BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
RAMAPO- Since Chief Peter Brower retired on Sept 28, 2015, Ramapo Town Board has not appointed a new or acting police chief.
According to Capt. Thomas Cokeley, “There is no acting chief, no appointed chief and no interim chief at the moment…There is no one here in the Town of Ramapo holding the position of police chief.”
Capt. Cokeley and Capt. Brad Weidel of Ramapo PD were both in consideration to fill the seat which Chief Brower voluntarily retired from late last year.
According to Cokeley, Chief Brower, who served on Ramapo PD since Oct 1970, didn’t retire because of age. “He could have stayed on a few more years. He decided it was time to go. He had enough.”
Capt. Cokeley declined to comment on whether he would take the position police chief. When questioned about the four month vacancy of the police position Capt. Cokeley stated, “Some municipalities take their time to fill these positions.”
At the time of his retirement, Chief Brower, 68, was earning $369,088, making him one of the highest paid employees in NYS. Brower attained the position of chief in 2007. At the time of Brower’s retirement, Supervisor St. Lawrence stated to the Journal News that Brower’s pension was inclined to equal 60-70 percent of that $369K salary and the next chief in line would be subject to pay negations with the town.
According to the 1936 Rockland County Police Act, a chief of police must be promoted from within its own PD staff. Both Capt. Cokeley and Capt. Weidel have taken the necessary exams to fill the position. Current pay for Cokeley and Weidel are $274,143 and $248,547, respectively.
At the time of this printing, neither Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence nor Town Attorney Michael Klein returned calls for comment from Rockland County Times.