Harckham Honors Putnam County Sheriff, Department Officers and Good Samaritan

Sen. Harckham with (l-r) retired Lieutenant Sheila Hanley, Deputy William Verrastro, Anthony Catalanotto and Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr.

Carmel, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham honored three members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department—Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr., retired Lieutenant Sheila Hanley and Deputy William Verrastro—plus Anthony Catalanotto, a Good Samaritan, at a special ceremony held this week at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility.

“It is always important to thank the people who are selfless in their courage and sacrifice to keep all of us safe,” said Harckham. “That’s why it is appropriate to show our gratitude to individuals for their extraordinary service to our families and communities, and to fully appreciate how those in service have to leave their families so they can be there for us.”

Harckham first awarded a Senate Proclamation to Hanley, who retired last month after 34 years of service. She joined the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department as a Corrections Officer in September 1987, and was later promoted to Sergeant in 2003 and then to Lieutenant in 2013.

Both Verrastro and Catalanotto were presented with Senate Proclamations and Commendation Awards for their heroic actions following a car accident in August 2021. Verrastro was traveling south on Route 9D in the Town of Philipstown when he observed a vehicle behind him suddenly veer off the road, collide with a tree and catch on fire. With the assistance of Catalanotto, a Putnam County resident also driving along Route 9D, they were able to gain access to the vehicle and free the unconscious woman, carrying her to safety before the vehicle was consumed by flames. 

“Public safety officers like Deputy Verrastro are taught to maintain a 360-degree mode of observation while on duty, and in this case he was able to save someone’s life doing so with the help of Mr. Catalanotto,” said Langley.

Verrastro began his law enforcement career as a correctional officer for the New York State Department of Corrections in 2007 before graduating from the police academy in 2012. He transferred to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department in 2014.

As a surprise to Langley, Harckham also awarded the sheriff a Senate Proclamation for his service to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, which he joined in 1984 as a member of the Corrections Division. As a deputy, Langley served as a criminal investigator assigned to forensics and identification, as a member of the K-9 unit, and as a training officer in emergency communications. He was elected to serve as the 55th Sheriff of Putnam County in 2018, but lost his reelection bid and will leave office next month. Additionally, Langley has long been active in Putnam County as a volunteer fireman.

At the ceremony, Langley presented Then Sheriff Langley presented Verrastro with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department’s Life Saving Medal and the National Sheriff’s Association Medal of Honor.

“These are the finest men and women in law enforcement that I know, and it has been an honor to serve alongside them,” said Langley after the ceremony. “They go beyond the call of duty every single day.”