Proposed Schenectady budget cuts assistant police chief

Monday, October 15, 2012
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— Assistant Police Chief Jack Falvo may be demoted in two months if the 2013 budget is approved as written, according to the mayor.

Falvo’s $125,054 position, as assistant chief in charge of personnel management, has been eliminated in the proposed 2013 budget. Mayor Gary McCarthy said the other assistant chiefs would absorb the personnel tasks, which include recruiting and running background checks to ensure the department hires trustworthy officers.

Police Chief Mark Chaires would not comment on the situation.

But McCarthy said the Police Department thought one of the assistant chiefs would be promoted to chief, leaving three others to continue as assistant chiefs.

“That’s what the department is assuming,” he said.

But McCarthy won’t hire any of the assistant chiefs, because none of them live in the city. Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett is now preparing to run the department alone for however long it takes before one of the assistant chiefs agrees to move here.

If none of them do, under certain circumstances the city could eventually ask for a new Civil Service test in an attempt to find other qualified candidates. Three of the assistant chiefs took and passed that test this year; Falvo did not.

The 2013 budget includes money for the chief, but that money can’t be used to pay an assistant chief even if the chief’s position is vacant, McCarthy said.

“You have to have a position to staff it,” he said. “There will be a reduction in staff.”

McCarthy said Falvo could bump down to a lieutenant’s position rather than being laid off. There are vacancies in the department now, so bumping would likely not lead to any layoffs.

McCarthy also said that if an assistant chief moves to the city, they won’t be guaranteed the chief’s position.

“They will be on a probationary period,” he said.

During that period, he can fire the chief for almost any reason. He said he wants the next chief to make significant improvements, or he’ll fire him and hire the next assistant chief. He noted that he has three to choose from — or try out — and he’s confident that the competition will create results.

“You will see a dramatic change,” he said.

McCarthy has criticized the department for its solve rate, which is lower than similar cities, and the high number of unserved warrants for felonies and misdemeanors. He also wants officers to respond to calls faster and for crime to go down significantly.

McCarthy noted that the 2013 budget has not yet been approved by the City Council. Falvo’s position could be saved — or another assistant chief’s position cut — during the process. But he stands by his plan to eliminate Falvo’s position.

“That’s the recommendation in the budget. We’re going to go through the process,” McCarthy said.

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October 15, 2012
12:31 a.m.
ajames says...

It's about time.

October 15, 2012
7:27 a.m.
wmarincic says...

If you get rid of an asst. chief the money saved needs to be used to hire more police to fix the quality of life issues in Schenectady. King Gary is an idiot.

October 15, 2012
9:21 a.m.
justapto says...

You guys voted this court jester into office over the team of Roger Hull and Neal Golub. Two people who have devoted so much time, energy and funds for free to the city.
What a joke and payback to the unions.
$100,000 salaries being paid to people who don't live in the city and contribute by paying city taxes.
$30,000 income people going bankrupt and losing their homes to make these guys RICH.
Thanks Dictator Gary and your greedy clan of followers.

October 15, 2012
10:27 a.m.
magical says...

jack falvo is the most giving person i know. jack has tried for years to establish a house to honor his son jack, jr. for seriously ill patients (families)who are at ellis hospital from out of town to have someplace to stay at durring their family members treatment at ellis hospital, similar to ronald mcdonald house and the city of schenectady wont let him establish this house because the house intended for this purpose is in the g.e. plot and near union college campus and the city council says that the house would not fit into this type of neighborhood (what type of neiborhood is it, snobish and rich people), i pray they are not this type of neighbors, jack has given this project his heart and soul for many years after his son jack,jr. passed away after a traject accident. jack was devistated by this loss and is trying to give schenectady its own ronald mcdonald house at no cost to the city and the blind men who lead this city have turned him down by not letting him purchase the house accross the street from ellis hospital and now they are again trying to knock him down again by letting his salary slip out of the city budget or being left off intentionally, jack should just retire and teach these council members that dedication and the knowledge that jack has is hard to replace these days,jack you are a very good person and deserve more from this great city that we have called home all of our lives--from one high school buddy to antoher. magical

October 15, 2012
10:36 a.m.
cfield says...

I seriously doubt the Mayor could even tell you what the solve rate for the PD is, let alone other departments.

Response times have improved. You cannot encourage 20 people to retire, work short staffed and expect service to not suffer. And, the Department has been reduced from an authorized strength of 166 to 150. And, it takes the replacments a while to get trained up.

Shots fired, Robbery rates, and car breaks (biggest category of larcenies) are down. They've teamed with the feds to send over 70 violent offenders away to prison for a very long time.

More of the same from the Mayor - deflecting blame to distract people from the City's financial situation, because his fingerprints are all over that mess.

October 15, 2012
11:08 a.m.
seawitch1313 says...

Magical.......I couldnt have said it better myself! Jack is one of the few honest, hard working, moral officers the city has ever had. To demote him, would be a complete lack of respect for all he has done, and all he is. The SPD needs more officers of his caliber (no pun intended)and character. I cant believe there is no Grandfather clause to keep him in his position.
And why is it, the media always has to mention a persons salary....It's really none of our business!

It is a total shame the red tape they're having to go thru to accomplish such a selfless act in trying to set up Jacks Place, in honor of their son. Not to mention the endless hours the family and the board has put in, and refused to give up. J'sP would not only benefit the families of children staying at the hospital it would mean more jobs, and more people spending money in Schenectady. To me thats a no brainer!
Schenectady's political agendas disgust me.

Hang in there Jacky....good karma always comes back around ;)


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