Guilderland's town board voted along party lines to choose Carol Lawlor as its new police chief to a standing-room crowd that filled Town Hall Tuesday, June 2.
Three days later on Friday, June 6, she took the oath to officially become Chief Lawlor.
A 29-year veteran who was the town's deputy chief, Lawlor had the support of the roaring crowd as the final vote of 3-to-2 secured her place as New York's 10th female police chief. She had just as much support, if not more, when she was sworn in during a full ceremonial procession, complete with bagpipes.
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 job.
Lawlor has been the town's acting police chief for the past year after longtime 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 to say ... 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 achievements for the Guilderland Police Department."
Continuing, Runion said, "But unfortunately, two of our town board members started this process in what I believe to be a prejudicial view of the acting chief who's here this evening."