COBLESKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After eight police officers resigned last month the Village of Cobleskill is rebuilding its police department and has a new lieutenant investigator. George Bird is filling in temporarily, part-time, and brings 31 years of experience with the state police. 

He said he was working full-time at Rivers Casino but wanted to help after he saw most of the department had resigned.

“Having watched the PD evolve into something that to me it was unrecognizable and became concerned when I saw the exodus from the police department over contractual concerns,” said Bird.

Mayor Rebecca Stanton-Terk said the massive resignations started with contract negotiations. 

“And immediately it was apparent that it was going to be a difficult process,” said Stanton-Terk.

She called the coordinated resignations a power play, adding she was disgusted by the officers abandoning the community.

“It was really unsettling because that’s not what I expect from a public servant, who takes an oath to protect and serve,” said Stanton-Terk.

She is very excited to have Bird’s expertise on board as the department rebuilds, she said. Bird will be filling in as a patrolman and in a supervisory capacity.

“I’m here to help out until the chief’s position can be filled and at that time he will pick and choose who he wants to surround himself with at which point, when the board decides I’m no longer needed, I’ll return to civilian employment,” said Bird.

Stanton-Terk says they have a leading candidate for a new police chief, who is also coming out of policing retirement, and says she is hoping to have that person start by the end of the week.