Yonkers Police Past Commanders

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Past Commanders 1871-Present

Since 1871, twenty-one men have held the position as top commander of the Yonkers Police Department. They were known by different titles, Captain of Police, Police Chief, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety, Chief of Police, and Police Commissioner, but all were considered "supreme commanders" during their terms of service. The Police Department is not a democracy, and each of these men, with their individual personalities, left their mark on the department. Here are their photographs and a little information about some of them.

Gardner
Charles Gardner
2012 - Present

Edmund.Hartnett.bw
Edmund Hartnett
2006-2011

Robert Taggart
Robert Taggart
2003-2006

Charles Cola
Charles A. Cola
2000-2003

Joseph Cassino
Joseph P. Cassino
1998-2000


Donald Christopher
Donald Christopher
1996-1998

Albert McEvoy
Albert McEvoy
1995-1996

Robert Olson
Robert Olson
1990-1995 

Joseph Fernandes
Joseph Fernandes
1983-1990

Charles Connolly
Charles Connolly
1980-1983

Daniel Guido
Daniel P. Guido
1978-1980

William Polsen
William F. Polsen
1964-1979

James McCue
Capt. James McCue
1952-1963

William Comey
Lt. William Comey
1947-1952

William Kruppenbacher
William Kruppenbacher
1940-1947

Edward Quirk
Edward Quirk
1926-1940

Daniel Wolf
Daniel Wolff
1908-1919

 William Lent
William Lent
1907-1908

Frederick Woodruf 
Frederick Woodruf
1901-1907

James McLaughlin
James McLaughlin
1897-1901 

John Mangin 
John Mangin
1871-1897





Commissioners  Of  Public  Safety 1908 - 1973

The foregoing list of "Past Commanders" consists, with few exceptions, of members of the Yonkers Police Department who rose through the ranks to ultimately achieve authority over the entire police department.

Prior to 1908 the Yonkers Police Department was governed by a "Board of Police Commissioners," usually about six in number, and all prominent local business men. The same was true for the Yonkers Fire Dept. In fact, these commissioners had authority over the uniformed leader of the police department and all it's operations. In 1908 the City of Yonkers was granted 2nd class city status by the state legislature and as such was required to abolish the Board of Police Commissioners and replace them with a new single position. A "Commissioner of Public Safety." This new civilian commissioner would have the ability to set policy and have ultimate  authority over BOTH the police and fire departments, and their chiefs. This new  Safety Commissioner maintained his office in City Hall.

In each case, with the exception of the last two commissioners, none had ever served as police officers. The last two who had been in law enforcement both took leaves of absence to assume their position. This Public Safety Commissioner position was instituted in 1908 and continued up to 1973 when it was abolished leaving final authority of the police departments operations with the Chief of Police, at that time, Chief William F. Polsen. The fire chief also regained complete control of his bureau. What follows is a list of gentlemen who, in each case,  were appointed  to the former civilian position entitled, "Commissioner of Public Safety."

Edgar M. Hermance Jan. 1908 - Dec 1909
James J. Fleming Jan. 1910 - Dec. 1917
Walter B.J. Mitchell Jan. 1918 - May 1918
Maurice O'Keefe June 1918 - Dec. 1921
Thomas M. Tobin Jan. 1922 - Dec. 1923
Alfred H. Iles  Jan. 1924 - Dec. 1925
William H. VanKeuren Jan. 1926 - May 1926
William D. Cameron June 1926 - Dec. 1927
Frank B. Devlin Jan. 1928 - Dec. 1931
Dennis M. Morrissey Jan. 1932 - Dec. 1939
Raymond J. Whitney * Jan. 1940 - Dec. 1941
William A. Walsh * Jan. 1942 - Nov. 1944
Robert Craig Montgomery * Nov. 1944 - Mar. 1945
Francis J. Duffy Apr. 1945 - Feb. 1946
Patrick F. O'Hara Feb. 1946 - Mar. 1952
Milton E. Goldman Apr. 1952 - Dec. 1963
Daniel F. McMahon Jan. 1964 - Dec. 1967
(Det. Capt.) Frank E. Vescio Jan. 1968 - Oct. 1971
(Det. Lt.) William H. Sickley Nov. 1971 - May 1973

Frank Vescio
Det. Capt. Frank E. Vescio
Jan. 1968 - Oct. 1971


William Sickley
Det. Lt. William H. Sickley
Nov. 1971 - May 1973

* Denotes that these men, during January 1940 through March 1945, were Yonkers City Managers, also functioning in the dual capacity of Acting Commissioner of Public Safety.

Information and Photos provided by Deputy Chief George Rutledge (Ret.)
Founder of the George E. Rutledge Police Museum