Glenn C. Slack was sworn in this week as Amityville Village's 15th chief of police, taking the helm of a department he joined 31 years ago and has led on an interim basis since late June.
Slack, 56, leads 23 officers whose morale was said by village insiders to be battered by contract and salary disputes with the trustees in recent years. He was appointed interim chief after the former chief and his second-in-command resigned with little advance notice earlier this summer.
In an interview Wednesday, he said morale was "at an all-time high." He continued: "We are doing our job. There's an open line of communication with the union and the board. I foresee better times."
Slack said the transition had been smooth. "Right now, I'm working with police officers whose fathers I went to school with. There's still a familiarity there, with strong connections to the village."
Slack, the son of former trustee Joe Slack and brother to village police Officer Joe Slack and former Sgt. Pam Slack, comes with what trustee Nick LaLota called a "pedigree" in an interview this week.
"Glenn has great respect in the community and amongst the men," LaLota said, adding that trustees had "other options to bring in a chief from outside, but chose to promote from within."
In a statement, Amityville PBA chief Chris Mullin echoed that praise, calling Slack "a true leader and undoubtedly the man for the job. We truly believe his leadership will move this department forward."
At a ceremony Monday night attended by former trustees and Slack's wife, Edell, and children Courtney, 23, and two of three 20-year-old triplets, Lindsey and Tyler -- Jake, a U.S. Marine, was not present -- the new chief praised the officers working under him, calling them "the most honorable, courageous and committed men and women that I've ever met."
Slack will be paid a base salary of about $180,000. In a change from past practice, his contract calls for him to work part of some nights, overlapping with officers on six-month night rotation.
A portion of his separation pay -- the lump sum officers receive after retirement for unused vacation and sick hours, which sometimes reaches six figures -- will be based on the salary he earned as a sergeant, limiting the size of the check the village may eventually have to cut, officials said.