The Albany County Sheriff’s Office is currently facing a manning shortage that will negatively affect public safety response in Albany County. These conditions are also a very real and concerning threat to the safety of our deputies. It is my understanding that both patrol and detention are operating at unsafe manning levels, and the appointed sheriff has passed a directive making it acceptable for a single deputy to transport violent inmates to IMH for care. This endangers not only the deputy and medical staff but also the safety of the inmate.
I will adequately advertise job openings and hire quality candidates. I will always hire candidates based on their qualifications and will adhere to Equal Opportunity Employer standards. I have extensive experience in conducting background investigations and will raise the current hiring standards to an acceptable level. The hiring process will consist of physical and written testing, an oral board of various community members and peace officers followed by a background investigation, physical and mental health evaluations and a polygraph. The related expenses are necessary in hiring the most qualified candidates with potential to succeed as peace officers, and help to avoid the pitfalls associated with hiring subpar peace officers. While it is imperative that positions be filled it is counterproductive to hire individuals not suited for the job and our community deserves the best.
The sheriff’s office has historically refused to hire deputies directly to patrol. While this practice is common in some locations, it is dangerous under the current situation and simply not a viable option at this time. These positions must be filled to provide services and adequately patrol the 4,309 square miles of country within Albany County. I will push for lateral hires and hiring bonuses in order to attract the most qualified candidates in order to fill vacancies in a timely manner and correct the current manpower shortage emergency.
As Sheriff, I will strive to implement manning numbers that will provide a safe working environment for the deputies and an efficient response to Albany County citizens needing assistance.
When elected I will work to raise morale in the department in several different ways, many of which don’t cost a dime. Mutual respect goes along way with people. Letting them know that their input is valued and considering their ideas brings buy in to any organization. Allowing deputies to set goals and target a career path empowers them and motivates them to improve themselves. Leading by example shows that we are all in this together and will share the weight of the load. Building community relationships and making cooperative connections within the community is imperative to successful policing.