County won't name jail after late sheriff

Essex County lawmakers are dropping plans to name the county jail after the late Sheriff Henry Hommes.

But they still plan to honor the longtime county sheriff who oversaw the 2007 transition to the new 120-bed jail in the town of Lewis.

Hommes died of cancer in the summer of 2009, while still serving as sheriff.

Rather than change the sign on the jail, county Manager Dan Palmer said the county is considering new lettering on the jail that would read, "In Memory of Sheriff Henry Hommes." He said changing the actual name of the jail involves more red tape.

"It would probably mean just as much to put additional lettering on the building," Palmer said.

Some town supervisors also thought keeping the old name would be more appropriate than naming the jail after a single person. They instead advocated for a monument that could honor Hommes and other public servants who died while serving their community, including fallen police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel.

Palmer said more meetings would be held before arriving at a final plan.

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