Over 200 people showed up at Memorial Town Hall on Thursday, June 25, to watch their family members and friends in the Colonie Police Department move up in rank during a ceremony preceding a Town Board meeting.
The promotions must be made with the approval of the Town Board. Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan stood next to Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider as he called the names of new incoming, retiring and promoted members of the police department.
Not only are we hiring five, Heider said. "But we're also promoting five of our own." He said the promotions will ensure that the department does not fall behind in the quality of law enforcement the residents of the Town of Colonie are used to.
Heider reminded the audience of "how quick a neighborhood can decay, how quick a demographic can change," and assured them that the Colonie Police department has the best resources to deal with the climate changes that affect the town.
Former Deputy Police Chief Richard Villa said goodbye to his post Thursday night, as John VanAlstyne was promoted to Deputy Chief.
After the ceremony, Villa said he was proud to see all the "good work that all the people did over the last 32 years." Villa, who said he plans to take some time off, said the team effort within the Colonie Police Department is "terrific." Heider thanked Villa for his years of service.
Other promotions include that of James Gerace, Todd Weiss, Stephen MacLasco, who was promoted to Police Lieutenant, Paul VanAlstyne and Christopher R. Smith.
"We know that we're promoting the best," Heider said of the promoted members.
The five new police officers are Matthew Overocker, a lifelong resident of the town and Shaker High School graduate; Frank Peris, who has lived in the town for 16 years and worked as a teacher's assistant in the Albany School District; Michael Condor, a Shaker High School graduate who previously worked in the Albany County Sheriff's Department; Nicholas Sidoti, a lifelong resident of the town and a former University at Albany Police Officer; and Jennifer Oliver, who has lived in the town for five years and previously held a position as a public safety supervisor.