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Gouverneur to make next police chief full-time

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GOUVERNEUR — The village mayor said he is prepared for the police chief to announce his retirement next week.

Christopher A. Miller said the village set aside money in next year’s budget, approved unanimously Tuesday night, to make the next chief full time.

Mr. Miller said he will meet with Chief David C. Whitton next week to find out his intentions.

“We are not asking him to retire,” he said.

The position will become full time only if Chief Whitton retires, Mr. Miller said.

Chief Whitton said last month he plans to retire soon.

Village Trustee Ronald P. McDougall said the next police chief will have a mixture of patrol and administrative duties.

“Lately we have had an uptick in crimes, break-ins and larcenies,” Mr. McDougall said. “Now we have the resources.”

Mr. McDougall said the department is not big enough for the chief to perform only administrative duties.

He said the village is prepared to promote from within the department for an interim chief and possibly a permanent chief.

Money for another patrolman and vehicle also was approved in the budget. Mr. Miller said the cost of the additional officer is about $40,000.

In March, the village approved a $75,000 settlement with Chief Whitton after he filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the village for reducing his pay and position in 2010. The settlement was not an admission of liability by the village.

Chief Whitton did not return a phone message seeking comment.

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