Peekskill Announces New Police Chief

City officials held a press conference outside of the Peekskill police department parking lot Friday announcing Eric Johansen as the department's new chief.

Eric Johansen said he’s always dreamed of running his own police department.

So it was no surprise to see him smiling during Friday’s press conference announcing him as the new Peekskill police chief.

“I’m just very happy for my husband,” Cathy Johansen said of Friday’s announcement. “He’s worked very hard for this and I’m thrilled to see it come to fruition.”

As far Johansen’s position as chief at home?

“We let him think certain things in life,” Cathy Johansen said.

Johansen has been serving as the department’s interim chief since January, following the retirement of Eugene Tumolo.

He has served on the police department for 19 years, joining the force in February 1994 after serving a stint as volunteer firefighter for the city. In 2007, he earned a masters in justice administration from Norwich University in Vermont.

He served as lieutenant prior to his appointment as acting chief.

“I’d like to thank the mayor and the council for having the confidence to lead this department,” Johansen said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for me and a tremendous responsibility and I’m just humbled by the amount of support that I  have gotten from the city officials and from my friends and my family in the community of Peekskill.”

Said Mayor Mary Foster called Friday a special day for the city. She said the decision to name new chief wasn’t taken lightly.

Foster said the city officials were looking for an individual who would be accessible to the community and was committed to adopting modern law enforcement techniques.

“We received a number of letters from city residents, from business owners, from the Westchester County District Attorney’s office and a number of others stating how much they were impressed with Eric’s professionalism, his kindness and helpfulness in reaching out to groups throughout the Peekskill community,” Foster said.

Donald Lee Singer, a local attorney and the Greenburgh former police chief, said he’s known Johansen for more than 20 years. He wasn’t surprised by Johansen’s appointment as chief.

“He’s an extremely intelligent person and he’s an extremely caring person and he interacts with the community,” Singer said. “I don’t care who you talk to, everyone as nice things to say about him.”

Eric and Cathy Johansen have three children. Cathy Johansen, served as a lieutenant in the police department, but  took the early incentive retirement package offered by the city last year. Their daughter,  was recently hired as an officer by the Rye police department.

ED HICKEY February 23, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Once again Chief Johansen, congratulations on your well deserved and earned appointment. It was also a refreshing press conference with the Mayor speaking of the many letters received indicating the many strengths, experience, character, and education you possess that made you the candidate of choice. Maybe you sir may be a trailblazer in breaking through and maintaining open and constructive dialog with the mayor and council?!? Stay your course as it has been exemplary and very impressive to many, including this writer. Indeed, your day was just as great for the city of Peekskill as it was for you and your family.
ed benvenga February 23, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Congratulations Eric! This is great news for Peekskill
Ray Adamick February 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM
A good day for Peekskill
Rubio4u February 23, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Congratulations Eric! Best of luck! Scott Woods
shakemdown February 24, 2013 at 06:36 AM
I also would like to take the time to congratulate MR. JOHANSEN, you deserve it I like to wish you nothing but the best and what ever you do, don't change for anyone,there will be some in city hall who will try to change your way of thinking about our community, don't let it happen be your own man, and remember, you are the CHIEF not the mayor and her posses.
stephanie February 24, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Congratulations chief eric johansen this is the best news that the city of peekskill got i hoped you would get the position again congratulations and the best of luck
Peekskill80 February 25, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Congratulations Chief Johansen!!! Not only were you fit for the job, you have an awesome attitude!! Always so pleasant to see strolling the arrests of Peekskill. You never let your job description go to your head. Even while doing your job, you always go by the book and as long as civilians were doing the right thing, you treat them as such. Also, I wanna give your wife a shout out. She is an awesome lady. My daughter participated in the police camp and I have never seen her happy to do push ups lol. Even when she twisted her ankle and Mrs. Johansen didn't call me to send her home. Instead she still made her work and do something so that my daughter can feel good. She even called the next morning and told me that to send her, do not keep her home. There's work she can do without using her ankle. Once again congrats, you are very well deserving of the job!! I wish you nothing but the best!!!!
Peekskill80 February 25, 2013 at 03:07 PM


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