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A 21st century sheriff's department

The stakes are being raised by Republican Jeff Gildersleeve in the tech-savvy battle to be the next sheriff of Saratoga County.

He has announced his "21st Century Initiative" to update the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department, which he says will lead to increased communications with the public and increased effectiveness within the department.

Gildersleeve's vision includes public emails for the department, increased internet access for the department, a modernized pistol permit process and a video arraignment system that he believes would save the county money.

“The people of Saratoga County deserve a Sheriff’s department fit for the 21st Century,” said Gildersleeve in a statement. “This initiative will bring the department into the hi-tech world we live in and save taxpayers money through saved time and energy.”

The department under long-time Sheriff James Bowen, who is retiring, has not taken full advantage of the internet. For instance, they still use a fax machine to send out press releases, while many in law enforcement, like the Saratoga Springs police, email press releases and post them on their website.

Gildersleeve is competing for the Republican nomination with Michael Zurlo, who unveiled his Halfmoon campaign office today. Also in the running is Conservative and Democratic backed Phil Lindsey. All the candidates have a social media presence, which in itself likely signals major technology changes for the department regardless of who wins.

Regarding his own plans, Gildersleeve predicted they would increase morale and make the communities in Saratoga County safer.

In the battle to win the Republican nomination, Zurlo appears to have the upper hand, as he was endorsed by the Saratoga County Republican Committee. But, Republican Jack Sadousky recently dropped out of the race and endorsed Gildersleeve and the last candidate the Saratoga County Republican Committee backed in a competitive primary, Sen. Roy McDonald in 2012, lost their bid for the Republican nomination.

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