Incoming sheriff promises review of spending, treatment programs
By Holly Crocco
Members of the Putnam County Legislature welcomed Sheriff-Elect Robert Langley, a Democrat from Garrison, to the county seat in Carmel during their Dec. 11 Personnel Committee meeting.
Langley, a Carmel native and Mahopac High School graduate, defeated four-term Sheriff Donald Smith by 324 votes in the Nov. 7 election. He will be sworn in during a ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29, at the Historic Courthouse in Carmel.
“Many of us have not personally met you, so it’s a pleasure to meet you,” said Legislature Chairwoman Ginny Nacerino (R-Patterson).
Langley updated the lawmakers on his priorities for 2018, which include possibly making budget cuts.
“The Sheriff’s Department could save the community their dollars,” he said. “I don’t like throwing money away any more than anyone else.”
In addition, Langley said he’s looking to achieve state and national accreditation for the Putnam County Correctional Facility and the sheriff’s Civil Division. He called this recognition a prestigious achievement, and said it includes meeting requirements related to rules and procedures, audits and conditions at the jail.
As part of the process, Langley said he would like a financial audit of the Civil Division, in addition to a procedural audit.
“There’s a lot of money that goes into the Civil Division that has to be accounted for, and we want to make sure everything is aboveboard,” he said. Langley said he is interviewing candidates to lead the Civil Division and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Langley also thanked the Legislature and the county executive for initiating a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that make and distribute opioid pain killers. The war on addiction, he said, is a battle he intends to wage.
“Right now, there’s no program in place in the jail,” said the future sheriff. “I’ve already discussed with the person who will be taking over the jail to immediately implement some program to address inmates that come into the system as addicts, to have a treatment program so that they’re not thrown back out onto the street, only to repeat offend and wind up back in jail. That’s costing all of us money.”
With the start of his term two weeks away, Langley said he hopes to have the support of county lawmakers.
“I’m looking toward working together with each and every member of the
Legislature and the county executive to achieve these goals,” he said.
Legislator William Gouldman (R-Putnam Valley) told Langley: “I wish you good luck. I’m sure you’ll do a great job.”
Nacerino said that as 2018 progresses, lawmakers will address the changes and concerns proposed by the incoming sheriff.
“We have the same values as you do and I’m glad that you spoke to them,” she said. “We’re looking forward to working in concert with you to save the taxpayers in any way that we can, without compromising safety or efficiencies within our county.”
A former deputy sheriff, Langley served in the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department from 1984 to 2007 as a criminal investigator in forensics and identification, as well as in the K-9 unit. He also served in the Mahopac, Garrison and Continental Village volunteer fire departments.