ONEONTA _ The city's new police chief starts today.
Gary O'Neill will report for duty at 8 a.m., according to Mayor Dick Miller.
"He's ready to go. I spoke with him this afternoon," Miller said Sunday night.
O'Neill, a retired Broome County undersheriff and former Endicott police chief, was appointed temporary chief by the Common Council on April 5.
On March 7 _ in the midst of an outside investigation into a police brutality allegation involving a young officer _ Chief Joseph Redmond announced his retirement, effective April 15. Redmond was placed on paid administrative leave, and Lt. Dennis Nayor began running the day-to-day affairs of the police department.
O'Neill is expected to serve between nine and 15 months, while the city searches for a permanent chief to run the 28-member department.
"I'm delighted that he's here and I'm grateful to Dennis Nayor for doing a first-rate job in between Chief Redmond's departure and Chief O'Neill's arrival," Miller said.
Miller said he expects O'Neill will have frequent contact with the Common Council, particularly over issues related to the "culture change" for which the new chief was brought on board.
O'Neill will have to abide by existing union contracts.
"Anything that will require a policy change, we will talk about," Miller said.
O'Neill did not immediately return a call placed to his home Sunday night.
Miller said he expects the Common Council will be frequently updated by O'Neill, particularly around recommendations that came out of the investigation.
O'Neill will be commuting daily from his home in Endicott.
The Common Council approved $10,000-month compensation for O'Neill in wages, benefits and expenses. The compensation roughly equates to what Redmond received in wages and benefits.
According to a memo from the mayor, O'Neill, in addition to commanding OPD, will have the following responsibilities:
"¢ Assess leadership and support the development of the lieutenant, sergeants and other officers.
See Chief on Page 8