Sheriff looking for religious leaders for new program

Sheriff’s Office Calling on Religious Leaders for Assistance

Sheriff David P. Bartlett announces that the Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division is working to involve religious leaders as a resource when the county Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated due to a large emergency incident or disaster.

Sheriff Bartlett recognizes that places of worship, congregations and religious leaders play a large role within the communities of Columbia County and that they are an important resource during times of a crisis. They can provide support in the areas of short term sheltering, food & water distributions centers, emotional and spiritual support, counseling and assistance with special needs individuals.

Sheriff Bartlett states, “By working together with religious leaders, we can ensure that our community has an extra level of support during an emergency situation.”

Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Deacon Warren “Ed” Dorsch has been asked to form a group of religious leaders from different faiths to help bring additional resources and support to area residents in need during disasters. Chaplain Deacon Dorsch will act as the religious leader present in the EOC as a liaison for religious organizations in an affected area. A disaster, crisis or declared emergency in Columbia County may include anything man-made or natural; from damaging winds, a county-wide electrical power outage to an active shooter or biological incident.

The Columbia County Emergency Management Office will be sending a letter to every religious leader in Columbia County. The letter will include a survey questionnaire designed to collect contact information and their availability of resources. If you are a religious leader with a worship site in Columbia County and have not received the letter by November 8, 2019, please send an email to Chaplain Deacon Warren Dorsch at or leave a message with your contact information at 518 828-1212 and a survey will be sent.

Chaplain Dorsch is a Deacon from St. James Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, a retired NYS Police Zone Sergeant a former Columbia County Undersheriff. The all-volunteer planning committee working with Deacon Dorsch is: Rev. Kim Singletary, Overcomers Ministries International, Hudson, NY; Pastor Dan Herrick (retired), Reformed Dutch Church; Rabbi Dan Fried, Congregation Anshe Emeth, Hudson, NY; Pastor Jaron Halstead, Rock Solid Church, Hudson, NY; and Rev. Iris Waddell (retired), Payne AME Church, Chatham, NY.

Picture L-R: Deacon Warren Dorsch, Pastor Dan Herrick, Emergency Management Deputy Director Mark Van Vorst, Pastor Iris Waddell, Rev. Kim Singletary, Sheriff David Bartlett, Pastor Jaron Halstead, Lieutenant William Hilscher, Emergency Management Director David Harrison Jr.

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