Three staff injured in Brookwood altercation

This was the scene last week outside the Brookwood Secure Center for Youth in Claverack when law enforcement responded for a large fight. Standing in the foreground is Sheriff’s Deputy Arthur Oliver. Photo by Lance Wheeler

CLAVERACK—State Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Brookwood Secure Center for Youth at 419 Spook Rock Road (County Road 29) for a report of a large fight, September 15 at 1:35 p.m.

Members of law enforcement quickly gained control of the situation and the facility was secured. Three staff members suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital for treatment. No residents of the facility were injured.

Residents served at Brookwood are youth (male and female) juvenile and adolescent offenders who, while under the age of 16, committed certain violent felonies and were convicted and sentenced in adult criminal court or via family court as part of Raise the Age legislation. The center has a maximum capacity of 125 youth, according to Office of Children and Family Services website (

Hudson Police, State Park Police, Chatham Police, State Environmental Conservation Police, Greenport Police, Claverack firefighters and the Columbia County Emergency Medical Services, Columbia County Fire Coordinator Office, and multiple EMS agencies assisted at the scene.

This investigation remains ongoing and will be updated as soon as additional information becomes available.

Conservation officer took part in 9/11 remembrance

ECO Jeff Cox on September 11, 2001 working in lower Manhattan. Photo contributed

ECO Cox recounting the World Trade Center attacks.

KINDERHOOK—September 11, first responders and community members from Columbia County gathered to commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, and remember those tragically lost during the terrorist attacks. The memorial event was organized by leaders in the Town of Kinderhook. It included a Remembrance Parade and Candlelight Vigil and was held in Volunteers Park.

Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Jeffrey Cox, currently assigned to Columbia County, served several years in New York City at the beginning of his career.

In 2001, the ECO was on patrol in Manhattan when the first plane struck the north tower. ECO Cox did not hesitate to respond, quickly mobilizing with other first responders to evacuate people from lower Manhattan.

The officer recalled the emotions of that day as he spoke to the crowd of more than 500 Kinderhook community members. ECO Cox was joined by another speaker who survived working on the 72nd floor of the north tower that morning, and a retired Port Authority of NY/NJ police chief. Their stories truly brought home the message “All Gave Some, Some Gave All – Never Forget.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Police Officers (ECOs) and investigators enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 1880, the first eight game protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State. In 2020, the 298 ECOs and investigators across the state responded to 29,673 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,952 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

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