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Thursday, 30 May 2013 13:29

Veitch Takes Reins as Spa City Chief of Police

By Patricia Older | News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — There’s a new chief in town.

Greg Veitch, who has served as assistant chief for the Saratoga Springs Police Department since 2011 was sworn in on Tuesday as the Spa City’s new Chief of Police. He is replacing Christopher Cole who announced his retirement earlier this month and who officially retired on Friday. 

Overcome by emotion several times while he gave his acceptance speech, Veitch recounted how becoming the chief of police had been a dream of his since childhood. 

“As a kid, I grew up on Circular Street and like everyone else and we didn’t have air conditioning back then,” said Veitch. “At night, I would lie up with my brothers and I would listen as I heard the sirens going back and forth—I guess I always knew I was going to be a policeman.” 

Wiping away tears and at times taking a moment to compose himself, Veitch thanked all those who helped him during his career from the time he was a rookie police officer to the time he made investigator and up through when he became assistant chief, even thanking Cole for helping groom him the last two years for the position. 

“It is more than an honor to be standing here today,” said Veitch. 

Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen, in officially announcing Veitch’s appointment, said Veitch was “knowledgeable, intelligent, honest and practical.” 

As chief of police, Veitch will have an annual salary of $102,000.

Veitch, a graduate of Saratoga Springs High School and SUNY-Plattsburgh, began his police career in Burlington, Vermont before returning to Saratoga Springs. He comes from a long line of family members who are involved in public service. His father, Michael Veitch, was a teacher for over 30 years in the Saratoga Springs School District. His brother, Matthew is on the county’s Board of Supervisors representing the Spa City, and another, Paul, is a police officer, while Michael worked in the New York State Legislature. 

After the brief stint in Vermont, Veitch was hired as a patrolman in 1995 to the Saratoga Springs Police Department where he rose through the ranks to investigator, then lieutenant. He was the department spokesman for a time before becoming assistant chief and is a sought after public speaker. 

Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said he has worked with Veitch for 25 years, noting that he got to know Veitch “the best when he was an investigator with the drug unit.” 

“Despite the emotion you saw today, he looks at things very clinically and with common sense,” said Murphy. “We are very excited to have him as the new chief—I hope he’s here for a long time—it’s a good thing for him and it’s good for the department.”

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