Last week, Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa issued a check for $10,689 to the Town of Plattekill as their share for participating in the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team in 2019. The county divides up funds from seizures that are made throughout the year and distributes the proceeds to the participating towns. It is used to continue combating drug proliferation and gang violence throughout the county.
Sheriff Figueroa said, “One thing I can tell you is the numbers have gone sky high when it comes to these drug arrests [and] overdoses are up in the county and the dealers are coming into our town here in Plattekill and throughout the county. We couldn’t do the work that we’re doing without the partnership of the Town of Plattekill Police Department, with Chief Joseph Ryan and Lt William Smith. I can’t thank you enough for their efforts, they’ve been amazing,” Figueroa said.
Supervisor Joe Croce, who is the liaison to the town’s Police Department, thanked the Sheriff.
“I do believe it is a very good thing for us to be a member of URGENT,” he said. “I know the hard work that URGENT is doing and our contribution to it is very rewarding for our police force, our detectives, the Chief and Lieutenant and all the residents of our town.”
Lt. Smith reminded the Town Board about their approval to purchase a K-9 dog using their share of URGENT funds and how important he is to the overall program.
“The job this dog does in fines and in the time [saved] that would take two or three deputies, officers and detectives to search a house to find somebody’s drugs, is hours,” he said. “The first thing in the house is the dog; check here, check there, oh that’s where the drugs are...To them they think it is a game but it is a big asset to us and to that division.” Sheriff Figueroa said this is the only dog that is assigned to URGENT, saying he is amazing and does great work.
Councilman Darryl Matthews highlighted the importance of cooperation within the Task Force.
“When you guys work together, the sky’s the limit and that’s what we appreciate and we thank you guys for your service,” he said.
Chief Joseph Ryan has known the Sheriff for many years.
“I know your heart is in this town and we’re trying to do the best we can,” he said.
Figueroa said he has a good relationship with Plattekill and its Police Department.
“When we go to the quarterly meetings, they get a little spirited but they’re good meetings,” he said. “It’s good to have different perspectives and ideas and the Town of Plattekill brings that to the table. I’m proud to be from Plattekill when I see these guys.”