By Connor Linskey
The Montgomery Town Board voted unanimously to appoint John Van Tassel as the interim chief of police for the Town of Montgomery Police Department at their special meeting on Dec. 23.
“Sergeant Van Tassel is very excited to take on this role,” said Montgomery Town Supervisor Brian Maher. “He will be working with the leadership team currently in place…”
Town of Montgomery Deputy Town Supervisor Ron Feller was especially excited to appoint Van Tassel, as he coached him in Little League.
The town board chose to appoint Van Tassel, as Orange County Civil Service mandates that municipalities have an interim chief of police before they hire a full-time chief.
Van Tassel has been part of the town’s police department for over 20 years. He began as a patrol officer and then became the school resource officer before being promoted to sergeant. Not long ago he was promoted to senior sergeant. He is the most senior sergeant the department has.
The Town of Montgomery wants to give all of its police sergeants who are eligible an opportunity to take the police chief exam. Due to the sudden retirement of Chief of Police Arnold “Butch” Amthor, several sergeants who wanted to apply for the chief of police position were not on the list to be considered. Sergeants in the town’s police department will be given an opportunity this spring to take the police chief exam.
“This will allow us more options internally to hire someone from the department here in the town should we choose to go that route,” Maher said.
Following Amthor’s retirement from his position as the Town of Montgomery chief of police, he became the chief of police in the City of Newburgh. Since Amthor left the Town of Montgomery, Steve Ragni has served as officer-in-charge.