Beacon mayor refutes union complaint

BEACON – Mayor Lee Kyriacou of Beacon, Wednesday, expressed disappointment that the police union – Teamsters Local 445 – has resorted to what he called “intimidation and escalation,” the opposite of what the appropriate behavior should be “in today’s charged environment.”

The Teamsters, which represent the Beacon PBA, accused the city administration of being anti-police and not backing the officers in their duties.

“I have supported the honorable men and women of the Beacon Police Department from my first day in office six months ago,” Kyriacou said. “In hundreds of individual interactions with officers since then, my first words have always been ‘thank you’ and most recently, ‘I appreciate the difficult situation you are in’.”

The mayor said that support remains “unabated – and is never inconsistent with either listening to the concerns of our community or asking questions to consider what change may be needed.”

Kyriacou said he is “deeply disappointed by the approach of the police union, which has resorted to intimidation and escalation in a highly charged environment – where the community-building approach should be outreach and dialogue.”

He said neither he or the city administrator have received any meeting requests, calls or emails from the PBA leadership requesting a discussion or anything else.

“Our police officers are all trained in and must practice d-escalation,” the mayor said. “The police union tactics ignore de-escalation training – at a time when our community needs to come together. I would encourage them to reach out and be constructive – my door remains open for calm, honest discussion.”

He said the PBA’s dissatisfaction come to light right after the appointment of retired Beacon Lt. William Cornett as acting police chief. “I chose someone with a long history in the Beacon police, with a record of integrity and transparency, and with no interest in continuing in the role. That choice safeguards our community, our police department and our city, as we search for permanent leadership.”

Kyriacou said if the PBA is “disgruntled at not being able to hand-pick leadership, that simply reflects their failure to engage in dialogue as well as unrealistic expectations.”

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