After a short-lived run for state senate, Craig Apple is once again focused on becoming Albany County Sheriff – WAMC | Hot Mobile Press

After dropping out of his Senate bid, Craig Apple, Albany County Sheriff, says he’s focused on his current job.

Apple has been sheriff since 2011. The Democrat has launched initiatives ranging from partnering with the Albany Law School to a new strategy to prevent return to prison and converting a cellblock in an empty wing of the county jail into transitional housing.

Apple spoke to WAMC last week at the Mohawk Hudson Human Society in Menands, where he sworn in four employees as peace officers with powers including the ability to make arrests.

“We were delighted when they called and wanted to know how to get peace officer training,” Apple said. So they came out, they mingled with our law enforcement representatives and some of our correctional officer training and it was a success. So we look forward to doing more in the future.”

After the May supermarket shooting in Buffalo and the massacre of schoolchildren in Texas, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered counties to develop a plan to counter violent domestic terrorism. The sheriff’s office immediately began working with Albany County legislatures to create a draft.

“We have a law enforcement meeting coming up, I think maybe the 20th,” Apple said. “So what we are trying to do is a much bigger initiative than just putting in another policy. We really want to have community engagement. So I can’t go into depth, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone involved in this, but we’ll have some good announcements over the next few weeks.”

The draft is to be presented to the legislature in October.

A spike in gun violence over the past two years means Apple’s deputies continue to supplement Albany City Police on street patrols.

“We are still touring the city of Albany and have no plans to leave it anytime soon,” Apple said.

Apple says its division will be keeping a close eye on the 78th annual Punkintown Fair, being held Thursday through Saturday in Voorheesville.

“This is sort of our home base,” Apple said. “Exactly there. We have a station a few miles away. So we’re doing a lot of security functions, you know, roaming around, protecting people. Listen, we know we’re at every rally right now, people are nervous. So we just want to be there to make sure, listen, we’re here, dogs are here. We will protect you.”

Apple commended the recent launch of a statewide health and wellness program for law enforcement officers, sheriff’s deputies and emergency responders.

“FirstNet with AT&T rolled this out, they gave us a grant to help first responders,” Apple told our constituents. But often we forget the people who react to it. And every time you walk up to one of those calls, terrifying as it is, they walk away with a little piece of it hidden. And if you don’t do anything to look after the health and well-being of our officers, it will benefit no one. And so you end up getting more complaints from cops, rudeness whatever the case, because they are often malnourished, overworked, exhausted, burned out. That’s why we want to pay more attention to the men and women who are responding to protect you. We want to make sure they are safe too.”

Also in May, Apple announced a brief run for the Senate seat in the 43rd district, but withdrew two weeks later. Despite Apple garnering national attention last year by filing sexual misconduct charges against former Governor Andrew Cuomo — which were soon dismissed — Apple wrote on its website that he “never had aspirations for higher office” and “tries to “to convince himself” that he would accept such a step in the right direction. He could not.

“It kind of came down to a family decision and an influence decision,” Apple said. “Where can you have the greatest impact? This place, they’re stuck up there, nothing happens up there except knee jerk legislation. And honestly, I didn’t want to be a part of it, you know, I can have a huge impact on our community here. I enjoy it. I like it. And you know, and I can decide, you know, when I’ve had enough, I’ll go ahead and try something else, but it’s just wasn’t the time.”

With the idea of ​​a Senate run behind it, Apple says its focus is on the department’s needs.

“We have almost reached critical mass here. As for recruitment and retention. People don’t sign up,” Apple said. “I had a correctional officer exam, I signed up 30 people. The deputy sheriff’s exam, I got 75, usually I got hundreds. Out of those 75, some people take a test, just to take the test, see how they’re going to do it. Some people may be overweight, others can’t survive the psyche. So that 75 is actually more like 30 people. So we need to make sure our ranks are filled. We need a bank. Every executive in a public safety agency wants 33, 33, 33, right? You want some rookies, you want some, you know, middle linebackers in there. And then of course, you want some veterans with institutional knowledge. Nobody comes upstairs. There is no bank, we must build this bank.

Apple says headcount remains stable for now. He encourages people interested in law enforcement to contact his office and take the test.

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