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."
Runion also took a moment after the final vote to admonish his Republican counterparts on the board for not supporting his candidate for police chief.
"I have to say this is probably one moment when I feel the most embarrassed for this board as a whole," Runion said. "This is a day when we should all be cherishing an individual who has moved through the ranks and moved through great achievement for the Guilderland Police Department."
Continuing, Runion said, "But unfortunately, two of our town board members started this process in what I believe is a prejudicial view of the acting chief who's here this evening."
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 assistant police chief, John Tedesco, citing that he had more education, a better background, and was better suited for the job.