Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office Participates in LEADership Project
to help combat gang involvement in Troy
May 21, 2015: Sheriff Jack Mahar reports – Rensselaer County Deputies Jeff Russo and Jim Phelps participated in the new LEADership Project, introduced by the U.S. Attorney and Troy leaders earlier this year, in an effort to combat gangs and keep students from joining them.
Deputies Russo and Phelps visited 22 students in Ms. Colleen Denio’s fifth grade class at Carroll Hill School in Troy NY. Their program was designed to educate students about the realities of gang life and the alternatives that exist to avoid gang affiliation or involvement. Deputy Russo stressed the importance of self-esteem - to give yourself value, and that the choices you make in life will follow you. Make constructive choices not destructive.
Students were encouraged to write down their goals- to look at them often, and make changes to them as time goes on in a positive way. They were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts on gangs and what steps they should take to stay out of them. Students who participated received a star and all received a certificate of completion at the end of the final class.
The Deputies answered questions and explained the role law enforcement plays in keeping communities safe from gang violence. When asked what it was like to spend time in jail, Deputy Russo said, “jail is not a fun place at all-you lose your rights and your freedom”. He explained to the students the importance of establishing good friendships and to follow others involved in good social settings. He exposed the myths of gang life and how dangerous they really are.
The officers showed students the human face of the law and lead sessions on topics like victim impact and understanding the judicial system. Their focus was to build a relationship between our youth and law enforcement, while developing mutual understanding and trust.
Sheriff Jack Mahar reports that the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket as the 2015 national seat belt enforcement campaign kicks off. The Sheriff’s Office is joining other law enforcement agencies around the country to help save lives by stepping up enforcement May 18 to 31, just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of the 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 59 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
The law states that all front seat occupants regardless of age must wear their seat belts. The driver is responsible for all front seat passengers under age 16. In addition, all rear seat passengers under age 16 and all children under 8 years old must be restrained in a federally approved child safety seat or restraint system that meets the child’s height and weight.
K-9 Emergency Medical Course For Law Enforcement
“How To Care For Your Canine Partner”
Troy- Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office hosted a Canine First Aid and Trauma Training class Friday that attracted K9 Handlers from seven different law enforcement agencies across the Capital Region. The class was specifically designed for professional “working dog” handlers and emergency rescue personnel who may respond to canine health emergencies while in the field.
Veterinarian David Stone, of Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital, in North Greenbush NY volunteered his professional expertise. The 4 hour presentation focused on teaching handlers the skills needed when service dogs are injured in the line of duty.
Dr. Stone demonstrated how to splint legs and bandage “wounds” on Officer Sandy Blodgett’s K-9, a black lab named Obie. The doctor performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the life-saving procedure used to help dogs that have stopped breathing and/or lost a heart beat on a canine CPR training manikin. He explained that the CPR performed on dogs is very similar to the procedure used on humans: the technique involves clearing the airway, administering artificial breaths, and maintaining circulation of blood to the heart. Dr. Stone also taught handlers how to administer life saving medications, such as Narcan, the reversal drug used if a dog on duty accidentally inhales an opioid.
The seminar also covered non emergency topics.
Dr. Stone covered best practices in maintaining overall good canine health including nutrition, diet and exercise. The course stressed the importance of annual medical check-ups and how to recognizing illnesses and the warning signs for diseases. Lyme, which is a tick born disease and Bloat, a deadly gastric dilatation where the stomach becomes distended with gas and fluids are more common diseases found amongst dogs today.
This training program was developed to provide K-9 handlers with the know how to handle emergency medical care for sick or injured dogs. Officers in attendance came from the Sheriff’s Offices of Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Washington, Fulton Counties as well as the Guilderland Police Department. Participants were all honored and grateful to have Dr. Stone provide such valuable information and training.
Hudson Valley Community College Student Is Awarded
New York State Sheriff’s Association Institute, Inc. Criminal Justice Scholarship
Rensselaer County Undersheriff Pat Russo presented Matt Hopper, a criminal justice major at Hudson Valley Community College, the New York State Sheriff’s Association (NYSSA) Institute’s 2015 Criminal Justice Scholarship.
Every year NYSSA awards academically outstanding full-time students majoring in criminal justice or police science a $250 scholarship while attending a community college in New York State.
“I want to thank NYSSA for supporting these students and HVCC for the opportunity to meet Matt Hopper,” said Undersheriff Pat Russo. “Matt is very enthusiastic about his future, his focus and hard work will take him a long way in law enforcement. While speaking to him he expressed his intent to continue his education and to pursue his career in criminal justice.”
(photo left to right)
Professor Shawna Addison
HVCC, chair of Awards Committee,
Rensselaer County Undersheriff Pat Russo
D.A.R.E. Drug Abuse Resistance Education graduation ceremony was held at Rensselaer Park Elementary, Lansingburgh, NY on February 6th. Students were awarded certificates of completion from Rensselaer County’s Deputy Russo. The D.A.R.E. program teaches students good decision-making skills to help those lead safe and responsible lives. The new curriculum of D.A.R.E. (Define, Assess, Respond, Evaluate) focuses more on decision-making processes and how to apply that to any aspect of life.
(Photo: Deputy Russo, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, winning students for best essay and best overall in class)
On behalf of the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office it is my pleasure to welcome you to our website. This website has been designed to provide a comprehensive guide to our agency’s many services and responsibilities performed here. Our mission is to provide our citizens with one of the best law enforcement offices in New York State. We will continue to update and make changes to this site in an effort to better keep the residents in our county informed.
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|Thank you for visiting! ||Jack Mahar |
Sheriff Jack Mahar