Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that his newest member, K-9 Chase, and his handler, Criminal Investigator Randel Hill recorded their first official, successful track. Chase is an 18 month old Bloodhound who recently completed his training and was immediately put to use.
On May 24, 2016 at approximately 8:40 p.m., Chase and Investigator Hill, along with members of the New York State Police, responded to a 911 report of a female hiker lost in a wooded area of the Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area in the Town of Patterson. The 59 year old hiker called 911 via cell phone after realizing she was lost. Chase, with his handler, located the hiker’s vehicle on Stage Coach Road. The dog picked up the scent from the vehicle, and the track was on. Hampered by the rain and darkness, not to mention an errant black bear, the subject was located after a 1.13 mile track through the woods. Chase led his handler and the troopers to the hiker, who was ultimately returned to civilization unharmed.
Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith are warning area residents to be on guard against an IRS tax collection scam that has bilked victims throughout the nation. In recent days, several Putnam County residents have reported that they have received bogus calls from con artists identifying themselves as IRS officials and demanding payments of money for taxes. Many of those targeted by the thieves are senior citizens.
In the scam, imposters pretending to be from the IRS or another agency telephone people and claim they owe taxes. The callers typically say that the persons must pay immediately or else face the loss of their driver’s license or business license, face deportation or go to jail.
Since 2004, the goal of Operation Safeguard is to educate, promote and remind citizens that the threat of terrorism is ongoing and continued vigilance by the public, business sectors and law enforcement is essential for the public’s safety.
New York State is divided into sixteen counter-terrorism zones, Westchester and Putnam Counties are part of Counter-Terrorism Zone 3 (CTZ-3).
–Stepped-Up Enforcement Slated for March 17-20, 2016–
March 15, 2016: Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith and Town of Carmel Police Department Chief Michael Cazzari report that their departments will be jointly coordinating increased patrols for drunk drivers along area roadways around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The announcement of the stepped up patrols is aimed at deterring intoxicated or impaired driving and is part of a statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown effort.
“Celebrating our diverse ethnic heritages is a wonderful thing that we do as Americans, and St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday for people of Irish ancestry to be sure,” said Chief Cazzari. “But all too often the festivities can result in some people drinking too much and then getting behind the wheel of a car–and that can result in tragedy,” he said.
Deputy Hunsberger, Sergeant Keith being congratulated by Sheriff Smith
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that he has officially commended a deputy sheriff and a sergeant for their actions in preventing a suicide. Sheriff Smith has conferred Sheriff’s Commendation Medals and uniform award ribbons upon Sergeant Timothy Keith and Deputy Sheriff Daniel Hunsberger for saving the life of a despondent 53-year-old man who tried to hang himself outside his Southeast residence on November 25, 2015. The awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Sheriff’s Office on February 16, 2016.
Back on the evening of November 25th of last year, Sgt. Keith and Deputy Hunsberger were dispatched to the man’s home after the Sheriff’s Office received a third-party request to check on his welfare. They pulled their patrol cars into the man’s driveway, and as they walked toward the home they encountered the man standing on a ladder alongside the garage, with a metal cable looped around his neck and attached to the garage roof. They tried to talk the man down, but he jumped off the ladder and began to be strangled by the cable noose.
Sergeant Keith and Deputy Hunsberger sprang instantly into action. They scrambled up the ladder and lifted and supported the man’s weight, even as he resisted and tried to push them away. Unable to loosen or cut the cable, the pair managed to use brute force to break a roof support to which the cable was attached. As the cable detached from the roof, all three men fell hard to the ground.
Sheriff Donald Smith invites Putnam County residents to have a voluntary vessel inspection done by one of his Deputies assigned to the Marine Unit. In an attempt to educate the community on safe boating, Deputies will advise boaters of the required safety equipment and boating regulations in New York State. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Marine Unit patrols Lake Mahopac, Oscawana Lake and the Hudson River.
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that the Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Cold Spring Police Department are jointly investigating an incident of indecent exposure at the Butterfield Memorial Library in the Village. At about 1:00 PM on Monday, January 11th, a man reportedly exposed himself to a female patron inside the library, which is located at 10 Morris Avenue (Route 9D) in Cold Spring.
The suspect is described as a black man in his mid-twenties or early thirties, about 5’ 10’ tall with a stocky build. He was wearing a blue Nike sweatshirt with gray sleeves and gray sweatpants.
Investigators believe that the suspect may have recently committed similar incidents at other libraries in lower Dutchess County. Authorities are asking persons who have information about the suspect or his identity to call the Cold Spring Police Department at (845) 265-9111 or the Sheriff’s Office at (845) 225-4300. Calls will be kept confidential.