeking civil office accreditation. During its more-than-30-year history, the program has trained over 2,000 Deputy Sheriffs and other Sheriffs' employees. The Sheriffs' Association Institute provides the only statewide training program for civil deputies, and the training is provided without charge to any civil personnel nominated for the school by a Sheriff.


Press Conference in Schoharie County Sheds Light on Need for FEMA to Release Funds

It's been more than three years since Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Schoharie County public safety building, destroying the county jail as well as Sheriff's offices. Local officials are still waiting for the federal government to release rebuilding funds.


Recently, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, State Senator Jim Seward and Assemblyman Pete Lopez joined Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond, local firefighters, and other Schoharie County officials in a press conference held in the gutted first floor of the 23-year-old public safety building, to focus attention on the need to resolve conflicts between the rules of the federal and state emergency management officials that are holding up the project.


Rebuilding the public safety building on its current site would cost an estimated $40 million, but local officials worry the site is too close to the Schoharie Creek drainage area. The county is eyeing a new site, on higher ground about a mile away, that would cost $37 million. But FEMA is balking at funding because it may be less expensive for the agency to fix the building, in terms of FEMA's share.


The Sheriff's Office is caught in this state-federal conflict. Probation officers are working out of a temporary FEMA trailer, and Schoharie County's inmates are transported to and housed at the Albany County jail 38 miles away, where the jail boarding fees alone are running $3.6 million annually, with FEMA paying 70 percent and the county picking up the rest.


Remembering former Clinton County Sheriff Russell Trombly 

Former Clinton County Sheriff Russell Trombly passed away at his home in Chazy, NY with family by his side on March 28th. Russell became a New York State trooper in May of 1948 assigned to Troop B, covering a territory from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario. Among the many highlights of his 28-year career as a trooper was escorting Jacqueline Kennedy and her children during a ski vacation to Lake Placid. He participated in the manhunt in the Adirondacks for the killer Robert F. Garrow; the largest manhunt at the time, in New York State history.


After retiring from the New York State Police, Russell was appointed Clinton County Sheriff by Governor Hugh Carey in 1977. Russell ran five terms overseeing the building of the new Clinton County jail. In 1990, he served as President of the New York State Sheriff Association. Russell retired in 1999 at the age of 76. "He will be missed, but his legend will always live on!" said Clinton County Sheriff David Favro.

Ontario County Honored by U.S. DEA for Prescription Drug Collection Program


Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero, DEA Resident Agent in Charge Timothy Kernan, and Brianna Wright, former Drug-Free Communities Project Director for The Partnership of Ontario County.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently honored Ontario County as the leading Western New York county for the collection of expired prescription drugs over the last five years. Nearly five tons of expired, unused or unwanted medication was collected during 24 drive-through events held in communities throughout the County.  More than 3,700 people dropped off more than 8,880 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicine. In addition, about 400 pounds of medicines were collected at a permanent MedReturn unit at the Geneva PD's public safety building, which opened last year. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency destroyed the collected drugs, keeping them out of the hands of those who might misuse them and keeping them out of the environment.


The effort started with a collaboration between the Sheriff's Office and The Partnership for Ontario County, along with The Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Thompson Health, Wegmans and county agencies such as Public Health and the Office for the Aging. "We have collected over 9,000 pounds in five years, if youadd in the amount from the permanent collection unit at the Geneva Police Department," Sheriff Povero said. "That is an impressive number...We are honored to have received this recognition from the DEA and look forward to continuing this critical service," he said.


Wayne County Jail Administrator Lester Carr Celebrates Retirement

Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts is always prepared, but he has stepped up his game to be ready for any emergency requiring black shoes. Pictured above (bottom) are just some of his favorites. Barry wore his shiniest shoes recently when he presided over a retirement ceremony for long-time jail administrator Lester Carr, pictured above (top). Les' three brothers also work for Barry, and he told a few stories at their expense. Sheriff Phil Povero made a presentation to Les for his work with the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy, and jail administrators from Cayuga, Madison, Steuben, Ontario, Monroe, and Chemung counties were on hand to congratulate Les on his retirement. Tom Mitchell and Ed Wutzer presented a plaque to Les for his many contributions to the Association and his assistance to jail administrators throughout the state.


