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Acting Peekskill Police Chief: 'I'm a Team Player'

Lt. Eric Johansen, who began a two-month stint as the city's acting police chief Wednesday, said he plans to show that he's ready to that he's capable of leading the department into the future.


Acting Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen said he is not disappointed that he was only appointed to the position for two months.

Instead, Johansen said he planned to use the opportunity to show he's the best candidate for the job.

"I respect the Common Council's decision and it's in the best interest of the city at this time," Johansen said. "I'm a team player and I want to be a part of this team. I look forward to working with the council using a team-style approach and assisting anyway that I can."

Johansen replaces Eugene Tumolo, who stepped down as the city's police chief after 44 years with the department.

During the Common Council's vote last month to appoint Johansen as acting chief, Mayor Mary Foster abstained.

"I did this because we were not given the time to fully considered the other option of appointing the captain [Paul Astrologo] as the acting police chief, nor had we been given the time to fully consider the options of interviewing for a provisional appointment to chief," Foster said.

Wendy Kelly January 03, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Honestly, I have always heard the Johansen name in connection with PPD since living in Peekskill. I believe Cathy was involved in our neighborhood Association meetings. Sorry Paul, first time I have ever heard your name.
Noreen Kelly January 03, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I agree with Wendy Kelly's comment above. I don't think because he lives in Cortlandt that should prevent him from being police chief. All these years he has served Peekskill well and should be give the opportunity.
Wendy Kelly January 03, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Three Cheers from the Kelly Team!
Rich Esposito January 03, 2013 at 02:47 PM
I have seen Johansen at work already in the community. He shared his responsibility, and accountability with parents and children helping out with sport recreational activities. His superbed persona and charisma will enhance a dark shadow that might be over shadowing Peekskill for years. He will do fine
ED HICKEY January 03, 2013 at 04:05 PM
As expected, Lt. Johansen focuses on the task at hand, even in the setting of an obvious strategically timed potential roadblock in the mayor/common council's reinstatement of residency requirement for the COP position; most know it wasn't coincidence that the same day that Chief Tumolo announced his retirement, that required residency was quickly tacked back to the position knowing Lt. Johansen lives a few miles outside of city limits in Cortlandt. If there was any doubt that Eric's candidacy was not being challenged by the same politics that destroy Peekskill (GOP vs. Dems), (local family associations), etc., the fact that Mayor Foster obstained from the vote to give the Lt. this 2 month opportunity was an exclamation mark on the personal political agenda to keep Johansen from becoming fulltime Chief. It is refreshing to see and hear the Lt. truly staying his course in every way, shape, and form in embracing the opportunity as the genuine man he is with his genuine desire to serve his hometown to the best of his ability. Personally, he has impressed me even more in the way he has handled himself and disallowed any of the "noise" that surrounds him. As always, I hope that the mayor takes an objective look at Lt. Eric Johansen during the next couple of months and shows the city that someone involved in Peekskill's Partisan Wars is willing to put the people's best interest above the "agenda". 
Cremlock Dregs January 03, 2013 at 05:12 PM
EricJo is the man. Walking tall, looking good and mentally alert at all times. With him on the beat, there's no need to worry, despite the fact that about five thousand of our neighbors are packing heat, according to the JN. I understand that you will soon be leavin town Don't try to call me when they finally run ya down Just give fair warning any time you come around... With a gun.
shakemdown January 04, 2013 at 05:05 AM
when is this chick flying the coop (leaving office or voted off) soon i hope, i feel that we the citizens of this city should have a say on who our next chief should be and not some chick who thinks that the world is hers we should all stand up and demand that MR. JOHANSEN BE OUR NEXT CHIEF
Wendy Kelly January 04, 2013 at 09:16 PM
You strongly feel that way shakemdown? Get a petition circulating and ask people to sign. Here is a sample of my online version. In total with hard copy I had over 1000 signatures. Be prepared for lots of work have a team ready give them each 4-6 pages and ask them to fill bring it to CC meeting and present to Mary and Council Members. Post it on Patch too. I have two people in this household willing to sign. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/peekskill-ny-and-surrounding-areas-oppose/
Fred January 07, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Yeah, but isn't there another senior police officer in PPD that is also up for the job? Aren't there union rules that the city is following? Is PPD running as smoothly as it should be? Shouldn't they also look for a candidate outside of the department with different experience? It will probably go to Eric Johansen and I'd be happy about that, but I want the city to find us the best candidate since the person will probably be there for a long time.
Abby Normal January 07, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Fred, I think you're right. Eric seems very qualified for the job but the PPD has been running under the same leadership for years. If this was a business, they'd look for the best qualified candidate and wouldn't make a decision based upon, who's here that we can promote. Do a search. Interview the candidates and make the decision. It ain't brain surgery.
leesther brown January 08, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Look all of ya!!!!..The Mayor can not do, what she has been doing.....first off Brian according to the charter is not "Qualified" to be the City Manager,the City Manager also sits as the Commissioner of Public Safety that's who makes the decision along with the recommendation from the Chief ..now we don't have a "Qualified" City Manger/Public Safety Commissioner so perhaps somebody can show me where in the charter it allows the Mayor and Clowncil to mix..tamper and dilute as they are doing!!!?

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