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Police chief retiring to join U.S. attorney

The Town of Tonawanda's police chief is stepping down to take a position with the Western District of the U.S. attorney's office.

Samuel M. Palmiere's last day on the job will be Friday, and he will officially retire as chief Nov. 10. He has accepted a law enforcement coordinator position with the U.S. attorney's office.

Palmiere, who appointed Assistant Chief Lawrence Hoffman III acting chief, said, "I just decided to do something different." Hoffman's father was the town's police chief in the 1970s and '80s.

Palmiere has been with the department for more than 33 years, 13 as chief.

Palmiere said he is proud of his tenure as chief and his work with the police force. He said his departure will give other department members a chance to advance in their careers.

"There are many qualified people that could possibly move up. This will give them an opportunity to move and grow in their position here," he said.

Supervisor Ronald H. Moline said Palmiere's service has been exceptional, garnering him a lot of respect and support from the department and the community.

Moline said he was impressed with Palmiere's ability to get residents of all ages involved in community policing and public safety initiatives.

He pointed to the creation and success of such programs as DARE, Neighborhood Watch, Crime Resistance Board, Citizens Police Academy and the Community Emergency Response Team.

He said Palmiere also strongly emphasized the training and proficiency of officers.

"That's going to benefit the community and department for many years to come," he said.

Although Palmiere doesn't officially retire until November, he said he's using accrued leave time until his retirement date. He starts his job with the federal government next month.

Palmiere has recommended Hoffman as his successor, and Moline said the Town Board supports his recommendation. But the board won't make a decision until after Palmiere's retirement becomes official.


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