Our Town: Sheriff Butch Anderson…Big Man with a Big Heart(Listen to the Interview!)



Butch Anderson is known by almost everyone in Pawling, but for those readers or listeners who are not as familiar with this larger than life personality, he seems to personify the very essence of good will and compassion, with a great big positive attitude thrown in for good measure.

The Sheriff’s office, he quickly wants us to know, is more than just about law enforcement.  Oh sure, he’ll  robustly sing the praises of the 553 “great” people that work with him (those who make the sheriff’s office the #1 agency in Dutchess County working in unity with all the law enforcement offices in all the towns in the county).  But what he really wants to talk about, with great fervor, I might add, are the numerous ways in which he and his office strive to provide for those in need.  He is passionate about the work that is done on behalf the elderly, children, and their families.

Among the Sheriff’s favorite community outreach programs, is the “Are you OK?” initiative, geared toward seniors who live on their own.  Someone from Sheriff Andersen’s department will call elderly residents of the county twice a day to make sure they are doing well, and if contact is not made within a reasonable time, someone from his office will be sent to check on them.  Additionally, he pioneered the “Cell Phone Program,” in which county residents are encouraged to bring their old cell phones to his office to be adjusted to only dial 911. These phones are then donated to needy residents who can experience a much appreciated sense of security, knowing that help is only a quick call away.

There are several programs that assist with school safety, which Sheriff Anderson is very enthusiastic.  A recently reinstated program, the SRO or Student Resource Officer, brings officers from the Sheriff’s department into the schools to teach classes about life issues.  It’s a great way for students to get to know the officers on a personal basis, while learning about issues like the perils of drug use.

The Sheriff’s office also provides programs that bring the most up-to-date information about safety technology and safety planning to schools in Dutchess County.  In fact, the Sheriff recently spoke to Pawling’s PTA about what is available to help keep our kids safer and to help parents and students feel more confident.

But aside from all that is available through the Sheriff’s office to every community in Dutchess County, Pawling particularly benefits from the life-long connection that Butch Anderson has to our community, having been born and raised here.  He is personally and deeply involved in service to the elderly and children in need right here in Pawling. He recognizes the impact that caring for the aged and sick children can have on their families, and is available to help make positive things happen for them in any way he can.  He is proudly involved with the Make a Wish Foundation and the Ryan McElroy Children’s Cancer Foundation, and has been the recipient of several awards for civic service, as well as numerous ‘in-the-line of service” citations.

What is most impressive, however, is the kindness, thoughtfulness, and caring that he has for those whose life circumstances brought them into difficult times. His conversation always comes back to ways that he can find to assist them, and the deep satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of those in need.  But it is more than just talk, for this man. You can see the concern and sadness in his eyes when he speaks about sick children or isolated and lonely seniors. Coming to their aid is not only the right thing to do, for Sheriff Butch Anderson; it is his personal mission and his highest honor and privilege.

Sheriff Anderson may be reached in at his office at 845-486-3800.

A more complete look at the services provided by the Sheriff’s Office can be found on the Dutchess County Government web site at www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Sheriff/13710.htm  , or you can click on the direct link to the County Government web site from the quick link sidebar on PPR’s web site.

Susan is a board member of Pawling Public Radio…

My interview with Sheriff Anderson may be heard on PPR or click below to listen:

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