HASTING-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - A native of Hastings-in-Hudson and unabashed fan of the village and its people, former Sgt. Anthony Visalli took over as Hastings Police Chief in February.
Visalli is a 15-year veteran of the force and a resident of Hastings. He lives on Maple Avenue, just a short distance form Village Hall and police headquarters. He replaced 30-year veteran David Bloomer, who was the chief since 2009 and a member of the force for 30 year.
"I have always been a very social person, an absolute necessity in this job," Visalli said. "We are always interacting with the public and one needs to enjoy that kind of face to face activity, even when we are dealing with people at their worst moments."
Visalli was on of three qualified applicants for chief, all sergeants on the police force. He was offered the position after civil service testing and review by the Village Board of Trustees, village manager and Police Commission and a group of resident volunteers.
"Our mission here, in addition to serving and protecting, is to help enhance the quality of life for our residents," Visalli said. "We try very hard to keep our residents happy by fulfilling their requests. We are a very personal police department. At the same time, part of keeping that balance, is keeping our officers happy as well. Happy cops interact much better with the public then unhappy cops."
With the responsibility of neatly 8,000 residents, the new chief said he will depend on the public to help prevent and solve crimes.
The public plays a crucial role in helping us prevent crime as well as solving past crimes," Visalli said. "Although we are a small jurisdiction in a geographical sense, we can not be everywhere all the time. This is why it is so important for the public to call when a crime is being committed. When a resident calls for service, in most cases there is an officer no more then a minute or two from wherever the crime is taking place."
Visalli said he wants to maintain a close relationship with his police men and women and the villagers and understands that a small Rivertowns village is more appealing when crime is at a minimum.
"We want our officers to be proud of what they do and therefore they are reminded regularly of the good work they do," he said. "We want them to believe in their mission of keeping people safe. We want them to understand that we are behind them 100 percent from the top down and that they have a positive impact on the village every day. Having such a positive relationship between the officers and public leads us to having a much safer community."