Schenectady mayor said to favor Kilcullen as chief
City native has spent career in police department
SCHENECTADY Schenectady will have a new police chief on Monday.
City Council members said the mayor is “strongly leaning toward” Brian Kilcullen, an assistant chief in the department.
Kilcullen, 48, has spent his entire career at the Schenectady Police Department. He was hired in 1994 and became the oldest recruit at the police academy — he turned 30 just days after he was hired.
That’s ancient at an academy filled with 20-year-olds, he recalled with a laugh.
But he showed them: He won the physical fitness award at graduation.
Since then, he has won numerous awards for service and merit, as well as letters of commendation. His most recent award was for arresting a burglar armed with a double-bladed ax.
“I took him into custody after a physical confrontation in which he refused orders from police,” Kilcullen said.
That arrest was in 2008, the same year that Kilcullen was promoted to assistant chief.
He oversaw the patrol division until May 2011, when he rotated to oversight of the investigative division.
Kilcullen was promoted to sergeant in 1998 and served as patrol supervisor until 2001, when he was promoted to lieutenant. He served as patrol platoon commander for the day shift and department spokesman.
He is a Schenectady native, graduating from Mont Pleasant High School in 1982.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Siena College and a master’s in public administration from Marist College.
Mayor Gary McCarthy initially balked at promoting anyone to chief because none of the candidates up for promotion lives in the city. By Civil Service law, he had to choose between Kilcullen, Michael Seber and Patrick Leguire, all assistant chiefs. They were the only ones to take a Civil Service exam for the position.
McCarthy said he felt the next chief had to live in the city, questioning the message it would send if the chief refused to move here.
City Council members said Kilcullen has agreed to stay overnight at his mother’s house in Schenectady on workdays, but he will not move his family from their home in Milton. He would go home on weekends, council members said.
Kilcullen’s commute from Milton in Saratoga County is about half an hour.
Kilcullen said he didn’t want to move to the city because he would have to move his daughter, 11, from her home and school, council members said.
Kilcullen declined to discuss the matter until Monday’s announcement. The mayor will announce his new chief at 11 a.m. at City Hall.
Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett said the new chief would announce new initiatives at Monday’s event.
The initiatives will show the public what direction the new chief plans to take the department, he said.
He added that he thinks a new chief was chosen quickly — just eight days after the retirement of Chief Mark Chaires. A new chief will be good for the department, he said, calling it “fresh thinking.”