Assistant Police Chief Greg Veitch will get a promotion Tuesday.
Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen said he is tapping Veitch to take over for retiring Police Chief Chris Cole. A formal ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the city’s Music Hall.
“It’s a natural step to go from assistant chief to chief,” Mathiesen said about the decision. He noted that Veitch, who was promoted to his current rank in late 2011, is smart, well-versed in the department’s operations, and a good communicator.
His last promotion came after several years as the department spokesman and head of the department’s investigations unit.
Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III described the selection as an excellent choice, and said Veitch will have the support of his office and members of the police department.
“I have had the honor of working with Greg for more than 20 years,” Murphy said. “He’s smart, ethical and dedicated to his profession. I think he will make an excellent chief of police.”
Cole had confidence in Veitch as his successor, saying he is young, talented and has good ideas.
“[Veitch] is respected by the department … and has recognition in the community,” Cole said Thursday. “He has a passion for the job. He’s going to do right by the department.”
Mathiesen noted that some people in the community were calling for him to appoint someone from outside the department, but he felt Veitch’s experience in the community was a valuable asset that couldn’t be matched by an outsider.
Veitch was his “number one choice” when Cole announced his retirement.
The biggest challenges facing Veitch, Mathiesen said, are the department’s staffing levels, which are below 2008 levels, and the large crowds the city can draw. “Every year there is more and more to deal with,” Mathiesen said, noting that the city’s population can more than double on a big day.
Cole, who spent 23 years in the department, announced his plans to retire in late April and his last day will be Monday. He has been credited for his ability to operate the department with a reduced staff.
Murphy previously said of him, “He has been here his whole career … I will certainly miss him at the DA’s office.”