Michael J. Sollohub took the oath of office as one of the newest Niskayuna town police officers Tuesday night, stumbling over a word or two.
But the 1998 Niskayuna High grad and son of the former police chief wasn’t nervous.
“Just excited,” Sollohub said afterward.
Sollohub and fellow recruits Nicholas J. Pardi and Jordan M. Kochan were appointed Tuesday night as the newest town police officers. All three are to begin at the police academy next month.
The three are also part of the largest Niskayuna police recruit class in nearly 40 years — since 1971 — Police Chief Lewis Moskowitz said. They are filling vacancies left by recent retirements. The department has just under 30 members.
One of the men they’ll be replacing is Patrolman Jeff Thomas, whose last day is Friday after 29 years with the department.
Thomas had the distinction of running the high school internship program, taking students on ride-alongs. Recruits Sollohub and Pardi participated in high school.
Town officials noted that all three are Niskayuna residents and Niskayuna High graduates. Kochan graduated in 2000 and Pardi in 2001.
All three were also recruited by other departments but chose Niskayuna, Moskowitz said.
“I think you all made the best choice,” he said.
Two are following fathers into police work. Sollohub’s father, Mark Sollohub, served with the department for 32 years, retiring in January 2005. Pardi follows Louis Pardi, who retired from the Schenectady Police Department in 2003 as assistant chief.
The elder Pardi said he tried to stay out of his son’s decision. Recruit Pardi, an Iraq veteran, said it was an easy decision.
“I grew up here, I know the town, I know a lot of people here,” he said. “For all the reasons you want to be a cop, you want to be a cop in the town that you grew up in.”
As for the dads, former chief Sollohub expressed pride in seeing his son enter police work. He said he never expected it.
“He grew up with me working here,” he said. “He knows the ups, the downs, the hard parts and the easy parts.”
Kochan is the first in his family to be a police officer.
His father, however, played no less of a role, he said.
“My dad always taught me the core values of discipline and to be a man of integrity,” Kochan said.
Also Tuesday night, three residents of the Rosehill Boulevard-Rowe Road area asked the Town Board for help fighting washout problems.
Sunday rains dumped just over 2 inches in 45 minutes on the town, Supervisor Joe Landry said later.
Rosehill Boulevard resident Joe Daniello asked for help, saying residents of the area have suffered damages from three different storms since 2003. The first storm, he said, was called the storm of the century.
“I think we’re at the point where they can no longer even be considered the storm of the decade, three times in five years,” Daniello said. He said he did not sustain damage, but others did.
Landry said he intends to talk with residents to see what can be done in the area.
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