Sheriff's Emergency Response Team (SERT)
The Sheriff's Emergency Response Team (SERT)was established in 1990.
team today consists of 23 specialized trained staff. Throughout
the team's tenure, they have participated in numerous high risk, high
security transports and trials. One of their main functions is to
conduct institutional shakedowns on a regular basis.
SERT is now actively
working in the facility on a daily basis. SERT members are assigned
to handle institutional problems, escort inmates to and from housing
units and are prepared at a moments notice to quell problems before
they escalate. From time to time SERT is called upon to handle
crowd/riot control for requesting agencies. In 2007, SERT was
involved with the transportation of 229 inmates from the facility on
Golden Hill to U.C.L.E.C. The move was accomplished in 7 hours
As an accredited agency, member training is recognized
as an important facet of the Sheriff's Office responsibility and
receives increased emphasis and effort. Administrated by a training
Coordinator, the continual training program is comprised of two
- An ongoing in house in-service training program
- Search for outside applicable training courses or seminars.
The Corrections Division has one Supervisor designated
to oversee the training needs for the Corrections Division. This
supervisor is responsible to see that all new members receive the
mandated 160-hour basic training, within one year from date of hire,
as well as peace officer training. In addition all new members must
complete a field training officer program, supervised by the training
The Corrections Division is accredited by the New
York State Sheriff's Association. To maintain this accreditation,
the training officer must ensure that all staff receives the amount
of training prescribed by the accreditation standards.
Each member of the Sheriff's Office / Corrections
Division receives a minimum of 21 hours in-service training each
year. The training consists of topics which include: firearms, use-of-force
and defensive tactics, suicide prevention, legal issue updates,
CPR / First Aid, fire prevention and evacuation, effective communication
skills, as well as additional county mandated training.
Each member also receives a 40-hour training course
in Direct Supervision. This training includes, but is not limited
to the principles of direct supervision, managing a direct supervision
housing unit, supervisory techniques, officers as leaders, managing
inmate behavior and conflict resolution.
Many members have been trained and certified by the
of Correction and the NYS
Division of Criminal Justice Services in specialized instruction
and general topics. They serve as in-service training and Correction
Officer Academy instructors, in addition to their regular duties.
Outside training is sought and provided regularly when topics and
need are relevant and support the mission of the Sheriff.
The Corrections Division training unit has also
remained very involved assisting other agencies. We have sponsored
several Correction Officer Basic Academy including the Peace Officer
certification as well as Supervisor Schools and Instructor Development
Courses. Instructors have also assisted other agencies in the fields
of legal issues, essential services, defensive tactics, gang intelligence,
report writing, firearms and MPTC training. We also participate
in career days and K-9 presentations with local schools and senior
GANG INTELLIGENCE UNIT
In an effort to combat this
growing gang presence, the Gang Intelligence Unit gathers and
validates information regarding individuals identified as members of
Security Risk Groups. The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office
Gang Intelligence Unit works closely with the Ulster Regional Gang
Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT). Upon admission, inmates
are assessed based on self-admission, tattoos, clothing colors,
beads, and hand signs. The information gathered allows the
facility to better plan searches and adjust inmate housing and work
assignments to avoid potentially violent situations.
The Corrections Division is responsible for the
transportation of inmates to and from courts, state prisons, and
other correctional facilities. The transportation unit also transports
inmates that are boarded to other facilities, have scheduled medical
appointments, funeral and deathbed visits, and any other transport
of an inmate in our custody.
The Sheriff's Office
Corrections Division K9 Unit consists of a "passive response" NYS
certified narcotics detector team. Corrections Officer - K9 Handler
Duane Caunitz and his partner K9 Brok patrol the facility and grounds
on a daily basis. Both can be especially busy on visiting days.
a passive response narcotics detector dog, has been trained to alert at
the presence of a variety of illegal substances by immediately assuming
the sitting position. This passive alert type of notification allows CO
Caunitz to utilize K9 Brok in the screening of correctional facility
CO Caunitz and K9 Brok are
also a NYS certified tracking team. As such, the team is consistently
able to follow a human scent through vegetation as well as over hard
surfaces such a concrete or blacktop. Both handler and K9 routinely
train with the members of the Sheriff's Office Criminal Division K9 teams.