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Anthony Geraci Watervliet's 17th police chief

July 25, 2019 11:24 PM

WATERVLIET - Forty-two year old Anthony Geraci has worn a police uniform for the past two decades, first in NYPD blue, and most recently as an Albany lieutenant. Now he's sworn an oath to protect and serve the police of Watervliet as that city's 17th chief of police.

"It's hard to articulate, put into words how much this means to mean," Geraci said after his Thursday afternoon swearing in ceremony, "I worked my entire professional life towards this moment."

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On the streets of the city that is roughly one square mile in size, and in a department that employs 27 officers, Geraci promises to create a "culture of accountability."

"The biggest challenge, I need to listen," Geraci asserts, "I need to understand what the concerns are and I need to listen to everyone."

The man Geraci listens to the most is his father, former Schenectady Police Chief Michael Geraci, who believes growing up in a law enforcement family has rubbed off on his son.

"It's very different today (then when I became a police officer)," Michael Geraci states, "We need innovative leadership and I really feel strong that Anthony is that individual."

"(Anthony Geraci is the perfect fit for Watervliet) because of his experience and his family background," according to Jeremy Smith, the Watervliet City Manager who hired the new police chief. "One of the big things is working in the neighborhoods and the relationships he's made with those in the community in Albany. The Neighborhood Engagement Unit and things like that is what Watervliet is about, a very tight-knit community."

A tight-knit community in a law enforcement universe that is ever changing.

"I think when I became a cop, last century in 1999, law and order was prevalent and enforcement was prevalent in the police community," Anthony Geraci states, "What I've learned over my career is that you truly do need the community to solve problems, and to help solve problems, where you start is building trust."

Chief Geraci's first day on the job is scheduled for August 12th.

Credits

Dan Levy

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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