I graduated from Mahopac High School and completed training at the New York State Zone 3 Police Academy in 1986. I have spent my career in law enforcement, and while serving I continued training that allowed me to stay on the cutting edge of policing and public safety. My training areas included enforcement in high density drug trafficking areas, advanced narcotics, forensics, investigations, incident command, negotiations, cyber-crime investigation, and K-9 handling. Among the institutions and agencies at which I received training are the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, the US Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science. Additionally, in order to serve as a volunteer firefighter, I completed New York State Fire Training and First Responder Training with the New York State Department of Health and the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.
I am a life-long resident and dedicated servant of Putnam County. I spent 23 years in the Sheriff’s Department, two of them as PBA president. While on active duty, I worked in every aspect of policing including corrections, patrol duty, forensics and investigation. I also have served as a firefighter. I spent 14 years with the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department and seven years with Garrison Volunteer Fire Company. In Garrison, I was named Assistant Chief. I retired from the Sheriff’s Department in 2007 and founded Hudson Valley Surveillance Systems, a private security firm for commercial and residential clients. I am an avid beekeeper, and with my wife Lydia I run a small farm in Garrison.
I will lead by example for the rank and file, as I always have. In law enforcement one is rightly held to a higher standard. Under my administration, every staff member will be held accountable for acts of dishonesty. Should dishonesty extend into the criminal realm, I will refer the matter to the District Attorney’s Office for investigation and thereby avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. Additionally, any incidents that involve direct family members of department staff which require police action will be referred to another police agency for investigation. This will also avoid impropriety.
Consolidation can’t be a top-down decision—the discussion needs to engage the people we serve. There are many questions to consider. How would consolidation affect the level and quality of police protection in individual communities? What are the financial ramifications? How would infrastructure be organized? Would Town and Village police stations become sub-stations or would all patrols be deployed from Carmel? How would that impact response times? How would our officers and support staff be redeployed to maintain jobs? The Sheriff must control taxpayer costs but never at the sacrifice of community protection.
We need to proactively deal with addiction. As sheriff, I will strengthen drug interdiction patrols and disrupt the supply of opioids. At the same time, I will address the demand. When a drug-related arrest is made, we have a prime opportunity to address addiction and break the cycle of crime. We need to provide treatment programs for incarcerated addicts. Our communities are endangered when we turn addicted criminals back onto the street as we do now. I will strongly support the existing felony drug court in Putnam County, and I will work to expand misdemeanor level alternative courts into Villages and Towns so we can help people sooner and reduce crime faster.
I will work to expand resources for our school-based initiatives. We need to talk honestly, remove the stigma of addiction, and make resources available for kids who are struggling. Young people are more likely to seek help in environments where they feel protected, and we need to create that safety in our schools and homes.
Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy at West Point (1969)
Master of Science (Systems Management), University of Southern California (1974)
DONALD BLAINE SMITH
Brigadier General, United States Army (Retired)
Putnam County Sheriff
Donald B. Smith is the 53rd Sheriff of Putnam County. He was first elected to this position on November 6, 2001 and assumed the duties of Putnam County Sheriff on January 1, 2002. Immediately prior to becoming the Sheriff of Putnam County, he had served as the Deputy County Executive of Putnam County from 1999 - 2001.
Sheriff Smith was born in Danbury, Connecticut, and grew up in Patterson, New York. Following his graduation from New York Military Academy at Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, New York in 1965, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from West Point in June of 1969, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Armor.
During his company grade years he served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Cavalry Troop Commander, Instructor, and Company Tactical Officer in a variety of assignments at Fort Ord, California; Fort Knox, Kentucky; West Point, New York; and in the Republic of Vietnam. His combat tour in Vietnam included service as both a Platoon Leader and Troop Commander in C Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry.
Following graduation from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, General Smith was assigned for duty in the U.S. Army Europe, where he spent 6 years in the 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during the Cold War. While assigned to the Pathfinder Division, he served as Battalion Executive Officer, Deputy G1, Division G1, Battalion Commander, and Division Inspector General. General Smith's command tour with the Division was in Mainz-¬Gonsenheim, Germany, where he commanded the 4th Battalion, 69th Armor from 1982-1984.
Following his six-year tour in Europe, General Smith returned to the United States where he attended Senior Service College as a fellow at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation in 1986, he was assigned as the Chief of Armor Branch, followed by service as the Combat Arms Division Chief, both within the Officer Personnel Management Directorate of the Army's Personnel Command. He commanded the 194th Separate Armored Brigade, the largest heavy Brigade in the United States Army, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, from August 1989 to August 1991. Following Brigade Command, General Smith served as Deputy Director of Personnel Support Policy and Services in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from September 1991 until September 1993. His final assignment on active duty as a General Officer was with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, serving as the Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver through November 1994, followed by service as the Assistant Division Commander for Support.
