Police chief, DPW head sworn into office

PHOTOGRAPHER:
New Gloversville Police Chief Anthony Clay was administered the oath of office during Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — Mayor Vincent DeSantis on Tuesday administered the oath of office to the city’s new chief of police, Anthony Clay, and new Department of Public Works director, Christopher Perry.

Clay was formally appointed chief of police by the Common Council on Feb. 25, effective March 1 following the retirement of Police Chief Marc Porter effective Feb. 29 after 22 years of service. Porter recommended Clay, then the captain of operations, as his successor to the Common Council while publicly announcing his retirement plans on Jan. 14.

Clay was a 20-year veteran of the police department holding the rank of captain of the detective division when he retired in August 2015 to become a stay-at-home dad to his new daughter. He continued to work with the department as a information technology contractor servicing the department’s systems following his retirement and agreed to return to the force in March 2019 to fill the role of second in command serving as captain to the department.

At the time Clay was reinstated Porter said the department had been unable to fill the position following the retirement of Capt. Michael Scott in January 2018 as existing police staff did not have sufficient time or grade to qualify for the position under civil service requirements.

After being officially sworn in as chief of police on Tuesday, Clay provided the Common Council an update on activities at the police department reporting that the department has been awarded a 2020-21 Livescan Equipment Program grant through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

The state grant will cover 50 percent of the cost of purchasing new electronic fingerprinting equipment to replace equipment that has been in use by the department for about 10 years. The city will provide a 50 percent match estimated at $2,500.

Grant funds can only be used for the purchase and installation of equipment that will replace outdated or end of life equipment. Equipment purchased utilizing grant funds must have the capability to transmit fingerprints to DCJS for identification purposes, for arrest submissions for both juveniles and adults, to update the sex offender registry and for submission to the FBI. Units are also required to have palm capture functionality.

Clay additionally announced that the department’s new K-9 member, RJ, successfully completed narcotics training through the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and assumed regular patrol duties with his handler, Officer Michael Quattrocchi, on March 2.

“He is now a full-fledged member of our department,” said Clay. “We’ve already been using him several times for his skills with success, so that’s a great benefit to the department.”

Prior to attending the narcotics training, RJ and Quattrocchi attended the Capital District K-9 Training Group Basic Patrol Academy that certified the K-9 to perform patrol work covering tracking, article searches, obedience and apprehension. The 640 hour K-9 training program offered through the Albany County Sheriff’s Department ran from Sept. 2 through Dec. 20.

A formal graduation ceremony from the Narcotics Certification Program will take place at the Albany County Courthouse on March 27. The program prepared the police dog to detect several illicit substances including heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Also sworn in Tuesday was Christopher Perry, the city’s new DPW director. The Common Council on Feb. 11 approved a motion confirming the mayor’s appointment of Perry as the DPW director following the resignation of former Director Dale Trumbull effective Feb. 7.

Prior to accepting the city position, Perry resided in Ohio where he served as a unit manager for the Lakewood DPW overseeing a staff of 32 employees in a city with a population of approximately 52,000. Activities at the Lakewood DPW where Perry was employed for 10 years were comparable to the activities and services performed by the city DPW. Perry and his wife reportedly have relatives in the capital region and visited the area on several previous occasions while vacationing in the Adirondacks where they planned to one day retire.

Perry was one of five or six applicants for the DPW director’s position and was one of three applicants interviewed by the personnel committee. He was the most distant respondent to the online job posting for the position on indeed.com and conducted an initial interview by phone before visiting the city for a second interview. No applications were received from current DPW employees.

Perry stepped into his new position in the city on Monday and provided the Common Council a brief overview of his activities after taking the oath of office on Tuesday.

“I’m kind of on a fact finding mission looking at equipment needs, facilities, infrastructure, kind of lay of the land of the city and what the challenges are and looking ahead to next winter already, assessing our equipment needs, what we have and don’t have, just trying to gather as much information as possible to make good decisions based on facts and not assumptions as soon as I can,” said Perry.

“I can’t say enough about the people I’ve met so far who have been very welcoming and made me feel at home already, so I’m grateful for that and anxious to move forward and get into everything that entails public works,” he added.

By Patricia Older

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