Sheriff takes on new role

Schenectady County Sheriff Harry Buffardi announced that he will be stepping down from his position soon to become a full-time assistant professor at Schenectady County Community College. He has not yet announced the official date of his career change.

Buffardi joined the Sheriff's Department 36 years ago starting as a corrections officer, and was elected as sheriff in 1998. He will start teaching criminal justice at the college on Monday, Jan. 12. Buffardi said he wasn't looking for change or even more money when he was offered the full-time position. He's calling his new job a position of opportunity.

"I'm very much looking forward to doing this new job, and I think I can be useful in this position," said Buffardi. "I bring with it a lot of work experience."

Buffardi was elected to his third four-year term in 2006.

"I'm a little bit flexible in terms of staying on," said Buffardi.

He said that he wants to allow for a good transition for the next person coming in, and he won't be far if anyone needs help.

According to Schenectady County Attorney Chris Gardner, the governor will appoint Buffardi's replacement, who will serve until a special election in November, when his official replacement will be selected.

"Under the statutes, it's an appoint-ment by the governor, and it's my understanding that the governor is going to review anyone who is interested in the position," said Gardner.

Having taught criminal justice part-time at Schenectady County Community College for 13 years, Buffardi said he is familiar with the work he will now be pursuing full time.

"I'm familiar with the students and the program. I'm very comfortable working there. If I were going to do anything other than being the sheriff, it would be to do this," said Buffardi. "It seems like a natural transition for me to go to this from criminal justice practitioner to criminal justice professor."

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