Hempstead Village Police Chief Joseph Wing announced Thursday that he will retire in January after 30 years on the force, the past four as chief.
Assistant Chief Michael McGowan will take the top spot on an interim basis while the village seeks a permanent replacement. McGowan, 58, has been on the force since 1978 and became assistant chief in May.
Wing, 54, joined the department as a patrol officer in April 1981, later reached the rank of detective lieutenant and became chief in April 2007. His last day will be Jan. 20. Wing, who received an annual salary of more than $193,000, has not yet submitted his retirement paperwork to the state comptroller's office, he said.
"The village has been good to me and my career," said Wing, who was born and raised in Hempstead Village. "I am saddened in one sense because I have met a lot of great people in the village of Hempstead. But I am also happy knowing that the department is in good shape and is heading in the right direction."
After retiring, Wing will take a position as a consultant with the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, he said. He has been a member of the association for five years, he said, and in his new role will travel around the state to help local police departments analyze crime statistics and ways to allocate resources.
"Chief Joseph Wing has been a tremendous asset to our village," Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said in a statement.
George Siberon, executive director of Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association Inc., said Wing "earned his retirement."
Siberon has pushed village officials to hire more bilingual police officers to better communicate with Spanish-speaking residents. "We really would have liked to have seen greater progress along those lines," he said.
Reginal Lucas, president of the Hempstead Coordinating Council of Civic Associations, said he was disappointed to see Wing leave after being awarded a new contract earlier this year.
"For him to just leave like this is not a good thing for the village," Lucas said.