Updated 06/29/2012 06:57 PM
Schenectady police chief set to retire this year
Schenectady Police Chief Mark Chaires confirms that he is planning to retire by the end of the year. He's headed the department for the last four years and now, the attention turns to finding his replacement. Lori Chung has more.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "First and foremost, spend more time with the family,” Chaires said. “I have a lot of grandkids. They're all running around now."
By year's end, Chief Mark Chaires will have time to do that, ending four years as the Electric City's top cop with plans to finish a doctoral degree in criminal justice.
"Now I just have some data collection and write the dissertation, which is no small task. It's going to be a major undertaking," Chaires said.
And in finding his replacement, Mayor Gary McCarthy, who's responsible for making the appointment, has a new requirement in mind.
"I would expect that department heads to live in the City of Schenectady and expect the next chief of police to live here," McCarthy said.
That's a departure from current policy. Though born and raised here, Chaires now lives in Scotia. And of the three assistant chiefs vying for the job, none live in Schenectady.
"You want the best person and have to look for a skill set that balances the other command officers," McCarthy said.
And McCarthy say that skill set doesn’t necessarily include having come up through the ranks at Schenectady PD. Commissioner Wayne says though it's up to the mayor to decide, a city resident can hold an advantage even without a requirement.
"Mark is living proof of the benefit to having somebody that not only grew up in the city, but that was familiar with the city,” said Schenectady Police Commissioner Wayne Bennett.
Bennett says that helped Chaires build relationships in the community easier than others, an asset as officials look to boost response times and build the department's image.
Chaires said, "The process is up to the mayor and the commissioner and they're my bosses, so it's not up to me to dictate how what should go, obviously I'll provide my input."
Chaires has yet to pick an official retirement date.
McCarthy says city officials will hold off taking steps to find a replacement until he does.