SARATOGA SPRINGS — Lt. Tyler McIntosh will be the next chief of the Saratoga Springs Police Department has been named the next police chief.
His promotion will become official once Shane Crooks, current head of the force, retires on June 30, according to a press release from Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino.
“I would like to congratulate Lt. McIntosh on his promotion to chief and wish him the best of luck on his future endeavors,” Crooks said.
Crooks has been with the city police department since 2004 and chief since the summer of 2019. Montagnino said everyone will miss Crooks.
“He’s been a very stable influence on the department,” he said. “He’s a very ethical and very capable leader and he will be missed and we thank him for his many years of service.”
McIntosh thanked Montagnino and other officials for having confidence in him and picking him to serve as the next chief, and said he is honored to serve in the position.
“I look forward to the opportunity and continuing to serve the flourishing city of Saratoga Springs and leading the exceptional members of the police department with the utmost honor, integrity and respect,” McIntosh said in a provided statement.
McIntosh was one of three people eligible for the position after passing the civil service exam. Lt. Robert Jillson retired earlier this year, leaving just McIntosh and Sgt. Paul Veitch up for the position.
Montagnino had been trying to get the civil service to allow him to open the position up to people outside the department, but the plans never came to fruition. Montagnino said another exam was just given for the position but the list of those who passed was not available yet.
Montagnino said McIntosh has stood out to him since he met him.
“He’s got such an incredible resume,” Montagnino said. “You look at the objective criteria and you see somebody with proven leadership skills that go beyond just the police department.”
McIntosh began working in the department in 2012 after graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh that year. He went on to get a master’s in public administration, with a concentration in leadership, from Marist College in 2019, according to the release. He also has a graduate certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia, and is set to graduate from the FBI National Academy on June 8.
Beyond working for the police department, McIntosh has been with the United States Army Reserve and New York Army National Guard since 2006, currently holding the rank of major, according to the release.
During his time with the military, he was deployed during to Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also served in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017 and in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for Operation Enduring Freedom.
McIntosh has moved through the ranks of the department starting as a patrolman, then patrol sergeant and then patrol lieutenant. He took over as the accreditation lieutenant after Jillson retired earlier this year.
McIntosh also sits on the Downtown Advisory Committee, which formed in the aftermath of the Nov. 20 shooting to create new safety measures downtown.
Montagnino called McIntosh an “all-around proven leader,” who has “excelled at everything he’s been asked to do.”
But, Montagnino said McIntosh also goes above and beyond, stepping forward to take on tasks.
“Just for example look at last summer he was physically present on Caroline Street in the wee hours of the morning on the weekends making sure that the area was safe,” he said. “That’s the kind of job he does.”
McIntosh holds several military honors and was named the city force’s Officer of the Year in 2015. The police chief position pays around $134,000, according to Montagnino.
McIntosh’s hiring doesn’t come without controversy, though. McIntosh was one of the six officers named in the case of Darryl Mount, a 21-year-old biracial man who died during a pursuit by police in August 2013. Mount died from injuries he sustained following a fall from a 19-foot scaffold.
Montagnino said that history did play a role in his decision.
Montagnino said, based on his 37-page review of the incident, it showed McIntosh “acting entirely appropriately and did exactly what he was trained to do and required to do under the circumstances.”
He said McIntosh has been accused of murder and “being an executioner,” but never let those accusations get to him.
“He’s never taken the bait,” Montagnino said. “Never done anything to indicate that’s gotten under his skin. He knows that he’s done nothing wrong, that he did everything right and he’s confident in himself, and that goes a long way and helped me in making the decision.”
Saratoga Black Lives Matter founder Lexis Figuereo said McIntosh’s promotion goes against what Montagnino said in December 2021, when he was quoted in the Gazette as stating Robin Dalton’s plans to promote someone to assistant police chief was the “wrong move” and “not appropriate” while the city was under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.
That investigation remains ongoing.
“I think this just shows the contradiction of Jim Montagnino,” Figuereo said. “This is who he is, he lies.”
Figuereo also said the promotion of McIntosh doesn’t make any sense when he scored the lowest on the civil service test. Jillson scored a 93, Veitch a 87 and McIntosh an 80.4.
But, beyond the test scores, Figuereo said McIntosh’s promotion is a “slap in the face” to Mount’s family and anyone fighting for justice for Mount. The Mount family currently has a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
Figuereo said this promotion will only cause more divide between community members and the police department. He said members of BLM plan to be at the next city council meeting to speak out against McIntosh’s promotion.
Mayor Ron Kim said he was not aware of McIntosh’s promotion until an employee showed him the police department’s Facebook post regarding the promotion.
Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @ByBriere.