This year two candidates are running for Orange County Sheriff: Democrat Bernie Rivers and Republican Paul Arteta. Each candidate was asked to submit a statement detailing why voters should choose them on November 8. Their answers are below.
I am the best qualified person for the office of sheriff in Orange County. My qualifications include a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College, a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, National Academy (FBI-N/A), a prestigious 10-week police leadership training program. I have 40 years of law enforcement experience, including 10 years with the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), where I served as a uniformed corrections officer and was a member of the department’s Elite Crisis Intervention Unit. While working for DOCS, I also worked for various local police departments during these 10 years, doing more traditional law enforcement duties.
In 1992 I transferred to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Law Enforcement (DLE), where I remained for 30 years, starting as a uniformed conservation officer, promoted to investigator, uniform lieutenant (supervising environmental conservation officer), uniformed captain (chief environmental conservation officer), and retiring as the two-star director of law enforcement, overseeing a staff of 300+ officers and civilians, with an annual budget for the Division of Law Enforcement of $30,500,000. Having served in these roles throughout my career with DLE, I have done first-line supervision and administrative and command-level assignments, including four years overseeing our Office of Professional Standards (Internal Affairs).
As sheriff, I would oversee the sheriff’s office’s patrol, correction, and civil divisions. I believe my education, work experience in both traditional and specialized law enforcement, and correctional experience uniquely qualify me to be the next sheriff of Orange County, allowing me to give back to my community and serving the people of Orange County and the state of New York.
I am currently the deputy police chief in the village of Montgomery. Prior to my current position I retired from a 28-year run as a deputy sheriff, having moved through the ranks from corrections officer in the county jail all the way up to captain. During my time as a deputy sheriff, I founded the Orange County DA/Sheriff’s Office Drug Task force, attended the FBI National Academy, served on the Safe Streets Task Force and was a founding member and three-term president of the Deputy Sheriff’s PBA. I hold a master’s degree in law enforcement and public safety leadership, and I donate my time to the Hudson Valley Honor Flight and Newburgh Armory Unity Center. I have also had the honor of serving the people of the Town of Montgomery as deputy supervisor.
I am best qualified to make the necessary improvements to our sheriff’s office and keep our county safe. While I bring a great depth and breadth of experience and community service to the table, even more importantly I have a detailed plan for Orange County. If elected sheriff of Orange County, I will sharpen our capabilities in the office by meeting new national accreditation standards that best serve Orange County residents, adopt new technologies to fully engage our communities and implement evidence-based best practices proven to reduce crime. I will keep the Sheriff’s Office accountable by ensuring that transparency and accountability are the rule, not the exception, build constructive, collaborative ties between law enforcement and the public focused on developing meaningful and beneficial structural solutions and stay fiscally responsible. Finally, I will strengthen our community ties by dedicate my time to being a full-time sheriff, working with local law enforcement to build trust and legitimacy and forging lasting relationships with Orange County residents and community organizations.