ELIZABETHTOWN - Sheriff Richard Cutting has announced he will run for re-election.
Cutting is running for his second four-year term in office.
"This last four years have flown by so rapidly, it's hard to believe," Cutting said. "We are making good progress and doing good things and I'd appreciate the opportunity to do four more years."
Richard Cutting, Essex County sheriff
News file photo
From high school, Cutting joined the Marine Corps and later became the jail administrator in Essex County from 1989 to 2008. He then became the county's under-sheriff. After Sheriff Henry Hommes died in 2010, Cutting was appointed to sheriff and then elected by voters that fall, defeating Ike Tyler.
Petitions are due in July for Cutting and any opponents. So far, he doesn't have any.
"I haven't heard of anybody running at this point," Cutting said.
The Republican sheriff has the support of the Essex County Republican Committee, and he plans to get the Essex County Conservative Party endorsement.
Cutting made headlines after the passage of the New York SAFE Act, along with other New York sheriffs. He opposes the gun control-measure.
"It's a very thin line to walk," Cutting said of enforcing the SAFE Act. "I disagree with the Safe Act, I feel it was a huge mistake and pushed through very quickly. It's not accomplishing anything."
School resource officers
Cutting is currently attempting to hire four school resource officers. He plans to fund those jobs mostly through a grant, if it can be secured. The county Board of Supervisors has given him approval to seek the grant but has been hesitant about the cost.
The grant would pay 75 percent of the officers' salaries, with a 25 percent local match. After the third year, the county would pay 100 percent of the cost. Per officer, it would cost about $18,000 for the first three years, Cutting said.
Cutting plans to have the four officers rotate from school to school, on an "equal share basis." He has asked schools to see if they have an interest in the program and if they could finance the costs.
"If a school paid the $18,000 local match, then depending how many schools are involved, they are going to have a full-time officer," he said.
Cutting is a big fan of the program, saying it was successful for the county in the past.
"It humanizes the relationship between the police and students for one thing," he said. "It kills that adversarial role between them."
Cutting has been the driving force behind implementing two mobile apps for citizens in Essex County. The newest app is called Offender Watch, and it tracks sex offenders in residential neighborhoods.
"This will be new to Essex County," Cutting said. "What it does is you register your physical location and this program will then give you an alert if a sex offender moves in or out of a certain radius of that address."
Cutting said his officers check on sex offenders on a "very regular basis.
"They stop and knock on doors," he said.
Cutting implemented the other app in August of last year. It's called the Mobile Patrol app and allows people to know who is inside the Essex County Jail and can notify users when they are released.
"They would see on the mobile patrol app that he is in jail; then it would connect them to VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday)," Cutting said. "From there you can automatically connect into the victim notification."
Within 15 minutes of an inmate's release a user can receive an email or a phone call.