Ti challenges sheriff

TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Police Department will no longer do the Essex County Sheriff's job - unless it's paid for it.

The county board has sided with Ti Supervisor Bob Dedrick in a dispute with the county sheriff over transportation of prisoners.

As soon as a court reprimands a prisoner to county jail, Dedrick explained at the April 9 Ti town board meeting, that prisoner becomes the responsibility of the county sheriff.

If no county deputies are available to transport that prisoner to the county jail in Lewis, communities with a town police department, like Ticonderoga and Moriah, are forced to do the transport themselves.

Those two hour round-trips leave the town without full police protection, Dedrick said, and cost money for fuel and officers' pay.

After researching the law, Dedrick contacted Essex County Sheriff Henry Hommes asking the town either be reimbursed the cost of transporting prisoners to Lewis or that sheriff's deputies pick up the prisoners.

In a letter to Dedrick, Hommes refused.

Dedrick then made his case to the Essex County Board of Supervisors, pointing out the sheriff's legal responsibility and asked that the town be reimbursed $237.23 for transporting inmates to the county jail on two occasions.

Supervisors agreed with Dedrick during their April 6 regular board meeting with 16 of the 18 voting for Ti's position.

Some supervisors, however, Like Westport Supervisor Dan Connell, said the practice of reimbursing towns with police forces for prisoner transport would set a precedent.

Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston agreed. Both voted against the reimbursement.

"I am not in favor of it," Preston said. "I think it would open a can of worms with shared services."

But Dedrick said he hoped it does set a precedent.

"The situation was not fair to the town police or the taxpayers of Ticonderoga," Dedrick said. "Ti will be reimbursed now and in the future."

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