The No. 3 officer at the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department will be calling it a career next week.
Edward “Ned” Rooney will be retiring March 29 after 13 years as chief deputy, third in command under the sheriff and undersheriff. He’s got no particular plans, he said, except to unwind from a long career in a profession he said is “a vocation, not a job.”
“I’m happy, but I’m sad,” said Sheriff James D. Bowen, who has been the county’s top law enforcer since Rooney was in high school. “He’s going to be tough to replace. He has a lot of knowledge and experience.”
Rooney is the day-to-day manager of more than 100 people, including all 83 deputies on the sheriff’s road patrol, the men and women who are out there day and night dealing with what’s routine to them, the unexpected and sometimes tragic. Nine investigators, 12 sergeants and three lieutenants also report to him. The chief deputy has a salary of $77,232 — but a sergeant hungry for overtime can make more than that.
Chief deputy is a civil service position, so Bowen said there won’t be a new chief deputy named until the county can administer a competitive civil service test. In the meantime, Bowen and Undersheriff Michael Woodcock will be picking up the slack, along with the lieutenants.
Rooney, who is 58, grew up in Waterford and started his law enforcement career with the Waterford Police Department in 1977. He came to the Sheriff’s Department the following year and worked his way up through the ranks.
“It’s gone by in the blink of an eye,” Rooney said.
He and his wife, Paula, live in Saratoga Springs and have two adult sons. One is a lawyer on the staff of the Massachusetts state police, and the other is a former state park police officer, now in training to become a New York state trooper.
Airman of the year
Jeffrey Trottier, who was the Hadley town supervisor in 2006-07, has been named Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year at Stratton Air National Guard Base.
Trottier, a senior master sergeant in the Air National Guard, is superintendent of the 109th Airlift Wing’s Operational Group Intelligence Section. A full-time employee of the guard, Trottier deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2010.
His deployment to Balad, Iraq, in 2007 was one of the reasons he lost his bid for re-election as town supervisor that year to fellow Republican Arthur “Mo” Wright, who remains Hadley town supervisor today.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday that hunters “harvested” 1,337 black bears in the state last fall, nearly half of
them in the Adirondacks. That’s more bears than usual and the third-highest take on record.
Readers will remember that late last summer there was a spate of young bears turning up in places like Schenectady’s Stockade and Saratoga Springs backyards, in search of territory, food and mating opportunities. A bear’s food sources — wild berries in particular — were hard to come by last year due to the hot, dry summer, making suburban garbage cans all the more attractive.
Apparently such wanderings made our beastly buddies easier to harvest. DEC said about two-thirds of the bear crop was taken by hunters in the early fall, and some of them were harvested while themselves harvesting some poor farmer’s corn.
Stephen Williams is a Gazette reporter. The views expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily the newspaper’s. He can be reached at 885-6705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.