Erie County Senior Detective Jim Hatch Celebrates Retirement

The Erie County Sheriff's Office recently honored Senior Detective Jim Hatch, who retired after 32 years of distinguished and decorated service, citing his exemplary investigative skills, professionalism, leadership and tireless work ethic, which served to inspire his colleagues while enhancing public safety throughout Erie County.  Senior Detective Hatch began his career in law enforcement after 11 years of dedicated service in the United States Marine Corps. 


Detective Hatch made 938 arrests during a career that emphasized justice on behalf of domestic violence, elder abuse/neglect and juvenile victims, earning him far-reaching admiration and countless accolades including awards from the Hamburg American Legion, the National Federation for Just Communities, the Lee Gross Anthone Child Advocacy Center, the Erie County Sheriff's Foundation and the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation. Congratulations to Detective Hatch on a distinguished career.


Orange County Chief Investigator Gregory Gaetano to Retire after 37 Years of Service

Chief Investigator Gregory T. Gaetano will retire this week after 27 years in law enforcement. Greg began his career as a New Windsor Police Dispatcher on April 22, 1978. He advanced to Police Officer, detective, Patrol Sergeant and Commanding Officer of the department's Community Policing Unit before retiring after 25 years of service.


Greg's stated his career with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in January of 2003. He was responsible for the administrative oversight of the Narcotics Unit, oversight of training programs, and oversight of the law enforcement accreditation program. 


He coordinated efforts to have the Office receive Law Enforcement Accreditation from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. In 2012 he became an Accreditation Assessor for the NYS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. 


Greg obtained and administered such grants as the Crime Suppression Initiative, Operation IMPACT and GIVE grants. He worked with local, state and federal agencies in the Counter Terrorism Zone 4 (CTZ4) area. In 2013 he was assigned by the Sheriff to sit as Chairman of the CTZ4 Committee. Greg coordinated efforts with the Orange County Gang & Crime Intel Unit and augmented the Intel capabilities of the Corrections Security Risk Group and Field Intelligence Officer Unit. For several years Greg was also the Coordinator of the County Wide DNA Reconciliation program. 


Greg is an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at SUNY Orange. He is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council #444 in Newburgh and holds the rank of Past Grand Knight. As for his retirement, he plans on teaching, doing accreditation assessments for DCJS and continued work in the area of community and public service. We thank Greg for his service and wish him success in his future endeavors!


New Explosive Detection K9 Joins Erie County Sheriff's Office 

Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces that Deputy Michael Okal and his partner "Spike" have graduated from the New York State Police Advanced Explosive Detection and Patrol School in Cooperstown, New York. The 12-week training focused on techniques to locate multiple types of explosive materials. Deputy Okal and Spike will be assigned to the Erie County Bomb Squad. With their addition to the bomb squad, the number of K9 units increases to three.


Rockland County Showcases 3D Laser Digital Crime Scene Scan

Rockland County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Criminal Investigations recently profiled the county's 3D Laser Digital Crime Scene Sketch capabilities as part of an ongoing series profiling their capabilities.


A rotating camera (pictured above, right) performs a 360-degree scan of the crime scene, including numbered markers next to each piece of evidence. The scan is uploaded to a computer and viewed using 3D software that allows the investigator to zoom in on any piece of evidence for close examination. Every angle of the scene is calculated and used to determine the crime sequence. It also calculates blood trajectory and picks up shoe patterns or tire treads at the scene. This technology was paid for with asset forfeiture funds, not tax-payer dollars.


National Crime Victims' Rights Week

April 19-25, 2015 

Click here for resource guide.


Victim Notification Conference

April 22

Holiday Inn Wolf Road, Albany, NY


Sheriffs' Association and Institute
Programs 2015:


Basic Civil Schools

Phase 2 May 18-22

NYSSA Offices, Albany, NY


Civil Supervisor Training Conference

May 11-13

Gideon Putnam, Saratoga Springs, NY


Undersheriffs Training Conference

June 8-10

Gideon Putnam, Saratoga Springs, NY

Sheriff's Annual

Summer Training Conference

July 13-17, 2015

Lake Placid, NY


Law Enforcement Supervisors 

Training Conference

September 14 - 16

Gideon Putnam, Saratoga Springs, NY


Jail Administrators' Training Conference 

September 28 - October 1

Gideon Putnam, Sar atoga Springs, NY