BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Bedford Police Department promoted three of its members Monday in a ceremony at the Bedford Town House.
Bedford Supervisor Lee Roberts swore in Lt. Melvin Padilla, promoted from sergeant; Sgt. Andrew Bellantone, promoted from police officer; and Detective William Smith, also promoted from police officer.
Padilla is a U.S. Navy veteran who began his police career in 2000 with the New York City Police Department and has worked with Bedford since January 2002. In 2009, Padilla was promoted to sergeant, where his duties included supervising uniformed officers in the Patrol Division as a squad supervisor.
Padilla has also served since 2011 as the department’s traffic safety coordinator, leading the department to gain statewide recognition for its traffic safety initiatives. Since joining the Bedford Police Department, he has also graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy.
Bellantone started his career with the New York Police Department in 2002. In addition to patrol duties, he has served as an instructor, field training officer and drug recognition expert. Bellantone is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and has a bachelor's degree in business communications and personnel administration.
Smith started his career with the Bedford Police Department in September 1994, and in November 2005 was the first officer assigned to the department's newly created School Resource Officer program , which he helped turn into a working partnership between the department and the Bedford Central School District.
Smith has built relationships with staff and students that have increased campus safety, reduced crime and enhanced both organizations’ ability to respond to critical incidents on and off campus, according to Bedford police officials. Smith has received numerous police certifications and attended Mercy College and Randolph Macon College.
"Each of these three officers have consistently demonstrated their commitment to duty and their ability to lead," Police Chief William Hayes said at Monday's ceremony. "Mel in his role as patrol supervisor, Drew in his daily patrol work, his role as field training officer and police academy instructor, and his contribution to reducing drugged driving in Bedford and throughout Westchester."
"And while a detective is not a supervisor, the leadership demonstrated by Bill Smith in establishing our SRO program has set the bar at a level I hope others will emulate," Hayes said.
Padilla replaces Lt. Robert Mazurak, who retired at the end of 2012 with more than 30 years of service, while Smith replaces Detective Matthew DiBiase, who retired at the end of 2012 with more than 20 years of service.