September 19, 2011 —
In February, the Sheriff’s Office encountered a log jam of pistol permit applications when a state worker took the early retirement incentive at the State Office of Mental Health in Albany. The agency is required by law to check its records to determine if an applicant for a New York State Pistol Permit has been treated for mental illness. After the worker retired, no one was hired as a replacement.
As a result pistol permits, as well has other applications that require a mental health check, were not being processed. “We made an inquiry through the State Sheriff’s Association and Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois contacted Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther for assistance”, said Sheriff Mike Schiff. “I think they eliminated the position not realizing what that person really did”, he said.
The State Office of Mental Health hired additional staff in the spring and the backlog has finally begun to ease in the last month according to the Sheriff.