The history of the Office of Sheriff is unparalleled by any other modern governmental office, having recently celebrated its 1,000th anniversary worldwide. And the tradition of the Office of Sheriff is as rich in this country as it is anywhere in the world. Sheriffs played a vital role in the development of this nation during its colonial days and in its infancy as an autonomous republic. In New York State, the Office of Sheriff was provided for in the state's first constitution in 1777, and has existed as a continuous protector of the public good ever since.
The Sheriff's Office is an essential part of the law enforcement community. Its unique structure and the status it carries in county government extend beyond the traditional "Keeper of the Peace" role and into almost every facet of public service. The Sheriff is the only law enforcement officer in the state to be directly elected by those whom he or she serves. As an elected official, the Sheriff is a true public servant, directly accountable to the people.
The Sheriff is the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the county and, in many counties of the state, the Sheriff is also the principal source of police protection. The Sheriff's Office not only provides the community with "traditional" high profile police services such as road patrol, criminal investigation and traffic control, but also patrols lakes and waterways, maintains the county jail, enforces civil process, partners with school officials in the placement of school resource officers and carries out myriad other services. The Sheriff's Office is also an integral part of each county's emergency planning system, takes an active role in community crime prevention efforts and victims' assistance programs, is in the forefront of drug awareness education in our schools, and provides specialized services to such special populations as the elderly and veterans.
Police Reform and Community Collaboration
- Virtual Meetings
The Schenectady County Sheriff's Office is holding a series of community meetings to review and improve police strategies, policies, procedures and practices, in accordance with NYS Governor Cuomo's Executive Order #203.
The meetings are structured as panel discussions to gain input from local organizations and stakeholders, including:
- Community groups;
- Faith-based organizations;
- Business leaders;
- Public safety officials; and
- Social service organizations.
Topics to be explore include, but are not limited to: use of force policies, procedural justice, systemic racial bias, de-escalation training and practices, community-based outreach, and Sheriff's Office accessibility and transparency.
Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:30pm
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 5:30pm
Meetings will take place on the Schenectady County YouTube page. www.youtube.com/SchenectadyCounty
- Bail Procedures
To bail an inmate out of jail, you have a variety of options. Corrections division now takes cash, certified bank checks, and credit cards. You can make a payment in person, or electronically.
Be advised, that by paying bail, you are ensuring that the inmate will return to court as scheduled. If this does not occur your bail may be forfeited.
The Schenectady County Correction Facility works with GovPayNet to allow remote bail service. Use of the GovPayNet service will include a FEE that will be added to all transactions. This fee is 7% of the bail amount. In order to pay bail on-line you will need to have the following information available:
1. Defendant's Name
2. Defendant's Date of Birth
3. Court of Jurisdiction and Name of Judge
4. Cash Bail Amount
This information can be obtained from the Corrections Division by calling- (518) 388-4300
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE CARD HOLDER: If you are using the remote bail option, the receipt for bail will be made out to the Defendant. This means that the funds (minus the service fee) being paid by way of your credit card WILL BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE DEFENDANT.
All funds released by the court when the case is disposed of can only be collected by the Defendant. It will then be your responsibility to obtain the funds from the Defendant.
Once Schenectady County Sheriff's Office receives confirmation that the appropriate amount of money has been transferred to our account, Corrections staff will process a bail release for the Defendant and the Defendant will sign the bail receipt.
You will be assessed a fee consisting of 7% of the total bail amount.
If you need technical support contact
1-877-EZBAIL5 to speak to a GovPayNet Specialist
- Visitation Policies and Procedures
Currently due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all visitation is suspended until further notice.
Visiting rules have been developed to specify required conduct for inmates and visitors to the Schenectady County Correctional Facility. All inmates and visitors must become familiar with these rules. Visiting rules are to be posted in the facility's visitation area and are to be printed in English as well as Spanish. Also, visiting rules are to be provided in the inmate rules and regulation handbook.
Each inmate is entitled to TWO (2) visits each week as long as his/her conduct is being transported to and from the visiting room as well as his/her conduct in the visiting room warrants this right. Not complying with the strip search procedure immediately following visits is reasonable grounds for the suspension of visits. Naturally, contraband found on an inmate will result in the suspension of the specific visiting right. Contact visits will be permitted for all inmates eligible to receive visits in general. Inmates are to obtain prior approval from a supervisor if they wish to bring anything into the visiting room with them. Inmates will be responsible for letting their visitors know their visiting hours. Visits will be assigned according to scheduling. All schedules are subject to change with one week prior notice. A complete list of visiting rules, regulations and procedures is to be posted in the visiting area and in the inmate rules and regulations handbook. Visitation Schedule is to be posted in each housing unit.
Visitors please note: If you are concerned that the inmate you are visiting seems unusually agitated or depressed, please notify the officer in the information center before leaving.
Packages must be ordered and mailed into the facility from reputable stores. Personal package drop-off is not allowed. A list of authorized items is located below and in the Veeder Avenue lobby. Once the package is received, it will be searched solely for contraband, repackaged and labeled, and transported to the housing unit. This process should take no more than five (5) days, but may take longer under certain circumstances.
