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Sheriff's department under new leadership

QUEENSBURY After just a week in office, Warren County Sheriff Nathan Bud York has already made a difference for the department. York successfully challenged former Sheriff Larry Cleveland, who had been at the helm for eight years. York brings with him 30 years of experience with the State Police in various capacities. There are some really good people here and I felt a change was needed, he said. The morale was extremely low. In response to that, York has given each department more responsibility and less direct accountability to him. In police work, you have your patrol officers and investigators that are supervised by sergeants and lieutenants, York said. They no longer need an OK from me before making a decision. These people know what theyre doing, I just make sure they have the tools and they have the ability. He said morale has risen a great deal in a short time since he made those changes. I take care of the big stuff, he said. That includes homicides and large events like the sinking of the Ethan Allen. I make sure they have everything they need to do their jobs, and Ill handle the press, which is huge in a big case, he said. York said he is beginning the process of creating professional standards for the department. Thats basically a nice way of saying internal affairs, York said. I worked for three years in that department with the State Police, and we need to set up our own professional standards. York said the standards will assure the public as well as Sheriffs Department employees will be treated fairly. The standards will give our employees guidelines, and this will help get morale back - there wont be any favoritism, theyll know if they mess up, the boss is fair. York said that each department already has its own set of rules, but he is looking at what other law enforcement agencies do for professional standards. Well take a look at New York City Police, LAPD, Chicago and see what they do, he said. Not that were going to like everything they do, but well look at them. The Warren County Sheriffs Department has never had an internal affairs or professional standards. Its been a relatively small department, but in the past few years, weve gone from 110 employees to about 220, so we have the capability of more problems.

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