Sheriff Urges Federal and State Leaders Not to Cut Funding for High School Program

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that he is urging leaders in federal and state government to restore funding reductions slated for the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Program at Brewster High School.

The Sheriff said that the NJROTC Program at Brewster could face being eliminated or severely reduced because of more than $800,000 in state aid cuts and the loss of another $61,000 in federal aid resulting from sequestration of federal spending. The Sheriff said he was joining in efforts to preserve the program funding with Dr. Jane Sandbank, Superintendent of Brewster Schools, and Dr. Stephen Jambor, President of the Brewster School Board.

Last week, the Sheriff made appeals for restoration of the funding cuts in a letter that he sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, State Senators Greg Ball and Terry Gipson, and State Assemblywoman Sandra Galef. In his letter, the Sheriff described the NJROTC Program as “a model of excellence [that] plays a major role in preparing our youth to be role models and leaders in life.”

The Sheriff, who is a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, attested to the value of the NJROTC Program both in developing future military leaders and in helping to build the character of youths as law-abiding citizens. “It would be a shame,” the Sheriff’s letter stated, “if this program was eliminated or reduced in scope due to funding.”