Watervliet police chief facing furlough due to city budget deficit

Local

WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As of Tuesday, Anthony Geraci still serves as the Chief of Police for the city of Watervliet, but Mayor Charles Patricelli said that could change as early as next week due to the budget deficit they’re facing.

“We have a $12 million budget with an expected deficit, just this year alone, of either $1.2 to $2 million dollars. We’re expecting over $800,000 in lost revenue just in sales tax,” the mayor said.

The Mayor said the Chief’s position is not the only job in the city in jeopardy right now.

“There are other options on the table for other areas and departments that we haven’t gotten finalized yet,” he said.

Chief Geraci was sworn in as Chief in July 2019. Previously, he served 15 years with the Albany Police Department and five years with the New York Police Department. He said, while it’s heartbreaking to know that he’s finally reached his lifelong professional dream to serve in this leadership role and it may now be put on pause, he said he understands the current situation and the implications that come with it.

“I’m willing to work with them and the community and do what’s best for this city during this financial crisis,” the chief said.

Patricelli said he’s hoping Watervliet will get some relief from the federal government in an upcoming stimulus package meant to ease some of the burden on small cities.

“Are we still hopeful that the federal government will help get us through? Yes, we’re hopeful, but I can’t bank on that,” he said.

Furloughs are meant to be temporary layoffs, but the Mayor told NEWS10 ABC it’s unclear what the future holds.

“This is so totally unpredictable. I can’t see anybody making a promise and saying they’re going to be able to keep to it.”

“We’ve done some really incredible things, collectively, as a police department in this community, and I would love to continue in that role and carry on that journey,” said Geraci.

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