Saratoga Springs police chief eyeing retirement

Saratoga Springs Police Chief Shane Crooks speaks to fellow officers downtown as crowds fill Caroline Street late on a Friday night during the summer of 2021.
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Saratoga Springs Police Chief Shane Crooks speaks to fellow officers downtown as crowds fill Caroline Street late on a Friday night during the summer of 2021.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs Police Chief Shane Crooks is considering retirement after 19 years with the department, almost three as its leader. 

“I have advised the commissioner that I am tentatively looking at a June retirement date,” Crooks said in an email Tuesday.

Crooks began working in law enforcement as a part-time Saratoga County corrections officer in 1997, according to his police department biography. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from SUNY Adirondack and then his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Empire State College. 

After just a year as a corrections officer, Crooks became a Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputy. During his time there, he was a member of the dive team and navigation patrol. He also taught boater safety courses. 

In 2004, Crooks transferred to the city’s police department, working his way through the ranks from patrol officer to investigator, to sergeant, and then patrol division lieutenant before becoming chief during the summer of 2019. 

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino said the city is working from a previous, but still eligible, list of candidates. 

He said a letter was sent out to those officers a couple weeks ago to gauge their interest in the position, prior to scheduling interviews. 

Those candidates are Lt. Robert Jillson, Sgt. Paul Veitch, who currently serves as the department’s public information officer, and Lt. Tyler McIntosh.

Jillson scored highest on the civil service exam with a 99, followed by Veitch with 87, then McIntosh with 80.4, according to civil service documents.. 

Montagnino said one important component of the selection process will be identifying someone who understands the role under the city’s charter. 

“For me, the No. 1 issue is prioritizing community engagement by law enforcement, as well as transparency,” he said. 

Montagnino said Crooks would be part of the interviews. 

Mayor Ron Kim said he’s not part of the hiring process, as the Public Safety Commissioner makes a recommendation. But, Kim did say, “I think it’s a good opportunity for us to look at other leaders within and outside the department, and I hope the commissioner does that.”

Categories: News, News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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