Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Palmyra Police Chief forced out

The Times has learned that Palmyra Village Police Chief, David Dalton, is being forced to retire as of May 6th.

Dalton, has been the police chief since October of 1981, but hit the mandatory retirement age of 70 last August. Under Dalton’s retirement level, unless the Village agreed to a two-year waiver (request for continuation of service), with a medical approval, he must retire.

The Village has decided not to grant a waiver. Village Mayor Chris Piccola refused to say why the Village would not grant the waiver in Dalton’s case, but added, “The Village will not employ anyone past the mandatory retirement age.”

Piccola, along with Village trustee, Pat Nolan, informed Dalton on Tuesday afternoon that the Village would not hire another Sergeant to fill the position of retiring Sergeant James Showman. Showman, the number two man at the department, is retiring as of April 25th. Piccola  also informed Dalton that the Village would  be looking to find a new police chief.

Piccola would not comment on any other reasons for replacing the Chief, but area villages have been in a budget crunch with local police department budgets. Police budgets are the highest department budgetary cost to village taxpayers. Dalton’s gross pay last year was $87,500 plus benefits.

Dalton has been with the Palmyra Police for a total of 33 years and will be two weeks shy of a 45 year career  in law enforcement.

The move by the Village will leave the five-man department with three officers, David Smith, Adam Husk (son of Village Trustee David Husk) and Brian Parkison. Smith will be asked to take over the duties of the Sergeant, while remaining as a patrolman. The Times has learned Smith has already interviewed for the  Chief’s position.

Mayor Piccola refused to elaborate as to what steps the Board will take concerning the police department’s future. “We have lots of things to discuss.”