Thoughts upon announcing retirement as sheriff

To the editor:

To the people of Essex County:

It is with mixed feelings that I announce my intent not to run for re-election in 2018. I have served our country as a U.S. Marine and served Essex County for an aggregate of over 43 years.

I was honored in 1977, after a short stint working for Motor Vehicles, when then-Sheriff Kenneth Goodspeed hired me as a rookie deputy sheriff. Over the next 40 years, I was privileged to serve you in all facets of the sheriff’s office: police, corrections, civil enforcement, school presenter for seat belts and bicycle safety, navigation patrol officer, police and corrections trainer, liaison and a founding member of the Empire State Law Enforcement Training Network, heavily involved in planning and building our new public service building, etc.

Over those years, I rose through the ranks of jail administrator, undersheriff and, with your trust, sheriff for the past seven years.

I thank you for your support for me and my agency. The trust and support for the sheriff’s office has been heartwarming. But as you know, no agency runs without dedicated, hard-working people behind the scenes who dedicate themselves to the cause. I have been privileged to have a tremendous staff over the years making the Essex County Sheriff’s Office a highly professional and exemplary agency in our county. Our agency is truly one I can be proud to have served.

Thank you to all of my employees for all you have done and do every day for the people of our county. You are truly professionals and don’t always get the public recognition that you so richly deserve.

Policing has changed so much over 40 years. Way back then, there were only a handful of illicit drugs of abuse; now we have to fight against the spread of opiates, prescription medication abuse, meth labs and yet-to-be-seen dangerous substances. The Essex County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the fight against these substances that are literally destroying individuals and families as well as our society.

I also want to acknowledge that I have had the privilege of working with some of the finest professionals in our field, both in my agency and the outside agencies such as the state police, DEA, ICE, U.S. Marshals, our local police and corrections as well. I will long remember and treasure the relationships that 40 years have cultivated.

Again, thank you people of Essex County for your support, I will cherish the memories and friendships that I take into the next stage of my life.

Richard Cutting

Essex County sheriff