AUTHORIZED PACKAGE ITEMS
Amount Allowable Items 7 Cotton Underwear (No Silk or silk-like) 7 Cotton T-shirts (white only, no designs) 2 Pairs of Long Johns (white only) 7 Bras,cotton (no underwire) 7 Pairs of socks (white only) 2 White or light grey sweatshirts (no hoods or zippers) 1 Pair prescription eyeglasses/soft eyeglass case 1 Set of Contact Lenses/contact lens case 1 Bottle of Contact Lens Solution 2 Non-white towels (not to exceed 24"x48") 2 Non-white washcloths 2 Nightgowns or sleep shirts (no buttons or snaps) 1 Pair canvas sneakers (white only) 1 Small religious medalion (less that 1" in diameter, no more than $50 in value) 1 Book of worship (Bible, Torah, Qua'an, etc) 6 Publications (newspapers, magazines, or soft-covered books; must come from publisher and/or have a subscription)
"Note: Clothing items cannot be silk or silk-like, and cannot contain buttons, snaps, zippers, pockets, or visible logos/designs. All clothing tops (i.e. T-shirts, sweatshirts, sleep shirts, etc.) must be crew neck. No V-neck or tank tops are allowed.”
- Inmate Accounts
Family and friends of inmates are able to deposit funds into inmate commissary accounts utilizing the Cobra Cashier Kiosk. The Kiosk is located in the main lobby of the correction facility, The Cobra Cashier Kiosk will accept Cash, Credit Cards, and Debit Cards. Transactions using the kiosk will immediately deposit the money into the inmate’s account avoiding delays during holidays or weekends and making the money readily available for commissary purchases.
The automated payment kiosk also accepts United States currency in 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 US denominations. Deposits may be made twenty- four hours, seven days a week using the Kiosk. There is a $3.25 convenience fee for utilizing the Cobra Cashier Kiosk with cash and $4.95 for credit card transaction. The fee will be deducted from the amount deposited into the Inmate’s account.
Family and friends must know inmate’s (CHN) Criminal History Number or the Inmate's full Name and Date of Birth. Funds deposited will be immediately credited to the inmate’s account. A receipt will be issued from the Kiosk to the person depositing the funds. A receipt will be issued from the facility to the inmate.
Government Payment Services: 1-888-277-2535. www.govpaynow.com
Family and friends must know the inmate’s full Name and (CHN) Criminal History Number. Pay Location Code (PLC) #is 5500 it is a unique number that ensures your payment is sent to the correct government agency and department.
- Child Passenger Seat Safety Program
The Schenectady County Sheriff's Office offers free child safety seat inspections and fitting station events in Schenectady County by certified* Car Seat Technicians. The Child Passenger Safety program of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office promotes the proper use of child safety seats. Our office is pleased to announce that we will be conducting a fitting station to educate adults on how to properly install a child safety seat in their personal vehicle. Parents and caregivers are able to make an appointment with our office to have their child safety seat installation checked.
- Gun Buy Back Program
The program will be offered on a monthly basis at different locations throughout Schenectady County. This initiative will offer families a chance to benefit from the safe removal and destruction of unwanted or illegal weapons throughout the County. Officials will be offering gift cards to individuals turning in guns at the following rates:
· $200.00 - handguns
· $250.00 - assault weapons
- Operation Safe Child
The Schenectady County Sheriff's Office in partnership with Operation SAFE CHILD, a program sponsored by the New York State Police, New York State Sheriffs' Association and New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, the Division of Criminal Justice Services and its Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse, will now provide Operation SAFE CHILD Cards to families with children.
- Pistol Permit - Fingerprinting
Pistol Permit Applications and Paperwork need to be filed with the County Clerk's Office
The applicant must be fingerprinted at the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office.
All references must be received before you can be fingerprinted.
YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED BY MAIL when all four references have been received.
Once you receive that letter you are ready to be fingerprinted.
Fingerprinting is done by appointment only. When ALL PAPER IS COMPLETE call 518-388-4300 ext 5135 to set up appointment. Appointments will be scheduled TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY BETWEEN 7:30AM – 2:30 PM AND THURSDAY NIGHTS 6:00PM – 9:00PM.
Bring your applications, letters to the Judge, safety course certificate, and bill of sale or co-registration form for your handgun(s). Include your certificates of disposition for any arrests and/or convictions.
Fingerprinting is done electronically.
The records are checked by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the FBI.
The fees for this service are $116.50 and may only be paid with a MONEY ORDER made payable to Schenectady County. The Sheriff is not authorized to accept bank checks, personal checks or credit cards.
No children are allowed to accompany you when you are fingerprinted.
- Prescription Drug Disposal Program
The Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office and the National Guard Counter Drug Program have teamed up with CVS/pharmacy Medical Disposal for Safer Communities Program supplying drug collection unit drop boxes to help their communities safely dispose of unwanted medications, including controlled substances. This program will help rid communities of unwanted medications that may otherwise be diverted, abused or contaminate our water supply.
- Project Lifesaver
Project Lifesaver is a rapid response program that aids in locating “at risk” individuals with cognitive disorders who are at constant risk to the life threatening behavior of wandering including those with of Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome or Dementia, and returning them to their families or caregivers. Project Lifesaver is provided to Schenectady County residents as a result of a partnership established between the Sheriff’s Office, Schenectady County Office for Long Term Care and the Autism Action Network of Schenectady County.