Since his days as a trooper, from 1979 until 1984 when he was promoted to sergeant, the job has changed a lot over the years, he said. There’s no longer the level of respect for police officers, and the increase in drug use has led to an increase in violence.
On the other hand, the advancement of technology over the years has been a major improvement. Surveillance cameras in public areas are a great tool, he said. Technology and forensic work have given law enforcement a significant edge in fighting crime and identifying perpetrators. When he was starting out, such technology “could only be imagined,” he said.
Oneonta Police Chief Dennis Nayor has gotten to know Molinari during his 18-year career on the force.
“He has always been helpful,” he said.
When Nayor attained his command in 2012, Molinari called him and offered to provide any assistance needed.
“It spoke well for his leadership abilities,” Nayor said. “In this era of policing, one of the most important things we can do is have good partnerships with other agencies. The major has been a great resource for me.”
He was confident whoever is selected to replace him will carry on that tradition.
Molinari said what he will miss most is the interaction with the troopers and talking with them about such things as the job, personal life and families.
“They have to provide the highest level of service to the public,” he said, “but nothing should come before their families.”
When he became a lieutenant in 1988, he was sent to Troop K in Westchester.
“It was a wonderful experience but it just wasn’t home,” he said. He spent the weekdays sleeping in the Poughkeepsie barracks, and come back to Oneonta where his wife, Linda, was raising their two children, Meghan and Michael.