CHESTERTOWN - Retired police officer Jack Currie stood with a half-dozen other former state troopers gazing at a display of photographs depicting police work in olden days in the southern Adirondacks.
He and other former troopers joined about 15 active state police, local and state officials, and dozens of community members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 20, for the new state police substation in Chestertown.
"In the old building, we had no interrogation rooms," he recalled, as citizens took a walking tour of the expansive, 19-room new building. "We had to take suspects out of the substation into our patrol cars to question them."
About 19 police will be working out of the new 7,100-square-feet building - 13 state police joined by a half-dozen Warren County sheriff's office personnel.
The new state police headquarters includes upcounty headquarters for the Warren County sheriff's office.
State Police Troop G Commander Major William Sprague said his agency didn't need all the room in this building, which was built to state's ample specifications, so his agency decided to host the county sheriff's substation - perhaps a first for the state police.
"This provides a model for cooperation elsewhere in the state," he said."It will work for the benefit of both agencies."
County Sheriff Bud York agreed, noting the rent-free arrangement will save local taxpayers as much as $12,000 per year, while boosting communication between state police officers and investigators, helping them jointly solve crimes as the officers share background information on suspects and compare notes on cases.
"This will make it a lot easier to solve crimes," he said. "This is definitely a win-win situation for all."
While the sheriff's deputies work out of the south wing of the well-equipped building, the state police will in turn have access to the sheriff's real-time fingerprint reading and identification apparatus which can provide suspects' identities and past arrest records nearly instantaneously.