Supervisor: Colchester 'not protected'

By Matt Porter

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 29, 2013 at 9:30 AM EDT

UPDATED April 26, 2013
Town of Colchester, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Documents from the Oneonta Police Academy revealed former Colchester police officer Scott Valentine left three loaded weapons in an unlocked vehicle.

The report details that Valentine left his duty weapon and two shotguns loaded in his car on the SUNY Oneonta Campus.

His car was unlocked with the window down and the weapons in view.

Academy officers at SUNY Oneonta had given Valentine permission to bring the guns on campus provided they were secured and not in view.

Valentine was suspended from the academy after the incident.

He resigned from the Town of Colchester police force after that.

Currently, the town is still searching for a new police officer.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Town of Colchester's only police officer resigned after more than two weeks of controversy.

During Wednesday's town meeting, supervisor Cindy Donofrio announced that Colchester officer Scott Valentine had been suspended from the Oneonta Police Academy. This week, he submitted his resignation.

Donofrio and the town council accepted the resignation unanimously.

Donofrio declined to reveal the details of Valentine's suspension from the police academy.

The council's vote leaves the town without law enforcement, other than help from state police and county deputies.

"We have no police force at this time," Donofrio said, "Colchester is not protected thanks to a few individuals in this town, and that's the end of it."

Donofrio's anger -- and the ire of others in the crowd Wednesday -- was directed at several whistle-blowers, including resident Terry Edwards, who first noticed Valentine had not honestly reported field training hours required by the state.

Two weeks earlier, Valentine's police certification was suspended by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The suspension came after the DCJS confirmed Valentine conducted some of his required 160 hours of field training without an authorized officer present.

Valentine was sent to the police academy in Oneonta to be retrained. He didn't make it through two weeks before the academy suspended him.

Donofrio said the town has no specific plan yet on hiring a new police officer.

She said discussions on a replacement for Valentine will continue at the next meeting.