We are all retired members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and would like to voice our full support for the Republican candidate for sheriff of Putnam County, Kevin McConville.

Each of us have served decades at the department and know that the current leadership is failing its membership, as well the public he serves. Robert Langley Jr. is simply not up to the task. He never served as a professional leader or supervisor before his election four years ago. Kevin McConville, on the other hand, retired from one of the largest police departments in the state, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), where he was the commanding officer for about 750 officers. A quick review of his rise through the ranks to being appointed chief shows his clear leadership capabilities. Please support Kevin for sheriff of Putnam County on Nov. 2.

Patrick O’Malley (Retired captain)
The letter was also signed by retired captains Frank Christain and Tom Velotti and retired investigators Bill Porteus and Michael Nalbone.

Sheriff Robert Langley is one of the good cops who are often underappreciated when law enforcement is politicized. He is a thoughtful, careful officer who exemplifies humility, compassion and fairness. He doesn’t yell at people in public or go on radio or YouTube shows to promote political positions. He never places party above the public good.

This has put him at odds with the Republicans on the county Legislature, who have repeatedly undermined him. They have attacked his staffing decisions, defunded his department’s river patrols (shortly before a swimmer drowned near Little Stony Point), and generally nickel-and-dimed his department even as the county enjoys a sales tax windfall. They have never found a significant fault in his performance, but they hope to force him out in favor of Kevin McConville, a party loyalist.

What will it mean if a Republican crony of the majority of legislators becomes sheriff? Will his department become an arm of their political agenda? Will Langley’s compassionate, service-minded approach be replaced with a bullying style of policing, more theatrical than effective? Will patrols decrease in blue-voting districts, just as funding from Carmel does?

Sheriff Langley has never played politics and has always put our safety first. For voters like me who are tired of politics and want law enforcement to be honest, friendly and helpful, Sheriff Langley is a hero.

Eliza Starbuck, Cold Spring

This summer, we drove our older son to overnight camp in Putnam County. We felt great trepidation in this era of COVID-19, and in it being the first time we would be away from him for three weeks. I can’t tell you the tremendous comfort we felt when, as we were approaching the camp, we saw a Putnam County Sheriff’s Department vehicle at the entrance checking to make sure everything was OK.

It is the same sense of relief and calm we’ve felt these past four years under Sheriff Langley’s strong leadership. Watching the volatility of this region in the past two decades, it has been a welcome shift that honesty and integrity have been restored to this office. The feeling in the community and for our young family is palpable.

It is with excitement that I will cast my ballot for Sheriff Langley, as I believe in his unwavering sense of justice and know that our county will continue to thrive under Sheriff Langley for another four years.

Matthew Zaklad, Garrison

Behind The Story

Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

This piece is by a contributor to The Current who is not on staff. Typically this is because it is a letter to the editor or a guest column.