Home Dutchess County Residents meet Poughkeepsie’s Interim Police Chief (VIDEO)

Residents meet Poughkeepsie’s Interim Police Chief (VIDEO)

Residents meet Poughkeepsie’s Interim Police Chief (VIDEO)

PUCKHKEEPSIE Due to his thirty years of service with the Poughkeepsie Police Department, a large number of the community has been acquainted with Captain Rich Wilson. In late May, Mayor Yvonne Flowers appointed Wilson the department’s Interim Police Chief following Chief Tom Pape’s recent retirement.

Wilson gave an overview of his past during a recent public meeting of the Procedural Justice Committee, now that he is the chief.

The Beulah Baptist Church audience was informed that Wilson’s first work was as a camp counselor at a Poughkeepsie city park during his youth. He has spent his entire life in the City or Town of Poughkeepsie, where he also coaches baseball at Spratt Park.

After 27 years of marriage, Wilson and his wife, a retired New York State Trooper, have two children: the younger is currently enrolled in a Pennsylvania college to pursue a nursing degree, while the older recently graduated from college.

Wilson claims that he started out in police enforcement as the city’s dispatcher. He was sworn in as a police officer in 1994, and he mentioned that there were 76 cops working at the time he was hired, as opposed to the current 68 officers. It’s incredible that, thirty years after I was hired, here I am still facing a staffing shortage.

According to the city’s contract, there should be 96 sworn police officers, but throughout the last two years, that number has dropped below 70.

Wilson has worked as a sergeant in the Community Policing Unit for ten years, among other units within the police force. As a go-getter police officer with zero tolerance and a lot to learn about community policing, he regarded the move from patrol to community policing as difficult. He acknowledged that he did, adding, “I quickly realized that the best way to combat crime was to collaborate and build relationships with the community.”

Wilson introduced Lieutenant Sean McCarthy and Lieutenant John Zeltman to the forum. These two officers are in charge of the police department’s procedural justice training. Wilson reports that Zeltman will take on a Captain role and McCarty will transition from uniform to Detective Lieutenant to take over for Detective Lieutenant Matt Clark, who is retiring in July, as a result of the recent retirements in the command staff.

Wilson stated with confidence, “It will take the three of us to move this department forward.”

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