ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Three new Deputy Sheriffs were sworn in Friday at a ceremony at the Hazlett Building in downtown Elmira. They are 20-year-old Luca Firestine-Solometo, a graduate from Elmira High School. 29-yea-old Joshua Schmidt is a graduate from Twin Tiers Christian Academy and a former Correction Officer at the Chemung County Jail. 24-year-old Caleb Cardinale is a transfer from the Elmira Heights Police Department. Cardinale will start on Road Patrol right away. Firestone-Solometo and Schmidt will start training at the Police Academy in August.
“How does it feel to be sworn in?” asked 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina.
“It feels great,” said Deputy Schmidt. “It’s something I’ve definitely looked forward to doing my whole life, and to get to this point, I’m definitely excited to keep moving forward and see what happens.”
There were also two promotions. Sargeant David Padgett was promoted to Lieutenant in the Road Patrol. Deputy Thomas Kimble was promoted to Sergeant.
“What is one piece of advice you would give an incoming deputy?” asked Dubina.
“To keep up on physical fitness,” said Sergeant Kimble. “To always be reading your laws, and make sure you keep up with the changes in laws, because they’re always changing. So, it’s all about reading and writing, but it’s also about keeping fit as well. Those two things are something you have to do all the way through, all the way to the end.”
The new deputies are stepping up to serve at a time when law enforcement agencies nationwide are struggling to find new recruits to join the ranks.
“This is a very difficult profession to get into, in this day and age,” said Chemung County Sheriff Bill Schromm. “Law enforcement in general, whether its road patrol or correctional, the changes that we’ve seen in this profession in the last few years have been unprecedented. Recruiting people has been extremely difficult. It’s been an issue that everybody within the state and throughout the country are facing. We are currently down 4 Deputy Sheriff positions, which in my career here of 30 plus years, we’ve never had that many openings at one time. We currently have six full-time positions in our corrections division and 13 part-time positions that we are just unable to fill.”
For more information on how to apply to these positions, visit the Chemung County Sheriff website.