Mayor James Sottile has appointed Kingston Police Lt. Egidio Tinti to take over the department when current Chief Gerald Keller retires next month. Keller announced in January that he would retire at the end of the year after 38 years with the Department. Later, he announced that he would move his retirement date up to Oct. 31.
According to a press release from Sottile, Tinti was chosen following a unanimous vote by the city’s four-member police commission. The only other candidate for the job was Lt. John F. Schatzel, who leads the 4-to-12 shift of the department’s Patrol Division. Tinti’s appointment is provisional pending the outcome of a civil service exam to be held in March.
Tinti joined the KPD as a patrolman in 1992. In 1999 he was promoted to sergeant and assigned to oversee all aspects of the department’s training program, including an inter-agency police academy for recruits and in-service training for officers and detectives. In 2004, he was assigned as the department’s administrative officer where he oversaw grant applications, technology and a multi-million dollar budget. In January, when Chief of Detectives Tim Matthews was accused of stealing departmental funds, Keller tapped Tinti to take over the Detective Division in addition to his administrative duties. Tinti holds a master’s in public administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has graduated from the FBI National Academy and the New York State Law Enforcement Executive Institute.
Keller praised Tinti’s working knowledge of the department’s complex administrative infrastructure, comparing his work on the budget to “what a CPA would do.”
“His experiences over the years have really put him in a good position when it comes to dealing with budget issues,” said Keller. “I think he’s going to do an excellent job going forward.”
Tinti has also led the way in improving the department’s technological resources, including the installation of mobile data terminals which allow police to file reports and retrieve information from their patrol cars without having to rely on a dispatcher or return to the headquarters. More recently, Tinti has pushed the department’s social media presence by using Facebook, Twitter and e-mail notifications to better communicate with the public.
Tinti, who describes himself as a “numbers guy,” said he planned to step up the reliance on technology by mining crime data collected and processed by Marist College professor Ling Zhou, who for the past two years has been working with the KPD under a grant from the state Department of Criminal Justice Services.