County abolishes 3 sheriff deputy positions after state ends security contract

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2020 at 6:54 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has eliminated three deputy sheriff positions following notification from the state that the deputies will no longer be needed for security in courthouse after June 30.

The state has contracted with the Sheriff’s Office for many years to have deputies at the county courthouse providing security in the courtroom and at the entrances to the building.

The most recent annual contract had the state paying the county a maximum of $344,704 annually for security. That contract ran from April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

After June 30, state court officers will provide security at the courthouse. Andrew Isenberg, district executive for the 8th Judicial District of the Unified Court System, notified Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke of the change in a May 4 letter.

Isenberg said the contract, which expired on March 31, will not be renewed, but the county will be reimbursed for security services for three months, from April 1 to June 30.

Bourke said he doesn’t anticipate laying off any deputies because three positions are currently unfilled, including two deputies and a supervisory position. The Sheriff’s Office was in the process of trying to fill those positions.

Bourke said the state revenues and the impact on the county government remain very unpredictable and could affect the workforce in the Sheriff’s Office.

“This could change by the week and by the month as things unfold,” Bourke said.

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