Posted by on July 10, 2015

Today Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport), a member of the Assembly Committee on Corrections, expressed sincere thanks to the law enforcement officials whose tireless pursuit of escaped murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt culminated with Sweat’s capture this weekend.

“This nightmare ended with the decisive action of State Police Sgt. Jay Cook. His real-life heroism has a truly cinematic quality. If he’d allowed Sweat to disappear again into the wilderness, there is no telling the terror he could have inflicted on a resident or unwitting vacationer in the Adirondack Park,” said Finch.

Finch was also quick to praise the selfless efforts of officers from multiple law enforcement agencies who worked in concert to track down Matt and Sweat.

“This entire investigation was coordinated with precise attention to logistical and tactical detail and incredible cooperation between agencies,” said Finch. “The unwavering dedication of hundreds and hundreds of officers is the reason all New Yorkers will sleep better tonight.”

Finch said the inmates’ escape casts some of the governor’s decisions regarding corrections policy into harsh relief.

“The governor announced that he’s hiring one hundred more corrections officers this year. While this could mitigate some of the damage that his policies have caused, the fact is we need to do much more to adequately staff these institutions,” said Finch. “We can’t skimp on overtime. We can’t skimp on staffing and oversight. We can’t let a couple of bad actors in the corrections system overshadow the dangerous and honorable work these officers do. The good ones need more help, and most all of them are good.”

Kathy Garrison, president of the Civil Service Employees Association’s Capital Region chapter, represents support staff at Clinton Correctional Facility. She told CNN that her membership has harbored concerns about low staffing at the prison for years. “It’s very dangerous,” she said. “The watchtowers aren’t manned 100 percent of the time. It’s craziness.”

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