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Massena police sergeant decides he won’t retire

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MASSENA - A village police sergeant who had planned to retire later this month has changed his mind.

The village’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously at a special meeting Monday to accept Patrick Serugson’s request to rescind his retirement notice. The village board had previously accepted Mr. Serguson’s request for retirement at a June 19 meeting.

“After several days of processing my recent decision of retiring, I have come to the decision that it would be premature for me to retire,” he said in a letter to the village board. “I realize that retirement is a major change in one’s life and at this time I feel that I’m not ready to make that change.”

The board’s action came at the urging of Police Chief Timmy J. Currier, who stated in a memorandum to the village board that he “fully supported” Mr. Serguson’s request.

Mr. Serguson staying will help the department, according to Trustee Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies. In the last several months, Sergeant Douglas Kassian and Patrolman Scott Rogers have both retired, and Patrolman Brian LaBarge resigned to attend the New York State Police Academy. In addition, the paid administrative leave of Michael O’Donnell, who was charged in February with DWI, had left the department short-staffed.

Keeping a veteran sergeant like Mr. Serguson brings needed experience to the department and eliminates the need for training a new officer, Mr. Deshaies said.

“It’s to our advantage,” Mr. Deshaies said. “It’s a win-win situation.”

The village board also unanimously voted to canvass for candidates for the fire foreman’s position currently held by R. Shawn Gray who is retiring. Mayor James F. Hidy said the village must first contact St. Lawrence County to obtain the requirements on filling that position.

“We’re the only ones that really have a foreman’s position. We really want to go about it the right way,” Mr. Hidy said. “Whether the position is filled down the road or not, I can’t address that at this point in time.”

In the past, the board has discussed eliminating the foreman’s position and placing the paid firefighters under the supervision of the police chief. The current contract with the firefighters, however, reportedly stipulates staffing levels at eight firefighters and a foreman.

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