Administrative Staff

Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum

Paul J. Van Blarcum is serving his third four-year term as Ulster County Sheriff. Accomplishments during his administration include the formation of the inter-agency Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (U.R.G.E.N.T.) to fight the scourge of drug-related crime, the Sheriff's Office's continued participation in and leadership of the Ulster County Emergency Response Team (U.C.E.R.T.), the installation of garage shelters to house the Sheriff's Office Mobile Command Post and other specialty vehicles using grant monies, and a sustained campaign targeting child support violators, among other initiatives. He takes pride in his agency's emphasis on working cooperatively with other law enforcement and governmental agencies to prevent crime, catch offenders, and improve public safety, as a way to strengthen the efforts of all and best serve the public.

Paul VanBlarcum joined the Sheriff's Office in June of 1976. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1987 and has served in every division including patrol, investigations, corrections, security, civil, training, marine, and S.C.U.B.A. He is a 2009 graduate of the FBI National Academy, and in 2008 he graduated from the National Sheriff's Institute in Colorado. His career also includes having been past president of the Ulster County Sheriff's Employees' Association and past vice-president of the Ulster County Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association. The Sheriff has completed numerous law enforcement and corrections training schools and courses. His background includes a 1998 tour of service for the United Nations International Police Task Force in war-torn Bosnia. He has been awarded the Ulster County Police Chief's Award and the Pride of Ulster County Award. Having also served on the Onteora School Board and the Shandaken Town Council, Paul is a lifelong resident of Ulster County.

Undersheriff Michael O. Freer

Michael Freer was appointed to the position of Undersheriff in January 2015. He had attained the rank of Captain of Police Services in 2007. Undersheriff  Freer first joined the Sheriff's Office as a Patrol Deputy in 1981, was promoted to Sergeant in 1986 and then to Lieutenant in 2000. A 1975 graduate of New Paltz High School, he holds two degrees in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science and Master's, from Marist College and Boston College respectively.  He has resided in Ulster County since 1959.

Captain Vincent V. Altieri

Captain Altieri joined the Sheriff's Office's Corrections Division in 1985 and was assigned to the Criminal Division in 1987. As a deputy, he served on the Sheriff's Anti-Crime and Narcotics units. As sergeant, he supervised Sheriff's Security personnel in the courts and other County buildings. During his career, Captain Altieri trained in a variety of types of investigation and supervision and is a General Topics instructor. He most recently held the rank of Lieutenant.

Corrections Superintendent James R. Hanstein

James R. Hanstein was appointed by the Sheriff as Corrections Superintendent on August 10, 2009. His thirty-nine years of law enforcement experience include twenty in a supervisory role.  Jim began his career with the Sheriff's Department, rising through the ranks over the course of 11 years attaining the rank of Detective Lieutenant. As Detective Lieutenant, he supervised and handled all internal investigations in the Corrections Division. In 1987 Jim entered on duty with the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he spent 20 years until his retirement in 2007. His last assignment with the FBI was Supervisor of the Undercover Sensitive Operations Unit (USOU). This unit is responsible for all support logistics for all undercover operations in the Northeast region of the United States. He served as the surveillance coordinator during the Beltway Sniper Case. His resume includes being a member of the FBI New York Office Employee Assistance Program (EAP), serving as a Counselor, an FBI-certified Critical Incident Manager, and experience handling EEO matters during his tenure at the FBI.

Chief Civil Officer John McGovern

John M. McGovern was appointed Chief Civil Officer in 2013 and is responsible for the operation of the Civil Division and Pistol Permit Unit. As such, he oversees the service of legal process, income and property executions, execution of warrants of eviction, seizures, civil arrest warrants and issuance of pistol licenses. He is a 1993 graduate of New York University School of Law with over 22 years’ experience in property management and landlord/tenant litigation, a former Assistant District Attorney and a certified General Topics Police Instructor. Mr. McGovern has completed a 70 hour comprehensive course in civil procedure at the New York State Sheriff's Association Institute as well as 105 Hours of Police Supervision training with the Ulster County Law Enforcement Training Group.