Amsterdam mayor taps new police chief

A 23-year veteran of the Amsterdam Police Department who now heads its detective bureau will serve a

A 23-year veteran of the Amsterdam Police Department who now heads its detective bureau will serve as the city’s new police chief.

Mayor Ann Thane on Tuesday named Detective Lt. Gregory J. Culick as provisional chief of the department, lauding his law enforcement career and support from his fellow officers.

“Greg’s tremendous support by the people that he works with was very instrumental in my decision, as well as his clear and steady focus on his mission and the department,” Thane said.

Thane described Culick as “steady, very even-tempered and very organized.”

The appointment is provisional pending a civil service promotional examination, and a salary for the position was unclear Tuesday.

Culick, 46, said he intends to maintain what he describes as a “tight department” and keep a focus on battling drug crimes as department officials have in the past.

“That’s paramount to keeping things from going awry in this city,” he said.

Drug use leads to larcenies, burglaries and robberies as addicts search for cash to buy more drugs, he said.

“As goes the drug trade, so goes the city … keeping the pressure there is going to be a main objective,” he said.

An Amsterdam High School graduate, Culick went on to earn an associate degree in criminal justice from Fulton-Montgomery Community College before joining the force in 1988.

He’s served as a part-time welfare fraud investigator for the Montgomery County Social Services Department since 1992.

Culick was elevated to detective in 1996 and then detective sergeant in 1998 before earning the rank of detective lieutenant in December 2009, according to his résumé.

The appointment is made on a provisional basis pending results of a civil service exam that Culick said takes about six hours.

Other APD members scheduled to take the exam are Deputy Chief Victor Hugo, Detective Sgt. Owen Fuhs and Sgt. Carl Rust.

“They’re all very talented people; it was a very difficult decision,” Thane said.

Culick will take over for Thomas Brownell, who served as chief for 15 years during a 37-year law enforcement career before retiring Friday.

The department has about 40 police officers and a budget of roughly $3 million.

Categories: Schenectady County

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