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,
Matt Hopper
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 DARE Officer Russo and Lansingburgh Schoolawarded 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)



In response to a complaints the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a warning to the public about fraudulent IRS (Internal Revenue Service) phone calls. Scam callers are altering their caller ID number to make it look like they're calling from an actual IRS office threatening people to pay owed money with a reload or prepaid credit card or be arrested. Once they make their threats, the scammers will call back and again disguise their caller ID so it appears they are calling from a police department asking you to “turn yourself in” claiming the IRS just faxed a warrant for your arrest. Beware this is a scam happening locally.

IRS offered several tips to help recognize the scam:

The IRS does not call to demand immediate payment, nor does the agency call about taxes owed without mailing a bill first.

The IRS does not demand payment without giving the resident an opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

The IRS does not require a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card.

The IRS does not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

 The IRS does not threaten citizens with arrest for nonpayment.


After 38 years of service, Robert Eckert retired from his post as a Captain with the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office at the end of 2014. Over a hundred friends, coworkers and well wishers attended a farewell reception Friday honoring his many years of service and to wish him well on his future endeavors. Captain Eckert began his law enforcement career with the Sheriff’s Office on October 1, 1976. He rose through the ranks of Corrections Officer, Deputy, Sergeant, 1st Sergeant, and Lieutenant, until he became Captain in 2001. As Captain of Highway Patrol he supervised deputies responsible for the security and safety patrolling the county. He was well known for his dedication and service in the office and out in the community. Sheriff Mahar offered Captain Eckert his sincere appreciation. “His leadership and friendship will be missed by the agency, congratulations on your retirement, I wish you and your wife Sue the very best.”


Rensselaer County Sheriff's D.A.R.E. Officer Deputy Jeff Russo spent the day teaching Internet Safety to all 7th Graders in the Hoosic Valley School District and will do the same for Tamarac School District in February.

Rensselaer D.A.R.E. Officer Jeff Russo

The program aims to teach students how to act responsibly and stay safe while online.  The main focus is to explain what a "digital footprint" is and how it will affect their future. Children need to understand that the digital decisions they make today will stay with them, and the rest of cyberspace, forever. To stay safe no one should put too much information about themselves online and when they do, focus on positive things. Building a positive footprint will be beneficial when looking for employment or applying to college.

Remember these tips: Keep personal details private. Don’t share usernames or passwords with anyone. Think before you post. Once posted, it can be difficult to remove. Respect other people’s content that you post or share.

Under New York State law you cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or send a text or an email while you drive. If you use a hand-held mobile telephone while you drive (except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency) or use a device to text or send email, you can receive a traffic ticket and be subject to a fine and a surcharge. Conviction of a cell phone use or texting violation will also result in points being added to your DMV driving record.

For more information go to.... http://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/cell-phone-use-texting

Rensselaer County Jail
Now Offers Remote Video Visitation

Inmates now have the option to use a new remote video visitation system to speak with family, friends or professionals via the internet. Remote video visitation eliminates time and stress associated with travel to and from the correctional facility by reserving a visit on-line.

Reservations must be paid either by credit card or prepaid money card. Cost is $9.00 per 20 minute visit. 

Scheduling and paying for a video visit using the internet is extremely simple and user-friendly with e-mail confirmations of visit times and charges.

To enroll today and learn more about the system and to request a Reservation Code go to webvisit.rensco.com



Sheriff Jack Mahar

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.

We invite you to explore our site and learn more about us.
We hope you find the information useful and informative,

Thank you for visiting! Jack Mahar
Sheriff Jack Mahar
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