The City of Newburgh may get a new police chief as early as this spring. City of Beacon Police Chief Douglas Solomon has been chosen by Newburgh’s city manager to fill the important and long-vacant position as head of the City of Newburgh Police Department.
“I believe he is imminently qualified,” City Manager Michael Ciaravino said at City Hall last week.
Solomon currently serves as both City of Beacon police chief and the mayor of the Village of Monticello in Sullivan County. “What I like about Chief Solomon is that he was there for a significant part of the renaissance, the rebirth of the City of Beacon,” Ciaravino said, likening this period to growth now taking place in Newburgh.
Moreover, said Ciaravino, Solomon is willing to move to the city – a requirement for city department heads that has been a sticking point for past candidates for the job. “He is eager to establish residency in the City of Newburgh,” Ciaravino confirmed.
When asked why he chose Newburgh, “his answer was simple,” the city manager said, quoting Solomon. “I made a transformation in Monticello. I was part of the rebirth in the City of Beacon. When I come to the City of Newburgh, I see what Beacon had a decade ago. I realize this can be done here on a much larger scale.”
However, the announcement was made with the caveat that the City of Newburgh Civil Service Commission must first approve his appointment. “I’ve been encouraged by our corporate council that the appointment first be presented to the civil service commission so they can review his qualifications,” Ciaravino said.
Solomon has served as a police officer, lieutenant and police chief in the Village of Monticello, a position he held for more than 23 years. In March 2012, he began serving as police chief in the City of Beacon.
Ciaravino pointed out that Solomon has worked in diverse communities, earning a 2010 achievement award from the Sullivan County NAACP. Notably, he said, Solomon had “addressed a gang problem in Monticello.”
Solomon also has extensive experience in grant writing and managing overtime, Ciaravino said. He also worked with building departments to address code violations and other housing-related issues, according to the city manager. “I believe he will continue in the tradition and integrity that Dan Cameron brought to the position,” Ciaravino said.
He was referring to former acting City of Newburgh Police Chief Dan Cameron, who, along with Ciaravino, clashed with the city civil service commission after it refused to promote Cameron, a 20-year veteran of the city police force, to the position of permanent police chief.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Solomon currently serves as treasurer of the Dutchess County Association of Police Chiefs and on the advisory board for New York State Crimestoppers.
Ciaravino, on Tuesday, released a copy of a letter he had submitted to the City of Newburgh Civil Service Commission in support of Solomon’s candidacy.
“I am requesting your assistance pursuant to the City of newburgh Civil Service Commission Rules and Regulations in reviewing the qualifications of the candidate for the position of the City of Newburgh Police Chief,” Ciaravino wrote. “Specifically, I am requesting the Commission’s opinion about whether the civil service examination that the candidate took as a predicate to becoming Chief in Monticello will be acceptable to the Commission in support of his candidacy in Newburgh.”
By SHANTAL RILEY