New Vestal Police Chief

By Kerri O'Hara

New Vestal Police Chief

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 10, 2006 at 12:09 AM EDT

"I have almost 32 years in Binghamton and its time for a change," said Butler.

With those words, Binghamton Police Chief John Butler will leave the position he's held for three years to become Vestal's Chief of Police.

"Absolutely pleased. It was one of the key things we had to do in Vestal. Of all the things we have to work on, it had to be number one because for three years the town has been without a chief," said Vestal Supervisor, Peter Andreasen.

The Vestal Town Board voted four to one to approve Butler for the position.

Butler says Binghamton's new Mayor has nothing to do with his move.

"I worked well with the Mayor all through my administration, through his administration, and the new administration and certainly it seems like I can work well here," said Butler.

Andreasen says Butler was the only person interviewed for Town Police Chief, although others were considered.

Butler's last day as Binghamton's Police Chief will be on March 10.

He'll start in Vestal on the March 13, but not everyone voted to make him Vestal's new chief.

"The courtesy should have been extended to the people that were eligible and the process would have allowed for it. We could have opened it up to not only within the department, but outside," said Vestal Board member Emil Bielecki.

Butler replaces former Chief Kenneth Rounds who was suspended in 2003 and then dismissed for misconduct.

One month from now, the people in Vestal will have a permament Police Chief for the first time in three years.

Butler is getting paid $79,000 a year as Binghamton Police Chief.

He'll get about the same in Vestal.

David Burdick has been Vestal's Acting Police Chief since former Chief Ken Rounds was dismissed.

When Chief Butler is on board next month, Burdick will return to his duties as Vestal Police Captain.

Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan is in Albany and not available to comment on Chief Butler's resignation.

Ryan told Action News last week he did not want to see Butler resign.

The Mayor's office did release a statement Thursday saying Vestal will benefit from John Butler's professionalism, experience and integrity.

As for finding a new chief, Ryan said in the statement, "As I review candidates, I look forward to working with Chief Butler and others to ensure we maintain the level of excellence the residents have come to expect from our public safety officers."

In Binghamton, the Mayor appoints the chief of police.

Based on the last civil service examination, there are two men within the Binghamton Police Department eligible to become police chief.

They're Captain Alex Minor and Captain Steve Tronovitch.

Mayor Ryan has not said whether he would also look outside the department.

Butler told Ryan weeks ago that he interviewed for the job in Vestal.

The Mayor has not said when he hopes to name a replacement.

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