Resident upset about lack of sheriff patrols

To the editor: It has come to my attention that as of Monday, October 22, 2007, the Sheriffs Deputies in Essex County will no longer be patrolling the roads. These deputies are a huge asset to our community, and taking them off the road will be detrimental to the safety of our county. As most are aware, the new jail has finally opened. The problem now is that there are not enough correction officers to man the jail, and the Sheriff is taking the deputies off the road to fill this void. You may ask yourself, what is the problem in doing this? Well, what happens when a domestic takes place and NYSP is not available? Or when a Sheriffs deputy, who carries an AED (automatic external defibrillator), could beat the ambulance and start CPR ten minutes sooner, possibly saving a patient? As an EMT with Au Sable Forks Volunteer Ambulance Service, I know that this can sometimes be the case. Will our communities suffer without having these people on the road? So, while the deputies are working in the jail, who will be serving civil papers, the Sheriffs department is the only agency that does this, or making court or jail transfers? Apparently, the solution to this is to pay the off-duty deputies overtime. Wouldnt it make more since to hire a few more correction officers, and keep the deputies on the road, than to pay the deputies time and a half every time something extra is needed? Also, what about all the money that is spent to put the deputies through a six month police school? Two deputies have already left the Sheriffs department to go to other agencies that will let them patrol the roads. Those agencies didnt have to pay to train these deputies because the county already did it for them. It seems to me that if the Sheriff takes the deputies off the road he will only be costing the county more money in the long run. He may also be losing more deputies, which only means he will have to hire new people; again, costing the county more money. This letter is in no way meant to ignore the work the New York State Police do. It is only to express my upset with the Sheriffs decision to pull the deputies off the road. Money issues aside, these deputies do a lot for this area, and are available at times when other agencies are not. They need to stay on the road and continue to serve our community in the capacity they were hired for. Meredith L. Torrance

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