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Ex-marshal's deputy -- Undersheriff hopes to rely on experience

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - Updated: 9:57 AM


For the C-S-E

GLEN -- Retired U.S. Marshals Service Senior Deputy Peter Vroman of Canajoharie is Montgomery County's new undersheriff.

Sheriff Michael Amato recently appointed Vroman to replace Jeffery T. Smith, who retired Jan. 3.

"I was surprised and honored to be asked to be his undersheriff," Vroman said Monday. "Montgomery County is my county, and I'm excited about working here, and focusing my attention here. I have some ideas as far as the federal resources I can bring to the county, and how they can better the safety and security of the people."

Vroman starts Friday, just a week after retiring from nearly three decades of service to the U.S. Department of Justice.

For the last 20 years, Vroman was assigned to the marshals' Northern District of New York office, which oversees federal police service in 32 counties, including Montgomery County.

Throughout his career, he has received numerous citations and awards for various operational and administrative roles, including a Department of Justice award for his role in a high-profile trial while assigned to the New Hampshire district.

In 2010, Vroman was recommended by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to be marshal of the Northern District of New York.

Amato said he's known Vroman for years, both because he's a county resident, and because their paths crossed in their police work.

Vroman mentioned to Amato he had been thinking about retirement during the past year, and Amato kept that in the back of his mind. So, when Smith announced his retirement, Amato didn't have to look far to find a replacement.

"He's intelligent, young and energetic, and his background and contacts are a big plus," Amato said. "He has a lot of knowledge about county jails, and he will hopefully be able to help open us up to federal resources that we might not have known about."

Vroman said his extensive knowledge about county jail systems stems from working with sheriffs' offices to arrange federal inmate housing.

Such arrangements were lacking when he started working for the northern district in 1993, and Vroman takes credit as the conduit who helped get them in place.

"Marshals are responsible for the production of federal prisoners for their attendance to court hearings, but there was a very limited number of pre-trial prisoner beds 20 years ago. So, I ended up going out and meeting with sheriffs' departments to sell the idea of housing federal prisoners, because it's closer to district court in Albany," Vroman said.

"It's the right thing to do, because the people have easier access to trial and courts, and it's provided a lot of revenue for the counties, so there are winners all around," Vroman said.

Vroman has also worked to get county sheriffs' departments on the receiving end of surplus or excess equipment, and revenue. Amato said Vroman helped get a vehicle for the county jail, as well as metal detectors and other equipment.

"I've kept my eyes open and tried to grab anything I can and get them turned over to the counties at no cost. I know how hard it is locally, and I know how tight budgets are. I've done everything I can to help out departments in my district," Vroman said.

Amato said Vroman also brings an extensive network of contacts and associations, plus his experience in administrative police work.

"I had to make sure whoever I chose understood what they would be stepping into," Amato said. "His background is in administrative work, so I won't have to train him. And, he has a lot of contacts, so if I need something, or have to send him to someone, he's already dealt with a lot of these people."

Vroman began his career in public service in 1982 as a patrolman in Essex, Vt., then joined the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department in 1983 as a road patrol deputy.

In September 1986, Vroman joined the justice department as a deputy marshal. Upon completion of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy, he was assigned to the department's southern district in Manhattan as a general operations deputy.

His next assignment was in the Rhode Island district, where his duties included general operations and seized assets, followed by an assignment in the New Hampshire district, where he additionally performed prisoner detention duties.

In 1993, Vroman transferred to the Albany office in a supervisory role as a senior deputy, a role he continued until his retirement Friday.

Vroman is married and has six children. He has lived in Canajoharie for the past 18 years.


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