Last week, the Lloyd Town Board approved interim Police Chief James Janso as their new chief. Town Clerk Wendy Rosinski administered the oath of office to Janso.
Janso’s first comment on his appointment; “It’s humbling and I’m honored.”
Janso began his career with the Lloyd Police Department in 1990 when he was a 21 year old, starting out as a patrolman on the midnight shift.
“You learn hard knocks the fast way; there’s nobody around to help you, there’s no back up, so you had to think quickly on your feet and use whatever skills you learned in the Academy and whatever you acquired after that to either diffuse a situation or calm things down,” he said.
Janso said as time went on Lloyd received assistance from the Police Departments of Marlborough and New Paltz when needed as well as law enforcement from the county and state, if warranted.
“Back then there were a lot of bar fights and domestic situations,” he said. “The call volume at night isn’t as busy as in the day, but when a call came in you knew it was something serious; you had to have your guard up because you knew it was pretty bad.”
March 1 marks 30 years of service for Chief Janso.
“I grew up here and it’s one of those little Americana’s; you work in the town you grew up in and stay your whole life; you raise a family, you know the community and your friends,” he said.
Janso said the job of policing still has the same parameters, but it has gotten a bit more difficult because laws continue to change and technology has gotten more sophisticated, but he insists, “It’s better to keep up than to catch up, because the catch up finance-wise is harder and training is harder, so you’ve got to keep moving ahead in technology.”
When Janso started the Lloyd Police Department was located at the present town hall, when it was a single story building, in the room now occupied by the town historian. He said they only had two police cars at that time. He humorously recalled that if one of the cars was down, then three officers had to share one car and he rode in the back, “and if we made an arrest, I made a new friend.”
During his tenure Janso said he has seen a lot of, “the good, bad and the ugly. When they say blood, sweat and tears, I’ve seen and done it.”
Janso said even though Lloyd is a small town there are big city issues they have to face because of the town’s proximity to Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh.
Janso commands a department of close to 30, consisting of full and part-time officers and dispatchers and they operate 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Janso said he will keep community policing in place and make sure the youth recreation league continues with basketball and baseball games. He plans to continue the Cops and Coffee gatherings but maybe at different locations and at later times in the day rather than just in the mornings in order to allow residents more opportunities to attend. Later this year Janso plans to hold another session of the popular Citizen’s Police Academy that gives the public real insight into what the department handles on a daily basis.
“It’s a work in progress so we’re going to be moving forward,” Chief Janso said.
Janso said interaction with the town has been good.
“As long as you have communications with the Town Board and explain why we do what we do or what we need and explain if it’s feasible financially, they are very receptive and very willing to listen and that’s all you can ask for,” he said.
Janso wants the public to know that they are here for them around the clock and they should feel free to call anytime, “with their concerns or questions. We have an open door policy and they can walk in and see us. We’re here for the public.” The department also has a Facebook page that allows the public to see what events the department has scheduled or read safety tips that they suggest.
Besides appointing Janso as the Chief of Police, the Town Board also hired Frank Piscopo as a part time police dispatcher, promoted Chris Miller to the position of full time Police Officer and hired Brian Scott as a part time Police Officer with the department.