Re-elect Morristown town justice
Monday, August 26, 2013 - 9:03 am

To the Editor:

While driving towards Morristown the other day, I noticed several signs posted which read “RE-Elect Judge Thomas Bertrand, Morristown Town Justice.”

I began to reminisce about my long time friend and colleague, having worked together as border patrol agents in Ogdensburg for more than 20 years.

It did not take long for me to realize that Tom’s ability to perform the job was augmented by his prior experience as a police officer for Ogdensburg and as a criminal investigator for immigration in Chicago, Ill.

His 40 plus years of experience in law enforcement, coupled with frequent training and refresher classes, has proven him extremely capable in his daily duties, and has been instrumental in solving difficult cases.

One such case, of particular note, involved a Canadian individual who was a primary trafficker of young Korean women whom he arranged to smuggle by boat, across the St. Lawrence River from Canada. They were then transported to New York City, where they were exploited for gain. This individual was shrewd, often changing his tactics, and managed to avoid apprehension on numerous occasions. Agent Tom Bertrand never relented the case, maintaining constant liaison with state and local law enforcement, as well as the Canadian officials. His efforts ended with a sting operation, which resulted in the capture of the smuggler while he was attempting to bring in another group of Korean nationals. The subject’s arrest and conviction became one of the most significant cases in the history of the Ogdensburg border patrol station.

There are countless other occasions where agent Tom Bertrand has shown himself to be quite capable and willing to take on any situation. I have often witnessed Tom, after a long night’s shift taking his radio and other equipment home, so he could respond to an emergency even during his “off-duty” time.

Though we are now both retired, our friendship and camaraderie continues through frequent fishing and hunting trips, sometimes cut short by the proverbial telephone call, where Judge Bertrand is summoned to court for another arraignment. But after all, that is what is expected.

Tom Bertrand has earned the respect and appreciation of his fellow officers and has undoubtedly shown that he is extremely knowledgeable and is an accomplished individual. His dedication to public service is unsurpassed, and I believe that the people of Morristown should be proud to re-elect Judge Tom Bertrand for town justice.

Michael S. Koscinski

Ogdensburg