From 1993 through 1996, General Smith also performed the major additional duty of Chief of the United States Delegation to the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM), a world organization consisting of 113 member nations who promote world peace by sponsoring military sports world championships. He served on the Executive Committee of this international organization and also was the President of its Permanent Commission for Information and Public Relations from 1994 through 1996. General Smith served as the Chief of Delegation and Chief of Mission for the United States at the First Military World Games in Rome, Italy, in September of 1995.
General Smith has attended numerous Army schools and training programs, including the prestigious Leadership Development Program for Executives taught at Eckerd College, and also has earned a Master of Science Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
Since taking office, Sheriff Smith has emphasized community policing; all law enforcement throughout the County working together as a team; and has focused on making the County safer for its young people by increasing the intensity of the war on drugs, and by emphasizing drivers’ safety programs and safety belt usage, especially for the youthful driving population. Under his leadership, the School Resource Officer Program has expanded in the high schools and middle schools of Putnam County. While serving as Sheriff, he has significantly increased training and brought new technology and programs to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility. Sheriff Smith served in numerous positions of great responsibility in the New York State Sheriffs’ Association to include serving as the President of the Association. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Association and also serves as a Trustee on the Executive Board.
Sheriff Smith has served in numerous leadership positions in community organizations including past president of the Westchester-Putnam Council of the Boy Scouts of America, past president of the Mental Health Association in Putnam County, and currently serves as Chairman of the American Heart Association in Putnam County. Sheriff Smith also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Security Council Foundation, which promotes the military concept and strategy of “Peace Through Strength” and currently is the Chairman of the Board.
Sheriff Smith was married to the late Jane Powell Smith for more than 43 years. Mrs. Smith passed on in December 2015 after fighting a courageous 2 ½ year battle with breast cancer. Their son, Chris, graduated from James Madison University and has an MBA from Virginia Tech. Chris is a consultant and realtor in the Washington, D.C. area. Chris has one child - a daughter. He is married to Dr. Mary Smith. Sheriff and Mrs. Smith’s daughter, Cherilynne, is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, with a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education. She is married to Jesse Marsalis, who is a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army. The Marsalis’ have eight children, five sons and three daughters. The Smith family was recognized as a Great American Family while stationed in Mainz, Germany in 1983.
Republican, Independence, Conservative, and Reform Parties
Putnam County Sheriff's Department PBA
NYS Rifle and Pistol Association
numerous others listed on Palm Card
I strive each and every day of my life to set the example and live to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. I have dedicated my life to serving in two of our most noble and honored professions – the United States Military and Law Enforcement. I stand behind my service in my military career and during my tenure serving as the Sheriff for all the people in Putnam County in providing leadership for the law enforcement and emergency services team that has helped keep Putnam County the safest County in New York State and one of the safest counties in America. In the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, we strive each and every day to serve the people of Putnam County with integrity, and also treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve. The people of Putnam County know me and what I stand for.
Our representative democratic system of government is based on the separation of powers and having government empowered by the people at various levels, thereby, not having all power and authority in an overbearing central government. I believe in “home-rule” and that the people at the local level should be entrusted with as much control possible over their own lives. It is in that spirit that the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with all of our local town and village police departments and has provided them with any support they need including Narcotics Enforcement, Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Services, Canine Services, Road Patrol support, Marine support and whatever is needed. We do our very best to keep our county safe through communication, coordination, cooperation and support of all of our emergency service first responders. The people at the local level should be entrusted with the decision of having a local police department.
The absolute top priority for the Sheriff’s Office is to protect the people of Putnam County, keep them safe from crime, especially from the Drug and Opioid Crisis. Too many families have lost loved ones and many others are fighting to prevent the loss of loved ones due to the scourge of drugs entering our country. We are working with all levels of government to fight the Opioid Crisis by every possible means, including prevention, education, awareness and treatment programs and, of course, enforcing our drug laws. We know that America cannot “arrest its way” out of the drug crisis, that it will take a multi-faceted approach and we have to enforce our borders. We will continue to be strong supporters of Drug Treatment Court and will continue to work with the courts to expand this program. Our number one priority at the Sheriff's Office is to protect ALL the people and keep them safe, especially our most vulnerable populations, our children, our seniors and the disabled.