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Deputy Trudeau named new Jefferson County undersheriff

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Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul W. Trudeau has been named undersheriff, the department’s second in command, Sheriff John P. Burns announced Friday.

Mr. Trudeau, a 15-year veteran of the department and an Army veteran, replaces Andrew R. Neff, who retired Friday.

The undersheriff serves at the pleasure of the sheriff and is not a member of a union. His main responsibilities include overseeing the department’s budget and seeking U.S. Department of Homeland Security and corrections grants, as well as handling scheduling and some disciplinary matters.

Mr. Burns said he felt the leadership skills Mr. Trudeau gained in the military made him an ideal candidate for the position.

Mr. Trudeau, who also worked for several years in the state prison system as a corrections officer, served as a cavalry scout and drill sergeant in the Army. His medals include an award for outstanding leadership during Operation Desert Storm.

Mr. Trudeau is a 1980 graduate of York Central School, Retsof, and was an active-duty soldier from 1981 to 1984 before entering the reserves. He graduated from the Corrections Academy of Albany in 1986.

Mr. Trudeau’s career with the Sheriff’s Department began Oct. 13, 1998. He became a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer on June 20, 2002. In April 2003, he was awarded the Army & Navy American Legion Post 61 Law and Order Night Award for a cave rescue in the town of Hounsfield. A year later, he was selected for the department’s newly formed K-9 unit, reintroduced by state Sen. James W. Wright, and eventually became a master instructor, training many dogs in the surrounding counties.

Attempts to reach Mr. Trudeau on Friday night were unsuccessful.

Mr. Trudeau, in assuming the No. 2 position in the department, will oversee some sergeants and lieutenants who previously outranked him.

Mr. Burns said that he does not anticipate any problems with Mr. Trudeau’s new role, noting that many of those sergeants and lieutenants have less time on the job than Mr. Trudeau.

“They have all worked with Paul; they all like him. I don’t think there will be any animosity at all,” the sheriff said.

Mr. Burns said Mr. Trudeau has spent a lot of time with the public in his positions as a DARE and a K-9 officer and “was instrumental in taking a lot of drugs off the street and bringing in a lot of seized money” as the officer in charge of the K-9 unit, which has three officers.

By naming Mr. Trudeau to the position, the sheriff concluded a lengthy search for a replacement for Mr. Neff, a longtime member of the department who retired amid allegations of misconduct.

Mr. Burns said he wishes Mr. Neff the best of luck. Mr. Burns previously has said that Mr. Neff “served the county for 25 years and he did a good job” and that he wanted Mr. Neff to retire with his dignity. On Friday, Mr. Burns said, “Unfortunately, a situation came up where I had to impose discipline.”

Mr. Burns said he is looking forward to putting the incident behind the department and moving forward.

Mr. Trudeau will begin his new position Monday.

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