YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The Yorktown Police Department has once again earned its five-year accreditation with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and was recognized for it, and several other achievements, by the Town Board at a meeting last month.
The accreditation provides formal recognition that an organization meets or exceeds general expectations of quality in the field. It also acknowledges the implementation of policies that are conceptually sound and operationally effective, according to the DCJS website
The Yorktown Police Department has maintained its accreditation since 1991.
“I believe less than 40 percent of all police departments in New York State maintain this accreditation,” said Chief Robert Noble. “It’s a strenuous process. For five years, the DCJS goes through our rules and regulations and makes sure that we are in conformance with the way law enforcement should be done in this day and age.”
Noble said he was proud of the team and stressed that it was a group effort.
“I’d like to acknowledge our department for being such a professional agency,” Noble said.
The announcement of accreditation comes on the heels of a prominent arrest of an alleged heroin dealer the department was involved in on Oct. 11. Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in an Oct. 12 press release that the arrest was a “strike in the heart of the problem” of opiate addiction and overdose in the community.
Additionally, promotions and changing roles within the department continue after the retirement of Chief Daniel McMahon earlier this year triggered a shuffle in the department’s highest ranking officers.
The role of traffic safety officer continues to see a high turnover rate as current traffic safety officer Timothy Kolkmann was promoted to sergeant. Kolkmann was only in the role since July, after its former occupant, Justin Foley, was promoted to sergeant. Foley had held the position only for a few months. Noble mentioned informally to Councilman Gregory Bernard, the traffic safety liaison, that a replacement, Officer Jason Swart, has already been chosen, but has not been officially appointed.
Kolkmann will be moving into his next role as a supervisor of the department. He began his Yorktown career in 2008 and has twice earned Meritorious Police Duty Commendation.
“Since the day we hired him, he’s been one of our most productive officers,” Noble said. “He’s earned this promotion. He’s a very, very diligent and hard worker.”
Kolkmann thanked his superiors, co-workers, and family for their support.
“I’ve worked in the town for the last nine years. It’s been a great experience and a great town to work in,” he said. “There have been so many of my co-workers and supervisors who have inspired me throughout the years and who have offered me guidance and support and I greatly appreciate that. I now look forward to offering my guidance and sharing my experience with others.”
Also promoted to the rank of sergeant was patrolman Kenneth Sgroi. He began his law enforcement career with the Dutchess County Sherriff’s office in 2007 and was hired by the Yorktown Police Department in 2009. He is a first-place recipient of the Stop DWI Award for Yorktown for 2010 and 2012.
In 2013, he earned a certificate of commendation after his efforts led to the arrest of a driver under the influence of PCP. He is also a certified field training officer for the department.
“He’s been nothing but an asset here since he came on board in 2009,” Noble said. “He’s a hard worker, a good cop and it’s to the town’s benefit to have him as a supervisor to our agency.”
Sgroi thanked the Town Board and his superiors for the opportunity and his family for their support.
“I look forward to this new experience as a supervisor and I look forward to serving the residents of Yorktown,” Sgroi said.
In addition to the promotions, Noble introduced a new hire, Yorktown native Max Ellsworth. Ellsworth began his law enforcement career in 2013 after he attended the New York Police Academy. He was formerly assigned to the 52nd precinct in the Bronx and has been a member of the Yorktown Volunteer Fire Department since 2003.
Noble said Ellsworth “did a tremendous job,” in the field training program, which he recently completed.
“We expect nothing but the best of him,” Noble said. “I’m sure he’s going to give nothing but the best to protect and serve the people of this town.”
Ellsworth said he is excited to begin his work with the department and to give back to the community.