After seeing several retirements and a few new hires, Bedford police recognized the promotion of three members of the police department in a ceremony held earlier this week.
Bedford Police Chief William Hayes led the ceremony recognizing Melvin Padilla, Andrew Bellantone and William Smith by saying that it was their responsibility to ensure a team atmosphere at the police department in order to meet new challenges.
"In the past few years, we’ve struggled against an economic crisis, severe personnel cuts, and social change," he said on Monday. "We've responded to these challenges by continuously exploring new and innovative methods to maintain our effectiveness. The events in Newtown—and similar recent violence nationwide—clearly demonstrates that we are again on the verge of yet another "new normal" in community policing."
Lieutenant Padilla replaces Lieutenant Robert Mazurak, who retired at the end of 2012 with over 30 years of service and Detective Smith replaces Detective Matthew Dißiase who also retired at the end of 2012 with more than 20 years of service to the department.
Hayes also praised the trio for their leadership and commitment.
Below is background information on the promoted officers, courtesy of the Bedford police department:
Lieutenant Melvin Padilla began his police career with the New York City Police Department in the year 2000, and has been employed by Bedford police since January of 2002. In 2009, Padilla was promoted to Sergeant. As Sergeant, he supervised uniformed officers in the Patrol Division as a Squad supervisor. Lieutenant Padilla has also served as the department’s traffic safety coordinator since 2011. His efforts in that capacity led the Bedford Police Department to statewide recognition for its traffic safety initiatives. Lt. Padilla is a US Navy veteran and is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy.
Sergeant Andrew Bellantone also started his career with the New York City Police Department in 2002. In additional to his uniformed patrol duties, he has served as an instructor, field training officer, and Drug Recognition Expert. Sgt. Bellantone is a US Coast Guard veteran and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Communications and Personnel Administration.
Detective William Smith started his career With the Bedford Police Department in September, l994. ln November 2005, he was the first officer assigned to the departments newly created School Resource Officer program. ln that role, Officer Smith guided the fledgling program into a full-scale partnership between the Bedford Police Department and the Bedford Central School District. Officer Smith has built relationships with both the school staff and students that have increased Campus ability to respond to critical incidents on-and-off-campus. Detective Srnith's education and training include numerous police certifications and attendance at Mercy as well as Randolph Macon Coîlege.