Police commissioner duties under review by Fishkill Town Board

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Fishkill Town Hall

TOWN OF FISHKILL – The Town of Fishkill is considering changes to the powers it grants to the police commissioner at Wednesday (tonight) this evening’s board meeting.  When Supervisor Ozzy Albra took office, he appointed the chairman of the Dutchess County Independence Party, Dennis Zack, to serve as police commissioner.

The revised duties include the preparation and submission of documents to the State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), including but not limited to, police officer registry submissions for the addition, removal or amendment of police officer registry information relating to the Town of Fishkill.

In August of this year, Albra attempted to bring back Scott Bierce, an embattled member of the department who resigned in 2019 and was de-certified as a police officer by DCJS.  The request to have Bierce’s police credentials revoked was filed by outgoing Police Chief James Schepperley.  Albra and Zack attempted to have the credentials restored, with Commissioner Zack filing the paperwork with DCJS.  The state agency declined to re-instate Bierce, claiming that Zack had no authority to file the request.  The proposed change to Zack’s powers would give him the opportunity to resubmit the request.

Town Councilman Ori Brachfeld denounced the plan. “This is an attempt by Supervisor Albra to re-hire a cop that was let go under the previous chief and denied by the new chief.  This ‘end-around’ is handcuffing the police chief.”

“I propose expanding powers. But that will be up to the board. As for re-certification, I would like to re-hire Bierce, but that is also a board decision,” Albra said.