School resource officers will be at all Columbia County Schools


Sheriff David P. Bartlett announces that the School Resource Deputy program has some new faces to share with area schools. The School Resource Deputy Program was initiated in 2014 during Sheriff Bartlett’s’ first year in office. The Sheriff was determined to bring this concept to fruition and worked hard with the Columbia County Board of Supervisors for assistance and cooperation. A full-time School Resource Deputy was then assigned to Ichabod Crane and Taconic Hills during the first year.

In addition to receiving support from the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Office worked close with school officials with the common goal of having a full-time Deputy in their schools. Three school districts will now have a full-time School Resource Deputy and those school districts are Chatham, Germantown, and New Lebanon.

Deputies assigned to the program receive extensive specialized training for working in a school environment. The program is designed to promote school safety, address problems as they relate to students, and increase awareness of crime prevention, conflict, and safety. This program also allows area school children and staff to see Sheriff Deputies as normal people, making the Deputies more approachable, thus allowing the Deputy to be a resource not only to the students but also the staff.

The following resource Deputies are assigned full-time to these local schools:

Chatham School District:

Deputy Kelly Briscoe is returning to the Chatham School District where she took over for Chatham’s initial Resource Deputy, Ian Boehme who had been promoted. Kelly has been doing patrol work for the Columbia County Sheriff's Office since 2012 and also serves on the Columbia-Greene Shared Services Response Team. She is specially trained as a School Resource Deputy and a SWAT operator. Kelly graduated from Ichabod Crane High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in both Criminal Justice and Health Science from The College at Brockport where she played softball for the Golden Eagles. "I'm here not only to keep our children, staff, and visitors safe, but also to connect with the students in a meaningful way. The reason I always wanted to become a police officer was to be able to help the community and I believe that building positive relationships with the children of our community goes a long way in doing that".

Germantown School District:

Deputy Michael Meier has been assigned to the Germantown School District and will serve as this districts first full time School Resource Deputy. Michael was raised in East Chatham and has two younger brothers. He is a graduate of the Chatham Central School District class of 2005 and currently resides in the Village of Chatham. He is also a graduate of the 2008 - 2009 Zone 14 Law Enforcement Academy and has previously worked for the Village of Millerton Police Department and the Village of Chatham Police Department. Michael has received specialized training as a School Resource Deputy. Michael was hired part time by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office in 2011 and full time in 2014 and is very excited to work and interact with the staff and students of the Germantown School District to make it as safe and secure as possible.

Ichabod Crane School District:

Deputy Toby VanAlstyne has been working with Ichabod Crane since the inception of the program in 2014. Toby has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 11 years and has received specialized training as a School Resource Deputy. He’s been married for 14 years and has two sons. “I enjoy coaching and volunteering in the community. Working as a School Resource Deputy has provided the opportunity to bridge law enforcement with the education system. Working at Ichabod Crane School District has allowed me to gain the trust from students and staff that they can come to me with any type of issues. This also gives them a sense of safety and security throughout their day.”

New Lebanon School District:

Deputy Patrick McMahon has recently been selected to work full time with the New Lebanon Central School District. He has been a patrol Deputy for the Sheriff's Office for the past 3 years and has always aspired to become a School Resource Deputy. He is a trained School Resource Deputy and has attended Juvenile Officer School. Deputy McMahon is a member of the CCSO Drone Team, and holds a certification as an Emergency Medical Technician – Basic which he attained on his own while working full time. He graduated from Chatham High School in 2001 and attended SUNY Albany where he completed a BA in American History. He currently resides in the town of Ghent.

Taconic Hills School District:

Deputy Cindy Madison is assigned to the Taconic Hills Central School District for her second year in that school district. Cindy has been with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy for 10 years and serves as a member of the Dive Team, Accident Reconstruction Team, the Car Seat Safety Program and Project Lifesaver. She has attended specialized training for School Resource Deputy. Cindy grew up locally and after school went onto serve in the United States Armed Forces as a Military Police Officer for 10 years. She was deployed to Iraq in 2006. She has 2 children and enjoys horseback riding, soccer, track and field and many other sports. “I hope to be a positive role model and mentor for the students and looks forward to helping kids stay on the right track. I look forward to running programs and activities within the school to gain a more positive and meaningful relationship with the students.”


Deputy Wendy Guntert has been with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for the past 18 years. For the 2018-2019 school year, she is tasked with teaching 5th and 8th grade Dare, throughout the entire county. The 8th grade DARE lesson plan is a newer DARE program which the Sheriff’s Office is excited to deliver to our local area schools. Deputy Guntert will also be assisting as a School Resource Deputy at the Hudson City School District when her schedule permits. During her career, she has been assigned to the road patrol, Marine Patrol and SWAT team and is currently a member of the Accident Investigation Team and Project Lifesaver. She was born and raised in Columbia County and left for four years while she was enlisted in the US Air Force. She earned an associate’s degree from Columbia Greene Community College in Criminal Justice. Deputy Guntert has been involved in the area schools

in one form or another for most of her career, and is looking forward to another wonderful school year educating our area youth in Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

Columbia-Greene Community College:

Deputy Patrick Mayo is returning to the college for his second year. Deputy Patrick Mayo has been employed by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office since February 2013. Since this time, Deputy Mayo was assigned to the road patrol division. Before Deputy Mayo was hired as a Deputy Sheriff, he served in the United States Marine Corps for 8 Years and is also a former student of Columbia-Greene Community College. In September 2017, Deputy Mayo was assigned to work at the Columbia-Greene Community College as the Community Resource Deputy. At the College, Deputy Mayo participates on the Behavior Consultation and Assessment Team (B-CAT), the Veteran's Task Force, Graduation Committee and is also a mentor to selected students.

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