Jail will keep its name, Hommes still to be honored

ELIZABETHTOWN-The Essex County Jail and Public Safety Building will not be renamed.

However, the Essex County Board of Supervisors is still looking for a proper way to honor former sheriff Henry Hommes, who was one of the driving forces to get the new facility in Lewis built.

"What we have come up with is that we are not going to be renaming the jail," Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow said. "We will leave those letters up there, and what we are looking to do is add a memorial plaque or dedication to Henry."

Morrow chaired a sub-committee that looked into the renaming of the jail after some concerns arose during the April 4 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

"At the full board meeting last week, there were a number of concerns that the supervisors brought to the floor from their constituents," Morrow said. "We met as a committee after the meeting and I feel that we addressed each of those concerns."

One of the main issues that was discussed was honoring officers who had died while serving in the police or public service.

"We take this very seriously," Morrow said. "I think some of us did not know this when we were talking last week, but there is a monument in front of the building that is dedicated to the memory of fallen officers, but there are no names on it right now. We need to get some on there."

Morrow also said that even if the county were to look into the name change, there would be no use of taxpayer money.

"I don't think that we ever said that we were going to use taxpayer money," Morrow said. "I received some letters after we talked about this, and they were all in favor of it, and some even offered to donate toward it."

Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava added that emergency service workers should also be honored at the site.

"This is not only the jail but also the public safety facility," he said. "We should do the research and add those names as well."

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