The department is authorized to have 27 sworn members from patrol officer to chief. Last year, the Common Council cut a 28th position to save money in the 2013 city budget. For a period after scandals in recent years of alleged police brutality and on-duty drinking and sex, the department had an interim chief.
Nayor, who has been with the Oneonta Police Department for 18 years, repeatedly has said he will hire only “quality’’ candidates to fill openings. Last week, Nayor said he has been working to turn limited spaces into an effective working environment. During a tour last week, he pointed out banners, posters and other displays geared toward boosting pride and professionalism.
“Honor.’’ “Courage.’’ “Loyalty.’’ These words, and others, appear in framed posters or in bold, capital letters on walls in well-trafficked hallways. “Integrity’’ is spelled out in bold blue letters above the door to the police-car garage, a strategic location, Nayor said, that officers will see every day — and every time — they leave the building to respond to a call. Nayor said if the messages aren’t seen directly he intends that be subliminal reminders of the core values of the department and profession.
“I want it to be very clear what I expect,’’ Nayor said.
Other improvements, Nayor said, include:
• Installation of electronic card passes, which increase security to department offices and access by officers entering and leaving. Equipment and installation cost less than $5,000, he said.
• Upgrading of the department’s surveillance camera system for about $130,000. The system has 16 cameras focused on downtown.
• An on-going project to turn a break room into an evidence room and establish a room for briefs, which are held in a squad room used for case interviews and to do reports at four computer terminals.