Captain of Detectives Donald VanDeusen became Police Chief Donald VanDeusen through unanimous resolution of the Gloversville City Council at its work session Tuesday night.
VanDeusen, a 22-year veteran of the force, replaces Edgar Beaudin, who retired in early April after 39 years with the department, the last four as chief. Van Deusen will earn $88,500 annually.
VanDeusen will not be allowed to sell back unused leave time to the city and will pay 25 percent of his health insurance premiums, which puts him in line with other non-bargaining department heads in city government. VanDeusen said his contract will save the city $7,000 annually.
Beaudin earned a total of $94,097 in 2011, making him the top earner in the city. His base pay was $75,836; he collected the rest in holiday and sick day buyouts. He was the only one in the police department to take advantage of the sick day buyout option, as the city and Police Benevolent Association halted the practice with the 2005 contract.
In an emotional statement after he was sworn in, VanDeusen told the audience, “I will do the best job I can do for you.”
The audience consisted of 23 members of the 30-member police department, as well as friends and VanDeusen’s wife, son and daughter.
“I would like to thank the mayor and the City Council for the confidence they have shown in me,” he said. To the police officers, he said, “It means a lot to me for you to be here tonight.”
When VanDeusen was done speaking, the police officers, his family and other members of the audience stood and applauded.
He started as a patrol officer in 1990, became a detective in 1997 and was promoted to detective sergeant in 2006. In July 2010, he became captain of the detective division, replacing the newly promoted Beaudin.
“I had no idea this would happen 22 years ago,” he said.
VanDeusen praised his wife, Mary Katherine, for helping him study for the chief ’s civil service test and for sticking by him during his career. “This job takes a lot out of your family life,” he said.
VanDeusen will manage a department of 20 patrol officers, five sergeants, two detectives and two captains. The department has recorded 3,500 calls for service since the first of the year, about 500 fewer than in the same period last year.
With VanDeusen’s appointment, Mayor Dayton King said he expects to see officers move up in rank and to hire a new patrol officer. The city will likely fill the captain of detective’s position with a detective sergeant, which would open up a detective’s position. A patrol officer may then move into the detective’s position, opening up a patrol officer’s spot, which, in turn, will allow the city to hire a recruit out of the police academy.
VanDeusen said he does not plan to make drastic changes in department operations. “We have a good department,” he said. He added that he will step up community policing efforts by having more officers walk beats downtown.
VanDeusen is the second person to be named police chief recently in Fulton County. Earlier, Mark Gifford officially became chief in the city of Johnstown, but there was no formal ceremony. Gifford’s appointment was contingent on his passing the chief’s civil service exam. Results of the exam were announced within the last week, with Gifford passing.
He was provisionally appointed the city’s newest police chief by the Common Council last July. He had been a lieutenant in the department.