POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie had two more police officers take their oath of office this month. At a small ceremony at city hall, family and friends of new hires Sean O’Keefe and James Simmons heard Mayor Rob Rolison talk about all of the positive things happening in Poughkeepsie that he credited, in no small part, to the city’s emergency services personnel.
Rolison took time to credit PBA President Kevin Van Wagner for working with the city’s administration to come up with a retention plan that has kept officers from leaving Poughkeepsie for higher paying jobs in other police departments. Van Wagner looked forward to having the two new officers.
“Having officers transfer in from other departments gets cops on the street faster,” said Van Wagner, “and it allows us to have a larger presence where it’s needed.” Because the officers have already been through the academy, their training time will be much quicker. The two will spend time with Field Training Officers to become familiar with the department’s policies and procedures prior to working alone.
“This will certainly give us some breathing room,” said Police Chief Tom Pape. “With these two officers and the previous hires that are graduating from the police academy in early August, we will have ninety-one officers working for the safety of the city,” said the chief.
The two officers have both worked previously for the Saugerties Police Department and Simmons also spent four years in the Red Hook Police Department. Asked why he chose to make the switch to Poughkeepsie, O’Keefe said “I’ve heard a lot of great things about Poughkeepsie and I’m looking forward to a great career here.”
After Rolison’s brief remarks, City Chamberlain Deanne Flynn administered the oath of office to the two men and Chief Pape presented the officers with their badges.