At a meeting of the New Paltz Police Commission on February 20 that segued into a Town Board meeting, several significant changes were made to the personnel lineup of the police force. Among them was a historic milestone: Brianne Quigley was promoted from patrol officer to become the New Paltz Police Department’s first-ever female sergeant. She was presented with her new sergeant’s shield at the meeting by police chief Joseph Snyder.
According to Snyder, Quigley was one of four candidates to apply for the patrol sergeant opening. “I’m happy to promote her to the position,” the chief said. “Although she’s the first female to hold the rank of sergeant in our police force, she’s very qualified. She’ll be a great example for other females in our department, as well as other females in law enforcement in general.”
Less fanfare was attached to another noteworthy change to department personnel: Dave Dugatkin, who resigned from his post as chief of the campus police force at SUNY New Paltz in 2018 under somewhat mysterious circumstances, was hired as a part-time police officer. The decision to reappoint Dugatkin, who held the rank of detective sergeant with the New Paltz Police Department before his SUNY law enforcement career began, was made unanimously and with no discussion by the three Police Commission members present: Neil Bettez, Dan Torres and Alex Baer. Chief Snyder’s comments on the decision were brief, noting only that Dugatkin was “an asset when he worked for us in the past.”
Several other posts were shuffled around as well. Patrol sergeant Matthew Sutton, who serves as night supervisor, was transferred to the Detective Division to serve as detective sergeant. Part-time officers Zachary Mitchell, who has been with the force for two years, and Jerome Milton, who has been on board for a little over six months, were both promoted to full-time positions. And the Town Board accepted the resignation of officer Michael Rizzo.
It’s perhaps inevitable that multiple personnel changes would be made at this time, in anticipation of the retirement of Chief Snyder, who’s scheduled to leave his post in April after 32 years with the New Paltz Police (https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2019/08/08/looking-back-with-new-paltz-police-chief-joseph-snyder). It was announced last October that Robert Lucchesi, currently a lieutenant in the department, will replace Snyder as chief.