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The Town of Tonawanda police captain who helped the department win state accreditation has been promoted to assistant police chief in charge of operations.

Assistant Police Chief Kenneth F. Czubaj, 55, succeeds Robert J. Rowland, 61, who is retiring this week after 34 years with the town's police force.

Czubaj will oversee the department's patrol division, communications and records, said Police Chief Samuel M. Palmiere.

He will earn $76,221 per year in his new position, the same as Rowland.

The Town Board, at Palmiere's recommendation, approved Czubaj's promotion Monday.

"I find him to be an asset to this department and certainly exemplary in how he performed his duties," Palmiere said in an interview.

Czubaj joined the department as a patrol officer in 1972. He was named a lieutenant in 1986 and a captain in 1989, said Supervisor Ronald H. Moline.

In 1990, Czubaj attended the FBI Academy, Moline said. In 1993, he was named commander of records and communications for the department.

Also in 1993, the Police Department first won accreditation from the New York State Bureau of Municipal Police, thanks to Czubaj's efforts, Palmiere said.

The state reaccredited the department in 1998.

Rowland was an "attention-to-details kind of guy" who oversaw the patrol division, the detective bureau and many of the department's criminal investigations, Palmiere said.

"Nothing was too small or too big for (Rowland) to oversee," the chief said.

The detective bureau now will report directly to Palmiere.

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