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Gouverneur board hopes to hire police chief from village ranks

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GOUVERNEUR — The village Board of Trustees will give officers from its Police Department first crack at being named provisional chief to replace David C. Whitton, who is retiring May 30.

“We’re going to reach out to the current officers and give them the opportunity to make application,” said Trustee Ronald P. McDougall.

The village board hopes to make an appointment soon, said Mayor Christopher A. Miller. The successful candidate will have to pass a Civil Service examination that St. Lawrence County has asked the state to schedule.

A previous board had reduced Chief Whitton to half time along with other cuts in the department, but the next chief will be full time with both administrative and patrol duties.

A majority of the board wants to build up the force so that coverage is maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We approved the hiring of another officer in the budget,” Mr. Miller said.

A second additional patrolman might be hired to replace the officer who becomes provisional chief.

That probably would take place after a permanent chief’s appointment is made, Mr. McDougall said.

“I can’t speak for the other four members of the board,” he said.

While the long-term goal is to increase police coverage, the immediate effect of hiring a provisional chief from the department’s ranks will be reduced patrols on the street, Mr. McDougall said.

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