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Christopher J. Carlin

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Protecting Niagara: A History of the Niagara County Sheriff's Office
Christopher Carlin  More Info

About the Niagara County Sheriff's Department

On April 2, 1821, Niagara County separated from what became Erie County, retaining all lands north of Tonawanda Creek. By this time that area contained the original towns of Niagara, Lewiston, Porter, Wilson, Cambria, Hartland and Royalton. The county seat was first located in the Village of Lewiston, and the first court session of the newly divided county held at the school house in Lewiston in what is today known as Academy Park.


Today, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department is a modern law enforcement agency where sheriff deputies use red and white patrol vehicles to respond to calls for service. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Department deputies in the patrol division work frozen shifts, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, 4:00 pm to 12:00 pm, 12:00 pm to 8:00 am, assignment is based on seniority. A Sheriff's Captain and Sergeant supervise each shift. The twelve towns in the county are divided into zones numbered 1 through 12. A deputy is assigned to patrol a designated zone responding to calls in that area.


Like most county sheriff’s, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department has a large custody function. The first Niagara County Jail, built in the Village of Buffalo, was completed in 1810. The structure, a solidly built stone building had been erected just north of the courthouse on Washington Street. In 1813, the British invaded and burned the village including the jail. Fortunately, the building being so solid suffered little damage. After some rehabilitation, the building served as the jail until Erie County constructed a new one in 1867. After the redistricting of Erie and Niagara Counties in 1821, all county buildings were retained by Erie County. Until Niagara County could build a jail of its own, prisoners continued to be housed in the Buffalo facility.


In addition to patrol and custody functions, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department has a number of specialized functions such as the Aviation Unit; Civil Process Division; Communications; Community Services; Crime Scene Identification; Criminal Investigation Bureau; DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education); Domestic Violence; Drug Task Force; Forensic Lab; Juvenile Bureau; Law Enforcement Academy; Marine Division; Mounted Division; Records Department; Transport, Court & Building Security Division; Underwater Recovery; Victims Assistance Unit; Warrant Division; Welfare Fraud Unit; and, outh Explorer Program


The Niagara County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit consists of three Bell Jet Ranger helicopters, four pilots and eight tactical flight officers. The unit performs aviation operations in support of the Niagara County Sheriff Department and local police agencies. Typical operations include drug interdiction, search and rescue operations and aerial surveillance. Unit members must pass flight physicals and be trained in a wide variety of equipment that is used during the normal unit operations.




Christopher J. Carlin is the Chief Deputy of Uniformed Operations with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, with more than 24 years of law enforcement experience. Chief Deputy Carlin began his law enforcement career with the United States Army Military Police in Germany. He joined the sheriff’s department in 1982 as a road patrol deputy. He served in that position until 1989 when he was promoted to Sergeant. That year, he became the first Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer and established the DARE Program in Niagara County. In 1994 he was promoted to Investigator in the Criminal Investigation Bureau. In 2004, Sheriff Thomas Beilein appointed Carlin to the position of Chief Deputy


Chief Deputy Christopher Carlin is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Leadership Development Course. He has obtained his Associates in Applied Sciences Degree in Criminal Justice from Niagara County Community College and a Bachelor of Sciences Degree from Empire State College in Criminal Justice Public Administration.


Christopher Carlin is a thirty year veteran of the military, serving on active duty with the U. S. Army from 1976 to 1979. He has served in the NY Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve since 1981. Carlin is assigned as a special agent with the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Hill AFB, Utah. Following September 11th, 2001, he was activated and mobilized to assignments in Georgia, Washington D. C. and Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He was activated from March to September 2006 and proudly served in Baghdad, Iraq with the multi-agency task force, Joint Interagency Task Force-High Valued Individuals.  Deputy Chief Christopher Carlin is the author of Protecting Niagara: A History of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

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