SPENCERTOWN—Sheriff David W. Harrison Jr. will seek a second term as Columbia County Sheriff this November.
A Sheriff’s Office veteran of 25 years, he began as a deputy sheriff jailer in 1984 and worked his way up through the ranks until he was elected sheriff in 2005.
In a recent press release, Sheriff Harrison, a Republican, said he is proud of his first term accomplishments, adding, they could not have been realized without the hard work and support of the law enforcement, corrections and civil members of the his office.
No other candidates have announced their intentions to seek the office.
According to the release, the Sheriff’s Office serves the people of Columbia County better due to the following improvements made during Sheriff Harrison’s term in office:
•Earned Law Enforcement and Corrections accreditations
•Opened new, fully-functional satellite offices in Kinderhook, Chatham and Germantown; and upgraded the Ancram satellite office to fully functional
•Established cooperative working relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies
•Received more than $200,000 in state and federal grants to fund special public safety projects and modernize equipment
•Developed and implemented a modern serious accident/incident scene investigation unit using the Total Station Laser Program
•Equipped patrol cars with mobile data terminal computers
•Instituted training for and issued rifles to road patrols
•Contributed annual revenue to the county General Fund of more than $1 million through corrections, civil enforcement and law enforcement activities and kept the Sheriff’s Office budget below 8% of the overall county budget
•Established the Senior Safety Net Program, the first law enforcement Explorers Post, Project Lifesaver, Operation Safe Child and the Sheriff’s Office informational website
•Increased training for deputies and correction officers
•Set up in-service training open to all part-time police officers in the county
•Worked with other county agencies and officials to establish a Sheriff’s Office criminal investigator position dedicated to uncovering welfare fraud with the Department of Social Services
•Established a chaplaincy program to provide support for Sheriff’s Office members and county jail inmates
•Established an inmate work crew to assist municipalities in light work details
•Worked with Columbia Memorial Hospital and other county agencies, officials and victims groups to establish a Child Abuse Response Team and Child Fatality Review Team.
“We have done much to make our Sheriff’s Office a modern, full-service, community-oriented, public safety agency. However, there is still much to do. The law enforcement, corrections and civil enforcement responsibilities of this office requires 24/7 dedication. Public safety issues never subside, even in Columbia County. I take these responsibilities very seriously and will continue to work with all public safety agencies to ensure that we are prepared, and that our county is as safe as possible for those who live, work and visit here. Being the Sheriff is an honor to me, not just a job,” Sheriff Harrison said in the release.
The sheriff has attended the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia; and Hudson Valley and Columbia-Greene Community colleges.
He is certified as a police instructor and is certified by the state Academy of Fire Sciences as a level II fire investigator. He volunteers as instructor of the Columbia County fire coordinator’s fire police course, has served as chairman of the state Zone 14 Counter Terrorism Committee, is a member of the New York State Sheriff’s Association and serves on its Legislative and Jail committees.
He serves on the board of directors of the state Sheriff’s Association Institute, the Columbia County Agricultural Society and the Columbia County Association in New York City.
Sheriff Harrison is a member of the Columbia County Safe Schools Committee, Homeland Security Task Force, participates with the Hudson Correctional Facility Community Advisory Board and the University at Albany Regional Advisory Council—Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. He has coached Little League baseball and Pop Warner football and for 27 years has served as a volunteer firefighter with the Spencertown Fire Company.
He is a lifelong resident of Columbia County. He and his wife, Kelly, have three sons.