Schoharie County Sheriff Anthony Desmond will begin the new year in retirement after a lifetime in law enforcement.
Desmond was elected sheriff in 2010, and he will be succeeded by Ronald Stevens, his undersheriff of eight years.
Now 74, Desmond joined the state police in 1967 upon returning to Canajoharie after serving in the Air Force. He said he volunteered as the Vietnam War was picking up and was deployed for three years in France, Saudi Arabia and Southeast Asia.
Over the years, Desmond has also served as supervisor for the town of Sharon and village trustee for Sharon Springs.
“Every day you can meet somebody new, that’s just the best part of it,” he said when asked about the highlights of working as sheriff.
Desmond recalled his tenure beginning with the challenge of a propane pipeline leak in Gilboa in August 2010 that took several days for fire departments and police to clean up.
The following August brought a major flood during Hurricane Irene that destroyed the first floor of the public safety building, including offices and the jail. Deputies have been working under “less-than-ideal” conditions in small offices on the second floor ever since, he said.
Correctional officers had to be laid off, and the office has only one small holding cell to contain arrestees for up to five hours before they must be transferred to Albany County jail, which charges Schoharie County boarding fees for inmates.
The office currently employs 22 correctional officers, five court security officers and five civilian employees, including records and pistol permit clerks. Some officers work part time, Desmond said.
No officers have been injured under his command, he noted.
His most notable cases included the 1974 slaying of SUNY Cobleskill student Kathy Kolodziej, which remains unsolved. Theories were discussed on many a late-night patrol, Desmond said, and he was involved in some of the investigation as a state trooper.
Most recently, Desmond said he was proud of his deputies’ work this month apprehending Kevin Perry of Laurens on Interstate 88. Perry allegedly shot and killed both of his parents Dec. 12, then fled in his father’s pickup truck.
In retirement, Desmond said he is looking forward to enjoying the natural beauty of Schoharie County and fishing and traveling, possibly to see Civil War battlefields.
“I would just like to say I’ve had a great career and great life,” Desmond said. “I’m going to continue enjoying every day after I leave here.”
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: News, Schenectady County