Incoming undersheriff breaking barriers

When Don Krapf is sworn in as Columbia County’s sheriff in January, he’ll be appointing Jacqueline Salvatore as his undersheriff.

Salvatore is a retired state trooper with 28 years of law enforcement experience. She’ll be making history in the county.

"It’ll be the first time we have a female, woman of color as an undersheriff in a command position with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and to the best of my knowledge, the state of New York," Krapf explained.

Salvatore is no stranger to being a trailblazer.

"I was the sixth Black female in state police," Jackie said.

Jackie spent some of her time as a trooper in Columbia County, and rise through the ranks of New York State Police. Before retiring, she served as a leader in the agency’s Employee Assistance Program, where she helped other troopers with any stressors they may face.

As she gears up to assume her new role as undersheriff, she recognizes she can inspire others to join law enforcement and be the change they wish to see in their community.

"It is really difficult to convince younger people that things are attainable if they’ve not seen anyone who looks like them in that position," she explained.

Salvatore’s main goals as undersheriff include boosting morale among deputies and establishing a strong relationship between the sheriff’s office and the community, where people can bring up their concerns.

"I want them to not be afraid to come up and ask questions and have those conversations," she said. "I think that if we do that and come to the table knowing from my side, the police side, and from the community side that we don’t know it all, but we are also willing to embrace compromise. Then we all win."