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Niskayuna officials struggling with police chief choice

Sep 17, 2021 5:30 am

Paul Nelson is reporting for the Times Union the Niskayuna Town Board is now divided as the decision of who will be chosen as the town's next police chief looms. Now that the town has thrown out disciplinary charges against acting police chief Michael Stevens, he will likely emerge with only a letter of counseling in his personnel file, according to several people familiar with the situation. The charges against Stevens were thrown out because police officers refused to testify against him. A letter of counseling is the formal documentation of an infraction that the person is required to sign, according to information online. Despite the controversy around his candidacy, it is being said Stevens had the backing of at least one town board member. The other two finalists for the position of police chief are sergeants Todd Frenyea and Jordan Kochan. Three members of the board and Supervisor Yasmine Syed must agree on a candidate by September 17. Niskayuna Police Benevolent Association President Anthony Comanzo did not return a call Wednesday. Last year, the union overwhelmingly approved a vote of no confidence against Stevens. The upset over Stevens' disciplinary record is the latest setback for a department that has seen two chiefs retired surrounded by controversy in a little more than a year, another file a complaint, and the resignation of an officer who encouraged others to quit because of low morale brought on by an alleged lack of support from town officials. Read the full story in the Times Union.