|Columbia County Sheriff's Office
David W. Harrison, Jr., SHERIFF James R. Sweet, UNDERSHERIFF
|Copyright ©2006 Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Hudson, NY 12534
Sheriff's Office and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
June 7, 2007
Greenport, NY Columbia County Sheriff David W. Harrison, Jr. reports that Lieutenant James E. Andrews
recently was invited to co-lecture at the thirtieth Annual New York State Association of Community and Residential
Agencies Conference at the Sagamore Hotel and Conference Center on Lake George in Bolton Landing, NY. At
the request of Scott C. Brandt, Sr. IRA Residence Director of the Devereux Foundation, Lt. Andrews and Mr.
Brandt lectured on a topic entitled Law and Disorder. The topic, which was developed by Mr. Brandt, deals with
how individuals with developmental disabilities and members of law enforcement interact and how to develop and
improve understandings of each other.
One example discussed was the success and positive feed back from a recent dinner organized by Mr. Brandt at
one of the local community residences in Columbia County where ten clients along with Lt. Andrews and Resident
Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Stern had the opportunity to meet and discuss mutual topics of interest.
“It is important when dealing with people that have developmental disabilities, that they know the Police Officers
they may come in contact with are people with families too and not someone who they may perceive as being the
one who puts everyone in jail” stated Lt. Andrews.
Lt. Andrews has been hand selected by Sheriff Harrison to instruct police officers on how to deal with individuals
with developmental disabilities. Lt. Andrews has had several years of experience in working with individuals’ that
have developmental disabilities. The interest he has in this field is credited to his parents, the late Pat & Chip
Andrews who co-founded Co-Arc in Columbia County over fifty years ago and having an older brother with downs
syndrome and a younger brother born with brain damage. Lt. Andrews had also volunteered while a student in
school with a youth group for mentally retarded citizens in Columbia County.
Sheriff Harrison noted that Lt. Andrews also instructs recruit Police Officers on dealing with Mental Illness at the
Zone 14 Law Enforcement Academy where he is an Assistant Director. In 2004 Lt. Andrews was also chosen,
along with other instructors across the state to review a new curriculum for a Law Enforcement in-service program
dealing with individuals with Mental Illness.
Sheriff Harrison is a staunch supporter of programs such and these and stated, “Police Officers interact with
many different types of people with different issues. The more we understand someone with developmental
disabilities or mental illness, the better chance we have of resolving the situation productively. Jim Andrews, with
his family background and Law Enforcement experience is a good person to help teach this”.