Niskayuna – Retiring interim Police Chief Fran Wall stepped just outside the door to the Niskayuna Town Courtroom, and saluted two rows of officers standing at attention as she left Town Hall one final time as a police officer on Friday.
Minutes before the sendoff, Wall, a 36-year police veteran, offered a few remarks to the men and women she has worked with and served over.
“To the residents of the town of Niskayuna, thank you for allowing me to serve and protect you for nearly 36 year,” she said, addressing the nearly 50 people in attendance. “It has been a very rewarding career serving the town. To the officers of the Niskayuna Police Department it has been an honor and a pleasure to work alongside each and every one of you. Continue all of the great work you do for our town and our residents and stay safe.”
She thanked her family for all of their support over the years.
Wall broke away briefly to regain her emotion before tearfully continuing to say she wanted her son to escort her on her final walk out as an officer.
Wall announced in an emailed statement to the department June 3 that she would be retiring, citing issues with the town’s lack of support for changes in the department, including staffing level.
Wall had been named interim chief of the department in July 2020 following the administrative leave and subsequent retirement of Dan McManus.
Wall was the likely pick to fill the chief’s position following the announcement of chief exam test scores, Supervisor Yasmine Syed had said.
Although Wall was represented by the Niskayuna Police Benevolent Association, its president, Officer Chris Henry, said Wall was a mom to the entire department.
“I call her momma Fran,” he said.
During the six and half years Henry worked with Wall he said she always had his back.
“I love Franie, she’s the best,” he said.
Officer Marra Walter said Wall was definitely a mother figure in the department. The fact that she was also a woman on the force was important to Walter too.
“It’s a lot easier to relate to her,” she said.
Deputy Chief Michael Stevens has been placed in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations until another chief can be named. Stevens, Sgt. Todd Frenyea and Sgt. Jordan Kochan are in the running for the chief’sposition.
Wall took the time to hug almost, if not everyone who attended her ceremony. She said she plans to spend more time with her granddaughter now that she’s retired.