Before the flood, workers at Schoharie County’s Department of Motor Vehicles office had several security measures they could rely on at the county office complex in the village of Schoharie.
The pre-flood DMV office had glass dividers between staff and the public, as well as a locked door preventing public access to workers’ space.
County sheriff’s deputies were practically next door at the County Courthouse and the Schoharie village police also were available.
But offices were scattered about the county after flood damage shut down the complex, and officials are considering ways to boost security at the temporary office established at the Lancaster Development building off state Route 7 in Richmondville.
Supervisor Thomas Murray, D-Cobleskill, told the county’s Board of Supervisors on Friday that employees are growing concerned about the lack of security measures at one of the offices that typically sees clients become irate for a variety of reasons.
“There’s been problems,” he said, describing the tiny office space. “That place fills up. They’re lined up down the aisle and there’s nowhere to go.”
Officials are now considering some form of buzzer or other call system DMV employees can use in the event of an emergency there.
Executive Deputy County Clerk Larry Caza said irate clients aren’t new at the DMV.
He said discussions up to now have included suggestions that employees get some type of button similar to the LifeAlert system. It would ring in to a security company, which could alert law enforcement.
The DMV office at the county office complex had a buzzer that sounded at the 911 dispatch office, Caza said.
Now, there’s nothing between employees and the public.
“We’re at a smaller location with people in closer proximity. Sometimes, people get irate,” he said.
DMV workers may have to tell customers they can’t get their driving privileges back or register their vehicle.
“Sometimes, of course, you get people who for whatever reason don’t like the system,” Caza said.
The most recent issue with irate customers has been resolved, he said.
Since the office moved to Richmondville, there’s been no restrooms at all for DMV customers to use.
They can’t use the facilities at the Lancaster Development garage because the septic system isn’t designed for public use.
“So many people complained the county had to rent a Porta Potty and put it outside the DMV office,” Caza said.
The county board on Friday agreed to have the DPW work with the Sheriff’s Department to explore options for installing an alert system at the DMV office.