Village of Montgomery Deputy Chief Paul Arteta is Orange County’s new sheriff.
“We’re going to do great things in this county. We’re going to collaborate with all the Chiefs of Police, we’re going to work with all our federal partners and we’re going to get the job done fighting crime in this county,” said Arteta after finding out the election news.
Arteta grew up in Wallkill and later graduated from Wallkill High School. After this he attended many different academies and universities, including Rockland County Police Academy in 1996, Nyack College where he earned his Bachelor of Science in 1999, the FBI National Academy Class #248 in 2012 and University of San Diego where he earned his Masters in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership in 2020.
Arteta’s law enforcement career began in 1992 when he realized a bunch of friends were working at the Orange County Jail. Arteta was interested in law enforcement then and his friends told him to take the test so he could also work at the jail. “I told some of my friends from high school that I’d really like to get into some type of law enforcement, and a bunch of my friends from high school were working at the Orange County Jail, so they said ‘Take the test.’ I took the test and that’s how I got into corrections,” said Arteta.
By 1994 Arteta was on road patrol and working just about every division in the sheriff’s office. “I worked as deputy road patrol and then I was promoted to investigator and I did background physical permits and crime scenes. I was the certified fingerprint expert in Orange County Court,” mentioned Arteta.
After a few years Arteta became Sergeant of Road Control and later Sergeant of Investigations. “While I was there I got the unique opportunity to work on the Safe Streets Task Force with the FBI which is a gang task force. I worked there for about five years.”
The sheriff and district attorney at the time tasked Arteta with creating the Orange County Drug Task Force in 2013. This is still successful today.
After that, Arteta was promoted to Captain of the patrol division. During this role, he helped get WiFi installed and computers put in police vehicles. “We brought some of the sheriff’s offices into the twenty-first century,” said Arteta.
In 2020, Arteta retired and began his job as deputy police chief with the Village of Montgomery.
“When I walked in the door we were in the midst of the new bail reform legislation and the chief and I both revamped the entire policy procedure and just about everything in the agency, and we applied for accreditation.”
Arteta’s decision to run for sheriff comes from his constant desire to excel in every position he is in. He mentions he always strives to do the best job possible.
In light of this, Arteta recalls a dinner he had with former Sheriff Frank Bigger around the time his (Arteta’s) son was born. At the dinner, Bigger asked, “What do you want to get out of this job?” Arteta responded, saying, “I want your job.”
Arteta, of course, has many goals he hopes to meet during his new role as Orange County Sheriff. He hopes to enhance the Narcotics Task Force, mentioning that too many young lives are being lost to overdose. “We’re fighting some of the reform and some of the new legislation that’s come out of Albany as far as incarcerating individuals, but we’re gonna strive hard and do a better job at removing fentanyl and a lot of these other illicit drugs off the streets,” said Arteta.
He also would like to work more with the inmate population by teaching and giving them tools to reacclimate to society. Arteta mentions doing this by encouraging them to look into trades rather than college. “I’ve spoken to a lot of our labor unions and they’re very interested in trying to come in and speak to our prison population about coming into the trades; not so much worrying about college. We should try to seek them to get into the trades and trades pay very well.”
On top of this, Arteta just wants to work better with the community and possibly encourage the youth to look into careers in law enforcement.
“Thank you, Orange County! Together, we delivered an overwhelming victory and I’m honored to be your new Sheriff-elect,” Arteta wrote in a Facebook post.
Arteta lives in the Town of Montgomery with his wife Lacey Arteta who works in the district’s attorney office as a confidential assistant. He is also a father to one son and two daughters.