The new provisional chief of the Plattsburgh Police will start to get to know the department and its personnel on Monday.
“I’ll have to get up there and to see their operations — certainly get to know everyone, introduce myself to everyone, and we’ll go from there,” Nathan York said in a phone interview on Friday. “I don’t know the operations (of the department). I’m going to start Monday; I’m going to meet up there Monday with those folks.”
York lives in Warrensburg, New York, which is in Warren County. He spent twelve years as Warren County Sheriff, being elected to the job in 2007, 2011 and 2015 before deciding to not run for a fourth term. York also served 30 years with the New York State Police prior to his tenure as sheriff.
He said he got a phone call from Plattsburgh sometime within the last week in which he was told someone in the city had recommended him to serve as provisional police chief. Mayor Chris Rosenquest brought York’s appointment to the Common Council Thursday night, and the council members approved it.
“When I was sheriff in Warren County, I used to send our officers up to the (New York Division of Criminal Justice Services) Zone 9 (Training) Academy up there in Plattsburgh, and my lieutenant used to speak very highly of those people,” York said. “It’ll be good to get to know them, and I’m looking forward to helping them out in the next few months.”
Under New York law, the term of a provisional appointment can last for as long as nine months. The Lake City re-opened its police chief search earlier this week after New York State and Clinton County resolved a mix-up over which applicants were qualified for the job.
The deadline to apply for the permanent post is Friday, March 4. York is not interested in applying.
“No, and I think it’s mutual,” he said.” They’re looking for a new police chief, and I’m certainly not looking to become a police executive at this stage of my life. I spent 42 years in police work already — but I have a lot of knowledge and I certainly can help.”
York doesn’t foresee any political entanglements with Plattsburgh officials. He is a Republican, while Mayor Rosenquest and all of the Common Council members are Democrats.
“Four of the (council members) voted for me that are Democrats… that never came into it for me,” he said. “Even though I was the elected sheriff and certainly had to go through a political process to get elected — when I was sheriff, I was in charge and treated everybody equally. It had nothing to do with whether they were a D or an R, and I always felt that way.”
York will serve as provisional chief until a permanent choice is made. That choice is likely to hinge upon a civil service exam which applicants will have to take on Saturday, March 19.
Plattburgh’s last permanent chief, Levi Ritter, resigned last April after being named as a defendant in a lawsuit against the city alleging excessive use of force. Prior to his resignation, then-Mayor Colin Read had placed Ritter on administrative leave in December 2020.