Saugerties welcomes Joseph Sinagra as new police chief (video)
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — An overflow crowd that included representatives from local government and law-enforcement agencies turned out Friday to welcome Saugerties’ new police chief.
Joseph Sinagra was sworn in during a ceremony in the courtroom at the Town Hall. His wife, Diedre, held the Bible while town Justice Daniel Lamb administered the oath of office.
Sinagra, who had been deputy police chief, succeeds Chief Louis Barbaria Jr., who resigned with the intention of resuming the retirement he came out of to lead the town police.
Also sworn Friday was Kenneth Swart Jr., who was promoted to detective sergeant in the police department, and Travis Winchell, who was promoted to detective.
Sinagra said he did not believe anyone could replace Barbaria but that he “can aspire to be as good as him.” He also thanked the law-enforcement officers who came to the ceremony, saying that their presence showed the support that different agencies have for one another.
The new chief also thanked his parents for teaching him values and mentioned his four daughters, joking that they are “why I spend a lot of time at work.” He then read a letter that one of his daughters, Abigail, gave him.
In the letter, Abigail told her father that she hoped he would be able to do a lot of “cool things” as police chief and told him, “You rock.”
Before becoming Saugerties’ deputy chief in December, Sinagra held the same title in the town of Ulster. He joined the town of Ulster Police Department as a patrol officer on Jan. 1, 1989. He then served as an Ulster K-9 officer before becoming a sergeant in 1997 and a lieutenant in 2007. The following year, Sinagra was appointed deputy chief after attending the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Before joining the Ulster police, Sinagra was an undercover officer for the Orange County Narcotics Task Force. He also has worked as a paramedic. Continued...
Town of Saugerties Supervisor Kelly Myers said she first met Sinagra and his brother during a cardiopulmonary resuscitation class in high school. She said that, even then, she could tell they were “called to serve” their community.
“We are very, very excited,” Myers said of Sinagra becoming chief. “We’re moving into a new era of professionalism and training.” She noted Sinagra is an accreditation assessor for the state Department of Criminal Justice Services.
The Saugerties Police Department is seeking its first-ever state accreditation.
Barbaria said he was fortunate to be able to hand the reins to Sinagra.
“The sky’s the limit,” Barbaria said.
Village of Saugerties Mayor William Murphy also said Sinagra being brought in as chief is a wonderful thing.
And Sinagra’s wife said she was “so proud of him.”
Swart, who has been with the town police since 2000, said he was happy to receive his promotion but was more focused on the fact the Detective Division is getting another member to help with the workload.
Winchell, who was with the village police for seven years and then joined the consolidated department in January 2011, said he was excited about his promotion.
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