Little interest shown so far in deputy sheriff position test

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 March 2021 at 6:14 am

Protests, new state laws seen as deterrent for people pursuing law enforcement as a career

ALBION – The list of exams for Civil Service positions currently available in Orleans County includes deputy sheriff. Today is the last filing deadline for the position with the agility exam on April 24 and then the written test on May 15.

Normally there are nearly 100 people who file to take the exam. This time there have only been 18 so far, said Sheriff Chris Bourke.

Not only has the position been listed by the Orleans County Personnel Department (click here), but local media have shared press releases from the sheriff, encouraging people to take the exam.

The protests against law enforcement and new state laws, including bail reform, have discouraged people from pursuing a career with the Sheriff’s Office, Bourke said Tuesday during a conference call with local elected officials.

“Police feel we’re under attack,” Undersheriff Mike Mele said about law enforcement as a profession.

Bourke said the atmosphere against law enforcement is resulting in a much smaller pool of people interested in the test for deputy. That could result in “slim pickings.” Usually half of the people are eliminated after the agility test, he said.

Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, believes the Sheriff’s Office is a great place to work. She encouraged people to consider it for their career.

“The Sheriff’s Department is very well supported in Orleans County,” she said during the conference call.