The Daily Gazette
Schenectady/Albany; Final Edition
BYLINE: MICHAEL LAMENDOLA
The city’s chief of police is retiring Sunday after 39 years with the department, having worked his way up as a patrol officer to the top spot.
Chief Edgar Beaudin, 60, of Wells, is going quietly. He left the department this week on vacation and has made himself unavailable for comment. His co-workers said that fits his style.
He started with the department in 1973 as a patrolman, becoming a detective in 1990. In 1992, he became a sergeant assigned to the detective division, and three years later, he served as lieutenant in charge of the division. In 1998, he was promoted to captain. He became chief three years ago.
“He is very low-key,” said Pat Cooper, public safety secretary. Cooper has been the Police Department’s secretary since 2000 but has worked for the city since 1989. “He is a fixed asset around here,” she said with a laugh.
Beaudin is well respected and is known for his commanding style of personality, Cooper said. “When the chief said something, he meant it, and when he wanted it done, it got done. He will be missed,” she said.
Captains John Sira and Donald VanDeusen are running the department in Beaudin’s absence. Both assessed Beaudin as “firm, fair and honest, a very good police officer and police chief.”
Sira, who has been with the department 25 years, said Beaudin had a wealth of information acquired from three decades of service. “You are exposed to a wide variety of situational things that you learn through experience, and he had a vast amount of information that he shared with members of the department, from new guys to captains like VanDeusen and myself. He would assist and direct and help you make the right decisions. He took more of a mentoring role” rather than trying to micro-manage the department, he said.
VanDeusen worked directly with Beaudin for 16 of his 22 years with the department when he joined the detective bureau and Beaudin was lieutenant of the bureau. “He was great to work for. He always had the best interests of the job and of police officers in mind. He pushed me to make sure I did things right and he taught me quite a bit about investigations and how to conduct them thoroughly and how to bring complaints to logical conclusions.”
Sira and VanDeusen said they would like to succeed Beaudin as chief. Both have taken the chief of police’s civil service examination that was offered in early March. Exam results should be available by May 1.
Sira is captain of operations for the department following his promotion in February 2010. He started his career with the Gloversville department as an officer in the patrol division.
VanDeusen is captain of the detectives. He started as a patrol officer and later became a detective. He was promoted to detective sergeant and became captain of the detective division when Beaudin, who was the unit’s captain, became chief.
Mayor Dayton King has final appointment authority on the next chief. He did not return emails for comment.
Police Department officials said they hope King appoints the chief from within the department. Beaudin was appointed from within, as was the prior chief, John Harzinski, whom a former mayor suspended for insubordination in 2007.
“All indications are that he would like to promote in-house,” VanDeusen said. “We have a good department that runs well day to day. That is a credit to Chief Beaudin.”
Added Sira, “I think there are people readily capable here that can fill that post and do it justice.”
The city is advertising the salary for the chief’s position as $36.46 per hour. 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.
The new chief 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, down about 500 calls compared with the same period last year, Sira said.
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