More than just rumors...
This is a rumor, but one that I have heard from a number of people (people who would know if it were true).
Chief Cole may be retiring from his role at the head of the Saratoga Spring Police Department.
I'm not sure of the reasons.
I have put calls in to: Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen, Deputy Commissioner Eileen Finneran, Cole's office and cell phones but they didn't answer and I haven't heard back.
I did speak to Assistant Chief Greg Veitch, who I hear is the likely successor, but he said he had no comment about the rumors.
He said, however, that he is no longer considering a run for Saratoga County Sheriff, a change from earlier this month when he told me he was.
Police Benevolent Association President Paul Veitch said he too had heard rumors, but would not comment on them.
Civil Service Commission Secretary Patsy Barrigan said her office has not received any letters of resignation or retirement from Cole.
She said a Civil Service list is being compiled from a test in March but won't be done until June. In the meantime, the names of the five people who took it are not public.
Last time around (in June 2011, about a year and a half after Cole's promotion to chief), there were only two people who took the test: Greg Veitch and now-retired Captain Michael Chowske.
Barrigan said Chowske still has time to come out of retirement, though, if he wanted to be considered for the job (but added, "who would want to come out of retirement?")
Like I said, I don't know the reasons, but it has certainly been a tough run for Cole as chief.
He started the job behind the 8-Ball, coming in after seven officers were laid off amid budget concerns and things didn't get better.
He was the focus of a sexting scandal that at a time when Rep. Anthony Weiner's political career was crashing and burning for the same reason.
Last year the department was roundly criticized for its handling of information following a reported rape on a city street.
More recently there have been a series of high-profile crimes (alleged machete assault, alleged hammer assault, alleged beating of a woman with a BB gun on Granger Avenue, sexual assault and robbery of a woman outside her home on Union Street).
Major crimes, including violent crimes, are up for the third year running (See 2010 Public Safety Annual Report, 2011 Annual report and the recent 2012 Public Safety Annual Report).
Recently Assistant Chief Veitch gave a presentation at a Planning Board meeting to address some of the concerns of the public over safety in the Spa City.
Anyway, I'll of course be following up on this tomorrow (barring hearing from any of the people I have already called tonight), so stay tuned.