MASSENA - A village police sergeant who had planned to retire later this month has changed his mind.
The villages Board of Trustees voted unanimously at a special meeting Monday to accept Patrick Serugsons request to rescind his retirement notice. The village board had previously accepted Mr. Sergusons 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 ones life and at this time I feel that Im not ready to make that change.
The boards 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. Sergusons 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 ODonnell, 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.
Its to our advantage, Mr. Deshaies said. Its a win-win situation.
The village board also unanimously voted to canvass for candidates for the fire foremans 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.
Were the only ones that really have a foremans 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 cant address that at this point in time.
In the past, the board has discussed eliminating the foremans 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.