The challenges faced by law enforcement across small, rural communities in Upstate New York are real. An array of factors, like the pandemic, bail reform, mental health issues, and a hiring crisis, all loomed large in a report recently released by the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office.
Among the most-surprising statistics to come out of the report involve the daily average number of inmates at the jail. Officials with the sheriff’s office said in the report that the figure has dropped from 97 to 30 inmates on average.
The difficulty in filling law enforcement positions, described as a nationwide issue, has resulted in only 20 applicants for the upcoming officer exam, a stark contrast to the 100+ candidates in years past. The shortage has forced the closure of two housing units due to an insufficient number of corrections officers.
The report also reveals a significant increase in the number of calls responded to by the road patrol in 2022, marking a record 20,189 calls, up 29% from 2021. Arrests also surged by 37% from the previous year, with a notable rise in domestic violence and mental health calls.
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