Board hires new town constable

— The town of Skaneateles has a new town constable to enforce town laws, particularly at the transfer station and as a town court officer. The new constable, Thomas Adessa, is trained in and will have a variety of law enforcement tools and weapons, and will carry a sidearm while on duty.

The passage of the new local law to create the town constable position, and the subsequent appointment of Adessa to the job, was unanimously agreed to by the town board after a public hearing on the issue at its Jan. 5 meeting.

Resident Joe Southern, who also is a member of the town planning board, was the only person to speak at the public hearing. He questioned the need for a town constable to carry a sidearm.

“I fail to see the need, especially at the transfer station [for a sidearm]. I am strongly against it other than for court security,” Southern said.

During board discussion on the law, after the close of the public hearing, Town Supervisor Terri Roney said the constable will be trained in and will carry all the necessary law enforcement tools and weapons, including a firearm, baton, pepper spray and handcuffs. The constable is not permitted to identify himself as a police officer and is not permitted to make traffic stops.

The constable also is required to maintain all requirements and certifications necessary for the job, such as firearm training, Roney said.

Town Councilor Nancy Murray asked if a firearm was necessary for a constable in all situations, or if the constable would only carry the weapon while acting as town court officer. She felt it should be a “consistent” policy, and had no problem with a firearm being carried by the constable at all times and not only in court.

“I understand where Joe [Southern] is coming from [with his concern], but times have changed and I have no problem with a sidearm,” said Town Councilor Jim Greenfield.

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