CATTARAUGUS - Local Police Chief Don Veith appeared before the December Cattaraugus Village Board meeting to report that one of his officers had decided to move on, and that Officer Mike McCarthy had requested a leave of absence, leaving the police department seriously depleted. He then asked permission to introduce his newest candidate for the village force.
"I believe Mr. Cochise Redeye is the ideal applicant," said Veith. "He comes with credentials that blow me away."
Mr. Redeye spoke briefly to board members and submitted a resume that included service in the United States Air Force Military Police, time as a Seneca Nation Marshall, six years as North Collins Police Chief, 25 years as a Deputy Sheriff and later detective in the Erie County Sheriff's Department, and additional work-related experience. "I've been a policeman since I was eighteen years old," said Redeye. "Now, I'm a retired policeman."
Board members questioned why a man with so much experience would choose to work a part-time job in a small village. To this, Redeye answered, "For me, at this stage in my life, it's perfect. I still want to keep my hand in, but I don't want to be at it fulltime any more."
The board opted to move swiftly on the matter and went into a brief executive session. Upon calling the meeting back to order, Mayor William Myers gave Redeye a handshake, joking, "I'm happy to welcome you to our boring little village. Let's try to keep it that way." Veith said that his new officer would be taking up his duties as soon as the necessary paperwork could be completed.
Veith also asked whether the board would consider sponsoring 25-year-old Robert Kibler for enrollment in the police academy. "He can't attend without a sponsor, and he's the son of Keith Kibler, who's one of our own," said Veith. (Keith has worked as a police officer for the village for the past several months). The board passed a motion to the effect that the village would act as Kibler's sponsoring agent.
In other police-related business, Veith asked Public Works Superintendent Jason Opferbeck if he'd encountered any trouble with the winter parking rules now in effect. Opferbeck replied that on the first morning the plow truck went out, there were fourteen vehicles parked in violation. He added that cars parked across the sidewalk were also a nuisance, as they blocked the sidewalk plow, making that job much more time-consuming.
Veith said that early in November he and his fellow officers had left flyers announcing winter parking rules on the windshields of roadside cars. He said his department would now start ticketing and/or towing such vehicles as they were apprehended.
On another subject, the mayor said he'd been fielding numerous complaints about the number of non-functioning streetlights in the village. He asked Veith if he and his officers, while on patrol, could note the pole numbers of the faulty lights, so that the matter could be reported more accurately to the power company, which has so far remained unresponsive to the problem.
The topic of finding a new school crossing guard for the Jefferson/Franklin Street intersection was also raised by the chief. He said the current guard was quitting, and suggested raising the pay from $8 to $10 an hour.
"The trouble is, it's a job that requires only two, widely separated hours a day," he pointed out. "But it's a busy intersection, and needs an alert, dedicated person to attend it." The board discussed the situation, but did not act on it.
Some of these unresolved issues will doubtless be addressed at the next regular board meeting, Monday, Jan. 11, at 7:00 p.m.