Guilderland's town board voted down party lines to choose Carol Lawlor as its new police chief to a standing room crowd that filled Town Hall on Tuesday night.
Lawlor, a 29-year veteran and currently the town's deputy chief and acting chief, had the support of the roaring crowd in attendance as the final vote of 3-to-2 secured her place as New York's 10th female police chief.
At age 50, she is the department's third police chief since 1977 and its first female chief.
Republican councilmen Warren Redlich and Mark Grimm voted against Lawlor's nomination. Supervisor Kenneth Runion, along with councilwoman Patricia Slavick and Councilman Paul Pastore all Democrats voted to give Lawlor the post.
Lawlor has been the town's acting police chief for the past year after long-time chief, James Murley, retired amid scandal.
"The goal is to have the best candidate possible," Runion said at the meeting. "Tonight it gives me great pleasure ... that the best candidate for the job is Carol Lawlor."
Dozens of residents filled the room, many of who held signs in favor of Lawlor, and they applauded loudly when each board member voted for Lawlor.
The room was quite when Redlich and Grimm cast their votes against her.
The republican councilmen said they did not feel Lawlor was the strongest candidate out of a final pool of three applicants. They both put their support behind a Troy city deputy police chief, citing that he had more education, a better background, and was better suited for the job.
The rest of the board, and seemingly the residents in attendance, disagreed.
"I want to thank the town board members who supported me," Lawlor said after being nominated. "And to those who didn't support me, I hope we can put public safety first."
Lawlor will be paid around $90,000 a year as chief, according to Runion, and will take the oath of office on June 6 at 11 a.m.