Democrat Photo by John Emerson
CHECKING THINGS OUT: Sheriff Daniel Hogue looks at two video monitors in the departments new patrol headquarters at the Bushnell Building in Monticello.
Sheriff's Department Moves Patrol Quarters
By John Emerson
MONTICELLO June 9, 2000 -- Sheriffs Department patrol deputies who work from a postage stamp-sized space allocated to the division will soon have a chance to spread out and stretch for the first time in years.
By the end of the month, the road patrol will move from their cramped quarters connected to the Sullivan County Jail to the free-standing building next door that once housed the offices of Legal Aid. Legal Aid and its staff moved to other quarters less than a block away.
Once we get the patrol moved out and into its building, it will free up space to move the civil division from the Government Center up here and expand the jail administration offices, said Sheriff Daniel Hogue. When we get everything done, everything connected with the Sheriffs Department will all be right here within the same block.
Since he took office, Hogue has pushed for new quarters and additional space to house the 32-member patrol division.
County legislators at one point were even considering building a patrol complex near the Emergency Dispatch Center at the county airport in White Lake as a way to relieve the overcrowding.
The opportunity to move into the Bushnell Building came about when Legal Aid Managing Attorney Stephan Schick and two other lawyers from Legal Aid bought the former American Legion building at 11 Bank Street. The not-for-profit group that supplies legal services for the indigent moved their operations there at the beginning of the year.
Department of Public Works crews have spent the last several months reconfiguring the interior of the building to meet the patrols needs. In addition to providing office space for the detectives, a separate booking room, and an area for deputies to complete paperwork, the new building will also have separate lockerrooms for men and women deputies.
Two of the things that please Hogue the most are the addition of a temporary holding cell for people who are awaiting arraignment and a viewing room where witnesses can come and identify suspects. Currently, there are no such facilities in the patrol offices, and suspects must often be handcuffed to public areas of the patrol headquarters, creating potentially dangerous situations for both the public and the suspects.
The only reason that a witness and a suspect should ever meet now is because the deputy screwed up, Hogue said. The place is like the Taj Mahal when you compare it to what were working in.
The one person who wont be directly affected by the new space is Hogue himself. Instead of moving, he decided to remain where he is in his current office.
It was too much work to move all my NASCAR stuff, he said of the decorations that he has collected over the years as a stock car racing fan. I decided to stay put.