BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Town of Bedford has appointed Douglas Romeo as Bedford's newest police officer, the Bedford Police Department announced Tuesday.
Romeo, a 35-year-old Mahopac resident, has nine years of police experience, including five years as a New York City police officer and most recently four years as a Carmel police officer.
Once he has completed his field training, the Bedford Police Department will assign him to the operations division in the Patrol Services Bureau.
Bedford Police Chief William Hayes said his department is operating with 28 officers due to recent retirements but is budgeted for 40, and officers are working extra hours.
Currently, Hayes said, the struggle is to provide the best professional police service while dealing with a rapidly changing economic climate that has necessitated budget cuts.
Recently, Sgt. Andrew Bellantone was promoted from police officer to sergeant, while six Bedford Police Department officers retired at the end of 2012, including Lt. Robert Mazurak, who had served 30 years.
Mazurak was replaced by Lt. Melvin Padilla, who was promoted from sergeant. Sgt. Jack Purdy (25 years), Sgt. Matthew Dunn (24 years) and Sgt. Anthony Frasca (21 years), all retired as well.
Additionally, Detective Matthew DiBiase, who had served 23 years with Bedford, was replaced by Youth Officer Detective William Smith, who was promoted from officer, and Officer Patrick Lenahan retired after 24 years in the department.
Bedford police Lt. Jeff Dickan told The Daily Voice in a recent interview that the department's achievements are impressive considering that fewer officers are on the street due to budget cuts. In 2012, Dickan said, "I think we actually did more with less."
Hayes said the department is continuing its interviews of candidates for current and expected vacancies. Hayes said he expects the hiring process to be completed after the first quarter of the year.