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Outside successor possible as Lockport police chief plans retirement

Lockport Police Chief Michael F. Niethe told the city Police Board Monday that he will retire July 1. Board president John T. Pitrello said he would like to see a new chief from outside Lockport.

"We need to make some changes," Pitrello said. Lockport's former chief of detectives retired last month after being placed on leave twice, and two other veteran officers also have retired.

Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey, who said there's "a good chance" an outsider will be hired, said the qualifications were changed last year to give outsiders a chance.

"This will allow the City of Lockport to consider both internal and external candidates with the goal of finding the best chief possible," she said.

Niethe, 61, a 36-year veteran and chief since 2015, declined to comment on the succession plan, except to say he'll stay on if a new chief isn't chosen by July 1.

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