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Race for sheriff features familiar faces

"I'd also want to create inmate work crews," Tyler said. "Other counties do it, so we should be able to do that."

Tyler also said he would do a better job managing deputy road patrols by actively communicating with local municipalities about where patrols are needed.

Overall, Tyler said his fresh approach to the post would lead to a more efficient and effective Sheriff's department.

"It won't be business as usual if I'm elected Sheriff; that's for sure."

Tyler may have a big hill to climb, however, as he attempts to win the position from Cutting, who has been a member of the Essex County Sheriff's Department since 1977. Cutting steadily climbed through the ranks to become jail administrator and was chosen as Undersheriff in 2008.

"I've been here 33 years; 31 of it in the old jail," said Cutting. "We have this new facility here that I had an integral part in designing and building. I feel I'm fairly young at 55 years old, and I want to be here to see that things keep running the way they have been."

Essex County Republican committee members gave overwhelming support to Cutting at their Sept. 15 meeting and will be on the Republican line of November's ballot.

One of the things Cutting is most proud of, he said, is the substantial revenue the department has been able to generate by housing federal and out-of-county inmates at the new jail.

"We built this jail with the needs of Essex County in the next 30 years in mind," Cutting said, noting how extra cells are being used in the more immediate future to generate $1.3 million for the county in 2009 with expectations to exceed that in 2010.

"I'd like to see the Sheriff's office be a vital resource for Essex County," Cutting said, noting the many services offered, including D.A.R.E., child seat checks and identification cards, and proactive enforcement of the sex offender registry and sales of alcohol to minors.

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