New Public Safety Commissioner Joins County   

Rick Sauer

Monticello, NY – Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek announces the appointment of Rick Sauer as Sullivan County’s Commissioner of Public Safety.

A Liberty resident and former NYS Trooper, Sauer comes to the County with more than 30 years of public safety, law enforcement and emergency response experience. He retired in 2016 as a sergeant with New York State Police Emergency Management at Troop F Headquarters in Middletown, where he helped create and command the Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team (CCSERT) and provided emergency response, planning, evaluation and instruction services throughout the state.

Sauer also served on Troop F’s Counterterrorism Intelligence Unit, as an investigator with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and as a Trooper and training officer, receiving a number of awards and commendations for his 29-year service with the State Police. In addition to 19 years stationed in Sullivan County, Sauer assisted in the massive police responses to the upstate Dannemora Prison break, Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Sauer began his law enforcement career in 1984 with the Greece Police Department in Rochester and then with the police department in his hometown of Olean. But he became involved in emergency services even earlier, serving as an EMT at age 16 and with the campus rescue team while in college.

“I like being part of a team and helping people in their time of need,” he affirms. “And I enjoy giving back to the community.”

He possesses a bachelor’s in criminal justice from SUNY Brockport and a master’s in public administration from Marist College, and Sauer himself has taught state-certification and college-level emergency response, police/community relations and criminal justice courses since 1993. He remains an adjunct professor of criminal justice at SUNY Sullivan and a NYS Fire Instructor.

Sauer began his new position with Sullivan County on November 20, overseeing the E-911 Center, Bureau of Fire, Emergency Training Facility, Bureau of EMS, and Emergency Management. While still acclimating to the role, Sauer hopes to move forward soon with a variety of public safety initiatives.

“This County is my home, and I’m always looking for a challenge,” he says. “I enjoy the adrenaline, the teamwork, and trying different approaches.”

“I look forward to working closely with Rick to protect the public we serve and enhance their safety,” affirms Potosek, who served as the acting commissioner since January. “He is an extremely competent, dedicated and intelligent professional of integrity who is already an asset to Sullivan County.”

“I am thrilled to welcome to County government someone with the experience and drive of Rick Sauer,” adds District 5 Legislator Terri Ward, who chairs the Public Safety Committee of the Sullivan County Legislature. “Time and again, he has demonstrated his commitment to his community and the highest ideals of law enforcement, and I am confident he will compassionately and capably serve the citizens of Sullivan County to his utmost ability.”

A married father of three grown children, Sauer is a longtime resident of Liberty, where he is active as the Liberty Fire Department’s assistant chief and an EMT, along with serving on the Liberty Central School District’s Safety Team. He can be reached at or 845-807-0132.

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