After five-and-a-half years as Village of Montgomery Chief of Police, Steven Walsh will resign effective March 7.
Walsh first became a police officer in 1991 with the Town of Wallkill Police. He chose to pursue a career in law enforcement because he admired several police officers he knew growing up. He was later promoted to sergeant in 1999 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2011.
Following his retirement from the Town of Wallkill Police Department, he was hired part time as a sergeant by then Village of Montgomery Chief of Police Jim Corcoran. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to lieutenant until Chief Corcoran’s retirement. Walsh then served as deputy chief under Chief John DiMilia until his retirement in late 2014. At that time, the village board promoted Walsh to Chief of Police.
Walsh noted that during his time as Chief of Police, the department has improved substantially. When he first arrived, the department was comprised solely of part-time officers. The department also had a poor reputation in the law enforcement community. The county argued that some of their officer’s rankings were non proper. Walsh vowed to change and professionalize the police department.
In 2014, the Town of Montgomery had raised the idea of making its village police departments have four full-time officers. Walsh supervised this transition and the department now carries four full-time and 10-12 part-time officers. The department covers everything 24/7 and they try to have two officers for each shift. Nowadays, the department prescreens officers by civil service to make sure that they meet the proper criteria. Village of Montgomery Police Officers now wear the same uniforms and carry the same guns, which was not the case when Walsh began with the department. Walsh takes pride in the way his officers carry themselves.
“The thing that I am most proud of are the men and women who operate with integrity, professionalism and proudly serve the residents of the Village of Montgomery,” he said.
Walsh is leaving police work after 29 years because he and his wife are moving to Pike County, Pennsylvania. State law says that you cannot live out of state and be a police officer in New York. Walsh will work in the private security sector in Pennsylvania. He plans to return to Montgomery often, especially for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and General Montgomery Day. Walsh is thankful for the time he spent as Village of Montgomery Chief of Police.
“I have made many friends in my time with the village and I have always been impressed with the support I’ve received from the residents and business owners,” he said. “Montgomery is a wonderful community and I will miss that small town feeling that seems to be disappearing more and more in our area.”
According to Mayor Stephen Brescia, the village board is continuing to interview candidates for the chief of police position.