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Police chief cites reasons for considering retirement

His wife retired Tuesday, and there are his seven grandchildren and a place in the Adirondacks, all reasons for recently appointed Town of Tonawanda Police Chief Lawrence A. Hoffmann III to consider retirement.

But the new Democratic majority on the Town Board could also be a factor. During Monday's Town Board work session, the Democrats approved only three of the five departmental promotions that Hoffman recommended.

As a frustrated Hoffman defended the need for all five promotions, he said he may retire next year. He added that the town could then eliminate one of the department's two assistant chief positions, a move the Democrats support.

"This has been their thought all along, that we don't need two assistant chiefs," Hoffman said.

Hoffman, who has been with the police force for 32 years, said retirement has been a recurring thought in recent years for personal reasons, such as his grandchildren and his wife's retirement. He said the Democrats were not a factor in his decision-making process.

"Yes, I'm thinking about retiring next year; just thinking about it," Hoffman said Tuesday. "It's been off and on since I was captain, but I figured I'd stay around."

Hoffman, 56, was appointed chief in November. His father served as chief in the 1980s.

Before Monday's work session, Town Supervisor Ronald H. Moline was not privy to Hoffman's retirement considerations.

"No, I wasn't aware of it," he said. Moline said Hoffman has led a "very smooth transition," which included retirements and key appointments.

"He was obviously the right man to continue the transition of the Police Department," Moline said. "I think he's done an outstanding job with [previous Police Chief Samuel M.] Palmiere's administration and his administration."

e-mail: esapong@buffnews.com

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