Gloversville police chief plans to retire

It will be a good thing for city residents, for the police department and for Edgar Beaudin if he re

It will be a good thing for city residents, for the police department and for Edgar Beaudin if he retires as police chief next year, he said Tuesday.

After serving the department for nearly 39 years, Beaudin said he is ready to retire in late March or early April, giving his replacement enough time to take the civil service test required to become chief.

“I think it’ll be good for me,” he said. “I’m still young enough to move on to something else if I want to or just retire and go from there.”

Beaudin, 59, said he has no post-retirement plans and is not actively looking for a career change.

He started with the department in 1973 as a patrolman, a position he held until 1990, when he became a detective. In 1992, he became a sergeant assigned to the detective division, and three years later, he served as lieutenant in charge of the division. In 1998, he was promoted to captain.

After then-mayor Tim Hughes suspended then-chief John Harzinski for insubordination in 2007, Beaudin was appointed acting police chief, a position that became official the next year when Harzinski retired.

Beaudin said it will be hard to walk away from a department he has served for nearly four decades but it’s time to leave.

“I think it’ll be not only good for me but also for the city,” Beaudin said. “There are obviously people here that are capable of doing the job. They’re younger than me, they have younger ideas and it’s time to move on.”

To be eligible to be police chief, a candidate needs to pass a civil service examination offered by the state. The mayor would then appoint the candidate to the position, with approval from the City Council.

Beaudin said Capt. John Sira and Capt. Donald VanDeusen are both “equally qualified” to serve as his replacement.

“The command staff here works with me daily,” he said. “They know the inner workings and what has to be done, so I’m sure that both of them are familiar with the job and know what it encompasses.”

VanDeusen declined to comment Tuesday “out of respect to the current chief,” who he said “does an excellent job here.” Sira did not return calls seeking comment.

Mayor Dayton King said he hopes to have an open, competitive civil service exam, in which people from outside the department or even out of the area could come in to take the test.

“I’d like to put it out there just to see what our opportunities are,” King said. “Our budget is very tight, but I think as far as the police department is concerned, we should have a chief and someone in that command spot.”

For the approximately 30-person department, it’s important that city officials look at their priorities when it comes to public safety, Beaudin said. As local government works to scale back financially, cuts to public safety and law enforcement can be dangerous at a time when crime doesn’t appear to be decreasing, he said.

Beaudin said the city of Gloversville has dealt with various crime waves in his time with the department. In 1998, there were five homicides in and around the city of Gloversville.

“It was unusual and not something that usually happens here. And again it peaked this summer,” he said, referring to a three-week stretch that saw two shootings and a stabbing in Gloversville. “But overall I would say that Gloversville is a safe place and we are trying to make it better every day.”

Even though his plans to retire next spring aren’t set in stone, Beaudin said he doesn’t think anything will change his mind. He plans to stay with the department for the next several months so that nobody is under pressure to immediately take the civil service test and pass.

By the end of January or February, Beaudin said the retirement plans should be finalized.

“I don’t really see myself not retiring,” he said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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