Volkmann leaves city post

Volkmann

HUDSON — Hudson Police Commissioner Peter Volkmann resigned from his city post effective immediately, Mayor Kamal Johnson confirmed Monday.

Johnson appointed Volkmann, who was police chief in Chatham, in December 2019. Johnson will appoint a new police commissioner to replace him. The city charter does not specify a time period for replacing the commissioner, Mayoral Aide Michael Chameides said.

“Volkmann accomplished a lot of amazing work in Chatham, especially around the addiction and recovery community,” Johnson said of his decision to name Volkmann commissioner last year. “A lot of his initiatives went hand-in-hand with my goals for police-community relations.”

In a statement announcing the resignation, Johnson said he is thankful for the work that was accomplished during the nine months Volkmann served as commissioner.

Following Volkmann’s resignation from his city job, Johnson will continue to work closely with the Hudson Police Department, Police Reconciliation & Advisory Commission and Transitions to Treatment.

“Moving forward, we will continue our work to improve public safety as well as police-community relations,” Johnson said.

Johnson did not give a reason for Volkmann’s resignation.

Volkmann was placed on 30-day paid administrative leave by the Chatham Village Board in his position as Chatham police chief in Chatham, Mayor John Howe said Saturday.

State police served the village with a search warrant Thursday seeking computer records from the Chatham Police Department, Howe said, adding investigators seized only computers from the police.

Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said Monday that he can neither confirm nor deny that a search warrant was executed in Chatham last Thursday.

State police confirmed an investigation is underway, but could not provide details of the ongoing probe, state police Public Information Officer Aaron Hicks said Saturday.

The investigation is being conducted by state police, the state Comptroller’s Office and the Columbia County District Attorney’s office, Howe said.

State Comptroller’s Office spokeswoman Kate Gurnett confirmed an investigation is taking place in Chatham, but added her office cannot comment on it.

The board put Volkmann on administrative leave during an emergency executive meeting Friday.

“Volkmann’s temporary paid leave is an administrative action while the investigation is taking place, and should not be perceived as a disciplinary action,” Howe said.

The board will revisit Volkmann’s administrative leave in 30 days, if necessary, Howe said.

Volkmann is perhaps best known for the police department’s Chatham Cares 4U program, which connects and transports, when necessary, substance-abuse addicts to treatment centers.

He is also credited with the village’s Your Cop program, which is a hands-on neighborhood policing effort to ensure police officers are connected to assigned neighborhoods.

Volkmann joined U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, on Feb. 4 to attend President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union address in Washington.

On Jan. 8, 2019, state police, the state Department of Taxation and Finance and the state Comptroller’s Office executed a search warrant of Chatham village records, issued by Columbia County Court.

Investigators seized a large volume of paper records and computers. The investigation was into possible irregularities with village finances.

The 2019 case remains open and under investigation, Howe said.

Howe declined comment on whether the seizure of village records in 2019 is connected to Volkmann’s administrative leave.

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