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The Hamburg Police Department took center stage at the Hamburg Town Board meeting Monday night, as five new police officers were sworn in and three promotions were announced, including the town's first female detective.

"In the 1970s, many police officers were hired by the town," Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak said, adding that many of those officers are retiring.

"We will have hired at least 10 officers in the last year, with more openings coming up with retirements."

The new officers hired by the town are William Stowell, John Miller, Robert Palmer Jr., Vincent Pupo III and Michael Prusak. Miller, Pupo and Prusak are state corrections officers, Police Chief Joseph Coggins said.

Coggins said the normal contingent for the department is 65, and the new appointments bring the complement to 64.

The Town Board also promoted Michael C. Lavelle to lieutenant and Thomas Best Jr. and Laurie Staley-Stone to detectives-temporary. Staley-Stone is the first female detective on the town police force.

The board also decided to apply for a state grant to construct a bicycle path from the Hoover Beach hike-and-bike parking facility to Woodlawn Beach State Park.

"It seems like this is taking off," said Councilwoman Joan A. Kesner, who has taken the lead in pursuing the bike path. "Our residents will be able to park at Hoover Beach and go right into the Inner Harbor."

The town already has secured a grant to create a parking area at Hoover Beach. The path is called the Southtowns Waterfront Recreation Trail.

The supervisor said town resident Joseph Kilian strongly suggested Town Board members take a bike ride on the Amherst bike path.

"A certain member on this board was coerced into taking a 20-mile bike ride in Amherst and had a ball," Hoak said, referring to himself.

Town officials want to see the path link up with recreation spots at Eighteen-Mile Creek, the Penn Dixie Quarry and the Town of Evans as well as Buffalo.

Also Monday night, the board approved the issuance of $559,690 in serial bonds for the Highland Acres extension.

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