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Potsdam Trustees name next police chief

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POTSDAM — The village’s Board of Trustees appointed Sgt. Kevin A. Bates Monday to serve as the Potsdam Police Department’s next chief of police at a special meeting Monday afternoon.

His promotion will be effective March 31, and his starting annual salary is $77,964.

Sgt. Bates has served on the local force for 17 years, the last five as a sergeant. Chief Edward F. Tischler announced in January he was retiring after more than a two-decade career with the local police department to take a job as a private investigator. Trustee Ruth Garner said a committee that included Chief Tischler made a recommendation to the village board.

“He will do a very good job,” Ms. Garner said of the incoming police chief.

She said the committee met three times with candidates in neutral locations before making a recommendation.

Ms. Garner said the trustees then spent about an hour before finalizing their decision.

Sgt. Bates said he has been waiting a long time for this position.

“This was a goal,” Sgt. Bates said.

According to his profile on the department’s website, Sgt. Bates graduated from SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in public justice. He is also a member of the New York State Juvenile Officer Association.

Starting today, he said he will begin working with Chief Tischler to learn how the administrative part of his new post works.

“I’m trying to figure out how things run at the top,” Sgt. Bates said.

The other finalists for the post were Lt. Mark Murray and Sgt. Joe Smith.

“It was really tough competition,” Sgt. Bates said.

But he doesn’t expect any animosity as he begins his two-week transition.

“We’re a small department,” Sgt. Bates said. “We all know what we need to do to get the job done.”

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