City Of Schenectady Introduces New Public Safety Commissioner | WAMC

City Of Schenectady Introduces New Public Safety Commissioner

Nov 10, 2020

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy has appointed the city’s next Public Safety Commissioner.

McCarthy made the announcement Tuesday afternoon on the steps of city hall.

"I'm proud today to have the opportunity to appoint Eugene Devine, Judge Devine, I believe known as ‘Gus,’ with a broad legal background, public defender’s office, private practice, supreme court judge, also serving on the appellate division. I will momentarily administer a symbolic oath of office because he is still a sitting judge today and will take the position effective December 1st."

In 2006, Devine was elected Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and in 2014 he was appointed to the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The 72-year-old Devine will succeed Michael Eidens (Eye-dens), who retired at the end of October after serving since 2017.

"I very simply believe that in our current environment we have provided for us the impetus for change. We must as a society both protect and respect the community which we serve. I hope to bring my experience as a private attorney, as a public defender, as Chief of Social Services and as a supreme court judge on the trial bench and on the appellate bench to this job and help our first responders perform their critical duties."

Devine has also been an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Siena College and the College of St. Rose.

The commissioner oversees the police, fire and buildings departments and the position includes conducting hearings and developing department procedures.

"I look forward to meeting the police reform reinvention collaborative steering committee and the members of the stakeholder groups that make up our community, and over the next several weeks I plan to get familiar with that so I can hit the ground running as of December 1st."

Like other cities, Schenectady has begun a series of state-mandated meetings to reimagine the role of the police, with a final report due to the Cuomo administration by April.

Devine added he'll be brushing up on city business by watching video recordings archived on social media.