As St. Lawrence County wrestles with $20 million budget gap, deputies ask public for help to avoid cutting sheriff’s department
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 5:18 pm

CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Deputies Association is asking the public to send letters and calls of support to ensure the criminal division stays off the county’s chopping block as the board works to close a nearly $20 million gap.

“Yearly, our members are faced with job loss and elimination and this year is no different,” Sean P. O’Brien said in the release. “The St. Lawrence County Deputies Association wants to provide the public with details on what the Criminal Division actually does and what the public will be without if the Criminal Division is eliminated or reduced.”

O’Brien said the division provides road patrol services related to complaints, accidents, prisoner transports, family court summons, orders of protection and emergencies. He issued a call for help from the public to ensure these services continue as the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators looks for ways to reduce costs.

“We would encourage all of the citizens of the county to join us on Facebook at “St. Lawrence County Deputies Association” and contact their County Legislators and voice their opinion in support of the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division and Road Patrol.”

O’Brien said the criminal division provides a variety of services that are vital to the North Country.

He said the sheriff’s office is the primary law enforcement agency that monitors and tracks the movement of sex offenders within the county. He said the department also manages and coordinates the drug task force with help from local, state and federal authorities when conducting investigations.

O’Brien said the department runs Operation Safe Child, which provides ID cards to children 18 and under and Project Lifesaver which provides tracking assistance for people suffering from mental illness.

The sheriff’s department provides both marine and snowmobile patrols throughout the county and has a K-9 Unit which is used for locating lost children and adults, drug interdiction and apprehending criminals.

According to O’Brien the department provides mental health transports to assist local police agencies, as well as prisoner transports related to court appearances, hospital stays, funerals prison transfers.

“We provide assistance to other law enforcement agencies in the area to include warrant execution, traffic control, accident reconstruction, major crimes investigations and other law enforcement duties,” he said.

O’Brien said the department provides enforcement to villages, hamlets and towns that do not have police agencies and assist other county agencies, including services with child abuse investigations, the Office of the Aging with investigations into elder abuse and frauds and New York State Parole with locating violators.

“Since 1818, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office has been providing services for the people of this county