Newburgh PBA opposes open competitive exam for police chief

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NEWBURGH – The Newburgh City Police Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has gone on record with its “unequivocal and unified objection” to the city civil service commission’s decision to offer only an open-competitive exam for the position of police chief.
In a letter to the commission, PBA President Det. Mike Pitt, said the union calls for a promotional exam instead of, or along with, the open-competitive exam.
“Offering an open-competitive exam for police chief in lieu of a promotional exam will adversely affect morale here in the City of Newburgh Police Department,” Pitt wrote. “Moreover, this decision by the commission can only be interpreted by our members as being antithetical towards the men and women who put their lives on the line for the citizens of this city on a daily basis.”
Pitt told the commission the men and women of the police department “know how to police and work in this city.” He said its members “have the experience, expertise, and capability to lead this department forward with our community in making it a safe and vibrant city. Opening up the exam to members of law enforcement outside of the City of Newburgh Police Department is not in the best interest of the general public.”
The PBA’s stance on the test comes after the commission refused to administer a promotional exam on March 5. As a result, acting Chief Daniel Cameron said he would not take the open-competitive exam. Among his concerns is that the qualifications for a city officer to take that test are stricter than those for candidates from other departments. Cameron has been a Newburgh officer for some 20 years, most recently serving as a lieutenant.