After a 35-year career with the New Castle Police Department, Chief Charles Ferry will be retiring next week.
Ferry, who has served as chief of the 37-officer department for the past 10 years, said he will be leaving the department on Thursday, June 27.
“What I’ll miss most is the people, the people that I work with,” he said.
Ferry, 62, came to New Castle in February 1984, transferring from the Tuckahoe Police Department. Over the next 35 years, he has served in virtually every position an officer could hold, starting as a patrolman before receiving promotions to become detective, sergeant, patrol division lieutenant and special services lieutenant.
He took over as chief in June 2009 after the retirement of his predecessor, James Baynes.
Ferry said technology and an increase in responsibilities have been the biggest changes in police work.
“When I first started, we were using typewriters and carbon paper,” he recalled. “Now we have computers in the cars. Actually, when I first started out, at least in the departments I worked at, we had no computers early on, and in Tuckahoe we would ask the county to run the (license) plates for you. Now we have a computer in every car. We have everything at the officers’ fingertips.”
The other major change in policing has been that every department, regardless of its size, now participates in homeland security to some extent, Ferry said. Years ago, a local police force’s key responsibilities would be primarily tending to community problems and local crimes, he said.
Ferry said he chose law enforcement because he wanted to work in “a helping profession.” Before that, he had served his home community as a volunteer ambulance corps member and volunteer firefighter.
While the town hasn’t named a successor, it will choose its next chief from the department’s three lieutenants it now has on staff. Councilman Jeremy Saland said the Town Board has interviewed the three candidates and anticipates it will soon make an announcement on the who the next chief will be.
Meanwhile, Ferry said he will have plenty to keep him occupied. He plans to spend time with his grandson and indulge in one of his hobbies – amateur photography. He also has an old pickup truck that he’s been working on and hopes to fix.
“So I have some stuff to keep myself busy until I decide if I want to go back to work,” Ferry said.
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