ALBANY - Sergeants and investigators topped the list of highest earners among local state police, according to numbers recently released to The Daily Gazette.
The top 10 earners in Troop G, which covers 10 counties in the greater Capital Region, each earned at least $174,000 in 2017. The top earner, Zone Sgt. Charles R. Wayland, earned just over $193,000, according to the state numbers released as a result of a Freedom of Information Law request.
Those numbers compare to the nearly $209,000 earned by the top earner in Troop T, which covers the Thruway, Trooper Glen Williams, and to the $250,570 earned by the state police's top earner statewide, Zone Sgt. Fred R. Atkinson. According to the state police news site, Atkinson is from Troop B, which covers the Plattsburgh area.
The Daily Gazette requested the numbers in a FOIL request Jan. 31. The Gazette makes other similar requests of local municipalities in January and February and added the state police to the list this year. The state police request consisted of the top earners statewide, as well as for the local Troop G and Troop T, which includes the Capital Region stretch of the Thruway.
- Police dominate Schenectady's top-10 earners list, Jan 11, 2018
- Top Schenectady County earners make close to $200,000, Jan. 18, 2018
- Police make up bulk of Niskayuna's top earners, Feb. 2, 2018
State police acting records access officer Richard W. Lynch issued a decision on the Gazette's request May 15 and provided the statewide top earners list. The official, however, denied the request related to the specific troops, citing a 1996 court ruling. Lynch wrote that ruling protected troop, zone and station assignments from disclosure.
The top statewide earners are included in the website SeeThroughNy, but the site does not allow for searching by specific troop or identify specific state police employees by their troop.
The Gazette appealed, citing the initial request covered only troop assignments, not zone or stations. The Gazette also noted that the state police now routinely include station assignments of troopers in press releases and on its own Facebook page and included printouts of several examples. The Gazette also included a letter from Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government that made similar and other observations in support of granting the FOIL.
Lt. Colonel Scott A. Wilcox then granted the appeal in a letter, noting that he reviewed the request, record and statutory provisions and he determined that the information should be provided.
The 10 counties that Troop G covers are Schenectady, Saratoga, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, Rensselaer and Albany.
The top 10 earners for 2017 in Troop G, their base salary, followed by their gross salary (Ranks are as listed SeeThroughNY.com):
- Zone Sgt. Charles D. Wayand, $122,250, $193,073.59;
- Senior Inv. John E. Camp Jr., $112,131, $181,385;
- Senior Inv. Walter Hadsell, $112,131, $179,585;
- Tech Sgt. John S. Kolach, Jr., $107,023, $178,673.69;
- Senior Inv. Albro W. Fancher, $112,131, $177,838.86;
- Zone Sgt. Mark OConnor, $112,255, $177,034.83;
- Senior Inv. Karl D. Meybaum, $112,131, $176,491.66;
- First Sgt. Richard D. Betts, $118,040, $175,533.12;
- Senior Inv. Kelly Strack, $112,131, $175,268.55; and
- Zone Sgt. John A. Bellavigna, $112,255, $174,994.54.