Daniel M. Engert, a three-decade veteran corrections officer and administrator in New York State–and an elected town manager–is the Flagler County Sheriff’s new Division Chief of the Court and Detention Services Division. The position oversees courthouse bailiffs and security and the Flagler County jail. He replaces Steve Cole, who retired late last year.
Sheriff Rick Staly announced Engert’s appointment to the $96,231-a-year position in a release this afternoon.
“Daniel is a recognized expert in corrections and inmate rehabilitation at the state and national level and I am excited to have him join our team,” Staly said. “He has the education, training, experience, and proven leadership skills to take our Court and Detention Services Division to the next level.”
The appointment follows an extensive national search that produced 60 resumes and three finalists, including the sheriff’s office’s own Commander Althea Civil and Joseph DeMore, warden of Butler County Prison in Butler, Penn.
According to the sheriff’s release, Engert served over 29 years in multiple leadership positions with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Division. He started his career in 1990 as a deputy sheriff and was promoted to Deputy Chief Jail Administrator in 2014, where he served until retiring after accepting the position with the Flagler Sheriff’s Office. He will remain a consultant for the town of Somerset for the coming year, according to the Niagara Gazette.
Engert, 49, was a city councilman in the town of Somerset starting in 2007 (on the Republican, Independence and Conservative ticket), then, starting in 2012, was Somerset’s elected town supervisor, the equivalent of town manager (one of his obsessive bugaboos: wind power), by which time he’d already been a 20-year veteran of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. Somerset is a small community of less than 3,000 people on the shores of Lake Ontario, between Niagara Falls and Rochester. Niagara County, in contrast, has a population twice that of Flagler County (215,000). “These are the people we see at school, in the grocery store, at the gas station, and I think that’s a very important aspect of governance,” Engert told the Buffalo News after his election in December 2011. “You have to take into consideration what your neighbor is going through. You need to hear the issues they bring forward.”
He retired from the Niagara Sheriff’s Office upon gaining employment in Flagler, where he will move with his wife and a daughter, officially starting on Jan. 13. He’d also taken his oath of office for a new term as town supervisor Monday (he’d been reelected without opposition), only to tender his resignation today.
He’d done plenty of research about Flagler and the sheriff’s office, according to Chief Mark Strobridge, who’d been the interim jail director since Cole’s retirement.
“He was extremely well prepared for his interviews and he did a lot of research in the community,” Strobridge said. “Kind of like me, he really chose Flagler County probably because of all the reasons we all live here today, because it truly is one of the best pieces of Florida that you can have.”
Staly has already given Engert a set of objectives, among them getting the jail’s health division accredited. That’s the jail’s least reputable division since the death of inmate Anthony Fennick last year, shortly after he was wheeled out of the jail and taken to AdventHealth, after days of what his family says was a fever-ridden illness the staff of the jail health provider at the time, Armor Correctional Health Services, neglected. Staly fired Armor and brought in Southern Correctional medicine.
One of Engert’s ideas so impressed Strobridge during Engert’s interview that it was immediately implemented–a daily review of the jail roster to find out who’s there, why, and whether inmates have health issues, with regular interactions and follow-ups. “When he came and he did the walk-through he was very inquisitive of jail operations and what was going on, he would see something and drill down on the questions,” Strobridge said. “There are a lot of little things I saw him do that made sense to me.”
Another goal Engert has been tasked with: getting a succession plan in place that will “grown and mentor” the next generation of leaders at the jail., Strobridge said.
“It’s an honor and privilege to join the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and to lead the dedicated men and women of the Division,” Engert was quoted as saying in the release. “I was impressed with the jail and court facilities and am looking forward to implementing Sheriff Staly’s vision for the Court and Detention Services Division. I’m very excited to get started serving at the FCSO.”
Engert has a degree in Criminal Justice and holds numerous professional certifications including from the American Jail Association as a Certified Jail Manager and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care as a Certified Correctional Health Professional. He’s served as a jail auditor with the New York State Sheriff’s Association to ensure New York jails are in compliance with accreditation standards and state laws and as a Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act auditor at numerous facilities in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
He’s testified before legislative committees of the New York State Assembly and to Congressional representatives from both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on jail operations, medical and mental healthcare as well as inmate treatment initiatives for substance use disorders. Engert was responsible for the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office receiving numerous accreditation awards and being accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. He was recently recognized and awarded the Gold Key Award from the Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium for his efforts to address addiction and mental health issues in his jail and community.
The semi-finalist went through an extensive two-day interview process along with tours of the current Court and Detention operations at and interaction with agency employees and staff members, witnessing “Christmas with a Deputy” along the way.
Strobridge said the jail will be in the hands of a seasoned and professional leader who’s made his way through corrections for three decades.
Congratulations Mr. Engert. Welcome to Flagler County.
What is with all these previously retired idiots being hired with big salaries while collecting multiple pensions. So being a Republican ensures that you can find a new job to in essence double your income. Trump inspired corruption for sure.
Gary R says
1. Social Security is taken out of one’s paycheck while working. It is received when one retires or goes on disability.
2. Pensions are earned while working for a company for certain number of years or when one becomes vested.
And, you want to blame Trump for this? Trump’s budget request slashes retirement benefits for 2 million federal workers https://www.vox.com/2019/3/12/18261739/trump-budget-2019-federal-workers
Nicole G says
I’m sorry your wrong about the SS what you put in is always not what you get out. So make sure you save up as much as you can. By 2035 (I believe) it just might be depleted. So your paying taxes for others to retire before you (if your not already retired like I went out at age 35 on disability for which I paid directly into that fund).
So you better off staying at a job and getting a pension and retirement. Have a great day.
Randall W. says
I served with Mr. Engert on the Somerset NY Town Board. He is the most dedicated, honest, capable, and hardest working person I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with. He will do a terrific job.
I grew up in Niagara County about 15 miles west of Somerset. It’s an area of good, down to earth folks. Very rural, but within half an hour drive of bigger cities like Niagara Falls and Lockport. Mr. Engert should have no problem fitting in down here. Similar counties in different states. At least he won’t have to plow his driveway anymore. Welcome to the county. PS – Hit up Highjacker’s or the bowling alley for wings. Don’t bother with the pizza here. (It’s not comparable to WNY pizza and you’ll just be disappointed.)
CB from PC says
To Flatsflyer. Take a look at Broward and Dade County.
Plenty of Democrats doing the same.
Fact is no one in the Private Sector has the Pension or Benefits of the Public Sector (exception being Union Workers…good luck in right to work Florida).
And what Party overwhelmingly dominates the Public Sector when it comes to representing Public Sector employees?
Why can’t they hire someone from within instead of another pension grabbing clown from new york ??????
Usage of words such as “idiot” and “clown” directed towards a person none of ya know is pathetic. That isn’t indicative of 99.9% of the residents here.
The man wants to work, so who really cares if he builds more wealth for he and his family. There are two certainties…. we’d all accept the same pay deal if presented the opportunity, and nearly all of us would NOT want to work a jail – arguably one of the nastiest jobs in this country.
Welcome to Flagler, officer. Your whole world just got an upgrade.
Public and private entities often hire outside executives. It makes sense from a personnel standpoint since they don’t have to be concerned about alliances, and they bring a fresh perspective. Beating out 60 applicants certainly doesn’t make one an “idiot”; it makes one a winner in my book. If anything, the “idiots” would be the ones that hired him, and they’re not idiots because they got a qualified employee.
So welcome to Flagler County Mr. Engert, and ignore the “idiots”, I’m sure in your line of work, you’re quite accustomed to dealing with them!