At the end of January Lloyd Police Chief Daniel Waage will retire after a 27 year career in law enforcement. He attended the Police Academy in 1993 and started out as a Police dispatcher, and was appointed Police Chief in October 2012.
“I started here in the Town of Lloyd, who sponsored me to go to the police academy,” he said.
Waage has served as a police officer, a Sergeant and as Chief. “I have also worked for several different Task Forces outside of the Town, the Kingston-Ulster Task Force as well as URGENT,” he said.
Throughout his career Waage said he has enjoyed the interaction among law enforcement people. He said when he took over as chief, the department handled about 650 calls a month and today that number has jumped to 1,200 a month. He attributes this rise to the public feeling more comfortable calling the department, because of the outreach that the department has done over the years.
“We work well with the community, whether it be the individual, whether it be the business owner or whether it be the school, we have a very good relationship with all,” he said.
Waage placed a premium on communication with other county departments, which led to his becoming President of the Ulster County Police Chiefs Association. He said this Association not only includes the chiefs of each town in the county, but also the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, the NYS Police, and the Office of the Ulster County District Attorney.
“It was basically my job to bring them together and help all of us work together for a common goal, which is serving the citizens of Ulster County,” he said. “One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that each town or each department all deal with similar problems and it is our job to work together to try to overcome those problems, which benefits everybody.”
Waage said his staff has not changed very much during his tenure, “with the exception that we now have one extra Sergeant for supervision as well as now we have full-time dispatchers. Overall on average it is 30 personnel. We have 10 full time officers and 3 full-time dispatchers and the rest are part-time.” Part time averages about 24 hours a week.
Waage believes his department should have a presence in the hamlet, in the schools and at community events. He said the annual Citizen Police Academy, “has worked out fantastic. It’s built relationships not only with community members but a lot of business owners took the Academy class and a lot of people from the Highland Rotary.” He thanked the Rotary for purchasing various sports equipment that has allowed his department to establish a very successful kids’ recreation league. Waage calls the league an investment in the future.
“The child that they’re playing with today who is 9 or 10, in the future when they are 16, 17 and 18 and they have some kind of dealing with an officer, it may have a better outcome because now that person looks at that officer as the guy who used to play kickball with me,” Waage said. “It also helps because the community now looks at us as human beings, their fellow citizens, instead of a uniform. If you work with the community well, everybody moves forward.”
Waage estimates that about 13 million cars cross the Mid Hudson Bridge annually.
“We are the crossroads of this county, and for upstate New York and that’s what keeps us busy,” he said.
Waage said Lloyd is a very beautiful town that has been, “extremely supportive of me but that is two-fold, because I was willing to reach out to them.”
Waage expects he and his son will go down to Florida in March to watch the Yankee spring training, as they have for a number of years.
“It’s a great father/son thing that I am definitely looking forward to and then we’ll see where it goes from there,” he said.
Waage said he has enjoyed his time serving the Town of Lloyd.
“I really enjoyed working and running the Police Department because of not only working here but in working with some of the Task Forces that I’ve worked for, I’ve gotten to know some of the best law enforcement officers that this area has to offer.”
Waage said retiring is a little bittersweet, “but I believe I am leaving the Police Department in a positive condition. I hope they keep up some of the programs that I started. I hope that they work with the community the way that I led them and I believe that if they do, they’re just going to keep moving up.”