A constable force comprised of six men was formed in the Town of Rotterdam in 1936. The headquarters of the force was located on Paul Avenue, in the garage of the town clerk. The force serviced a population of less then 10,000 people and a minimal number of business establishments. In 1940, the police department moved to the then newly constructed Town Hall on Vinewood Ave. In 1942, the force became an integral part of the New York State Police Broadcasting Network.
From 1942-1958, the police department grew with the needs of the town, expanding to a force of 21 men with 5 cars. In 1958, the department moved into a new building, located next to the town hall on Vinewood Ave. During this period the town’s population increased to 35,000 people.
The police department continued to grow with the needs of the town, and expanded to a total of 32 men, with 8 patrol cruisers. In the late 1970’s the police department had outgrown its facilities and moved into its present location on Princetown Road. Civilian dispatchers were brought in for the first time to start handling the ever-increasing call volume.
In the late 1970’s a paramedic unit was created in the Town of Rotterdam. In 1980, Police/Paramedic officers were deployed for the first time to respond to medical calls, bringing advanced life support training and equipment.
Today, the Rotterdam Police Department provides twenty-four hour law enforcement coverage to the Town residents and has a total sworn staff of forty-one officers. Sworn personnel include one chief, one deputy chief, one uniformed patrol lieutenant, one detective lieutenant, six patrol sergeants, twenty- four uniformed patrol officers, five investigators and two school resource officers.
The Town of Rotterdam is located in the southwest corner of Schenectady County. The City of Schenectady borders Rotterdam on the east, the Town of Princetown is on the western border and the Town of Glenville is to the north. The Town of Rotterdam covers 37 square miles of land area. Major transportation routes within the town include the New York State Thruway (I-90) and Interstates I-890 and I-88. Major New York State routes include Routes 7, 158, 159, 5S, 146, 337, 160, 406 and 106. There are 180 miles of roadways in the Town.
Ranks Of The Police Department
The Chief of Police is the Chief Executive Officer of the department, and as such has full authority and responsibility for managing, directing and controlling the procedures and operations of the department.
The Deputy Chief of Police is the second highest-ranking officer within the department and as such is responsible for assisting the Chief of Police in the administration of the department. The Deputy Chief acts as the Administrative Officer of the department.
Lieutenants are responsible for the oversight of a division or a specific function within the department.
Sergeants are the first line supervisors and are immediately responsible to their Division Commander for the proper supervision and control of all personnel assigned under them.
Investigators are primarily responsible for the investigation and preparation of felony criminal cases for submission to the District Attorney’s Office as assigned them by their Division Commander.
Patrol Officers are responsible for the preliminary investigation of all complaints assigned to them by the department whether criminal in nature or not.
Rotterdam Police Command Structure
James J. Hamilton
G. William Manikas
Patrol Division Lieutenant
Detective Division Lieutenant