GNH Lumber-Outdoor Living-JUNE 2024

Two lawmen vie for sheriff


GREENPORT—Two career lawmen have come out swinging in the race to be the next sheriff of Columbia County.

Incumbent Sheriff David Bartlett has served four years and is eager to serve four more. His challenger, Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann says it’s time for new leadership.

Candidate profiles in alphabetical order follow.

David P. Bartlett

Sheriff Bartlett, 56, of Kinderhook is a registered Republican with endorsements from the GOP, Conservative, Independence and Reform parties. He has served one four-year term and seeks a second.

He was born in Auburn, Cayuga County. He graduated from Auburn High School and SUNY Cobleskill with an AAS in liberal arts.

Other training and courses to his credit include: NYS Commission of Corrections Basic Academy; NYS Basic Course Police Officer; NYS Police Instructor; NYS Firearms Instructor; NYS Chemical Agents Instructor; NYS Firefighting Essentials School; NYS K-9 Handler/Narcotics Detection School; Glock Armorer; National Incident Command; ICS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800; NYS Radar, Breathalyzer Operator; Highway Drug Interdiction; Advanced Snowmobile Law Enforcement; Sex Offense; NYS Police Supervision; Advanced Accident Scene Investigation; Taser Instructor; MAGLOCLEN Gang Training; Counter-Terrorism Awareness; Missing and Abducted Children; United States Coast Guard Boating; Civil Phase 1 and 2; National Tactical Officers Association; Utica College Executive Management Training; and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (HIDTA).

His past and current affiliations include: Palmer Engine Hose Company (Kinderhook), second assistant chief; Northern Columbia Little League Baseball coach; CYO Basketball coach; STRIDE swim coach (Special Olympics); and the National Wild Turkey Federation (Columbia County Strutters).

Mr. Bartlett currently serves as treasurer and is an Executive Committee member of the NYS Sheriffs’ Association.

He is an instructor Zone 14 Law Enforcement Academy, Columbia Greene Community College; Head Firearms/Chemical Agents instructor Zone 14 Law Enforcement Academy, C-GCC; and a Snowmobile Safety instructor.

He has received the John Kimball O’Neil Award; NYS DCJS Counter Terrorism Award; NYS Life Saving Award; CCSO Exceptional Duty Award; CCSO Grand Cordon Special Unit Award; CCSO NYS Sheriff’s Association Award; Meritorious Service Award twice; Life Saving Award; CCSO Citizens for Integrity; Thomas Jefferson Good Governance and Integrity Award; United Stated Department of Defense Patriotic Employer Award.

He is married to Lori Bartlett and is the father of two daughters and three sons, ages 11 to 25.

In a statement of issues, the sheriff wrote: “The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office covers over 600 square miles, operates a multi-million dollar budget, has five separate divisions and over 170 employees. It’s a big operation. When I was elected Sheriff four years ago, I came into this job with nearly three decades of experience at the Sheriff’s Office. Those years, working my way up through the ranks, gave me invaluable insight and experience; skills and knowledge that I use to this day managing the agency. It’s a blessing to serve the people of Columbia County as their Sheriff. I look forward to another four years doing so.”

Learn more at

Peter Volkmann

Chief Volkmann, 54, of Stuyvesant is an enrolled Democrat endorsed by the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality parties. He seeks his first four-year term as sheriff.

Born in Peekskill, Westchester County, he earned a BS degree in criminal justice from Mercy College and a MSW from Fordham University.

He is presently the Chatham Police Department chief, a post he has held for four years. He is clinical director of the Schenectady Police Department Peer Support Team; has been on the faculty of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation for 18 years and president of PF Volkmann and Assoc., Inc. for 25 years.

Chief Volkmann retired from the Ossining Police Department as a police officer; for four years served as officer-in-charge of the Stockport Police Department and was a Zone 14 Police Academy director.

He is a firefighter and past commissioner with the Stuyvesant Fire Company and an active church member at the House of Praise. Other community involvement includes: creator of the Chatham Cares 4 U initiative; Ichabod Crane Basketball “Midnight Madness” program director, 6 years to present; Board of Directors member of the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene; previous coach for youth programs—St. John’s CYO boys and girls, Little League of Kinderhook, Kinderhook Recreational Soccer Program, Boys Uncle Sam’s Hoopsters travel basketball team.

Past associations and awards include: Jr. Squad Captain of Garrison Volunteer Ambulance, 16 years old; Congressional Medal of Merit, high school senior; chief, Stony Brook University Volunteer Ambulance Corps (VAC); park ranger, City of Peekskill; police officer, City of Peekskill (numerous awards); police officer, Town of Ossining (numerous awards); president, Town of Ossining PBA; DARE officer; juvenile officer; firefighter, Peekskill and Briarcliff fire departments; EMT, Peekskill VAC and Briarcliff FD; first responder on 9-11;

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) World Trade Center for Hudson Valley CISM; Hudson Valley VCISM clinical director and president; appeared on DATELINE, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, Law Enforcement Television Network; representative to United Nations for International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) as an NGO; East Coast Coordinator for ICISF; faculty for ICISF;

2017 ICISF Lifetime Achievement Award; co-creator of Brattleboro Retreat PTSD program for Uniform Services; previous Zone 14 Police Academy director; Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) guest instructor; created “ASAP-Active Shooter Action Program” with UAlbany School of Public Health.

Chief Volkmann is married to Layne Volkmann and has two grown children.

In a statement on his political flyer, Mr. Volkmann said, “Public safety means finding real solutions to difficult problems. I’m running for Sheriff because I believe Columbia County deserves new leadership in law enforcement and new ideas about community policing. I will work hard to build trust between officers and residents so we can take on our toughest challenges together.”

Learn more at

To contact Diane Valden email

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