Sullivan Sheriff short-staffed, going into summer


MONTICELLO – Sullivan County’s
population will more than double in the next couple of weeks, as it does
every summer, with the influx of thousands of seasonal residents.

Sheriff Michael Schiff told county legislators on Thursday that he “needs
bodies.” He is down three positions for the Road Patrol and five positions
because of the consolidation of E911.

The spring training academy was cancelled. There is one coming up in the
fall. Schiff said even if he gets qualified applicants into that one, they
won’t go on line until after the casino opens next spring.
“Casino coming on line March, or that ballpark, 2018, I think it’s
imperative that we get up to strength,” he said curing the legislature’s
Public Safety and Law Enforcement Committee meeting. “We don’t
know what’s coming at us. I’ve seen things that I find a little
bit concerning.”
Legislator Nadia Rajsz, whose district includes Lumberland and Highland,
both with constables, said Route 97, very busy during the summer, is covered
almost exclusively by State Police.

Schiff said they are seeing more people they don’t recognize, even
in areas tourists don’t normally go.

“I think Sullivan County is on the move. I think people are coming
up. They’re looking around. They’re coming up for the weekend.
They’re trying the breweries and distilleries. They’re going
to Bethel Woods Museum. They’re going to Landers or other venues,
rafting on the Delaware. We’ve got people coming up.”
The sheriff said it is imperative they stay ahead of the game.

Schiff cautioned that giving him the “five bodies” he said
he needs now isn’t a guaranteed long-term solution, if anyone on
the current staff leaves. He noted one deputy is interviewing with State


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