Village of North Syracuse Police Chief Thomas Connelly has resigned.
The police chief's resignation was announced at the May 24 village board meeting. The resignation was accepted by the village board, giving Mayor Mark Atkinson the power to appoint an interim chief for three months. No candidates were brought forth at the meeting.
The move opens the village up to looking for other candidates for the position, something that did not appear likely in the past when waivers were signed, according to Atkinson. The New York State 211 waiver allows local police chiefs to receive their municipality pay check while also getting retirement benefits from former state employment.
“All I know is every year we got to sign a letter saying you can have the waiver and then they send out a canvassing letter to the police chiefs, but no one ever put their name in for a job, so I didn't sign the waiver," Atkinson said.
Connelly was receiving checks as both a retired New York State trooper and as the village's police chief.
One board member saw the change as an opportunity.
“I think this is a perfect opportunity for village residents to let us know how they want to shape our police department so that we can get the police chief who has our vision and move forward with the police department that we can all afford and that will work in our best interests,” said Trustee Paul Linnertz.
Connelly was not available for comment at press time, but the mayor emphasized his appreciation for the chief's service to the community.
“The first thing I would like to say is that the chief did a fantastic job for us,” Atkinson said. “He was the right person at the right time. When he came in here he was exactly what we needed.”