BLOOMING GROVE — Blooming Grove is sharing its new police chief with a neighboring village while the village prepares for its next top cop.
Alessio “Alex” Melchiorre is leading the police departments in both the Town of Blooming Grove and the Village of Monroe. The village job was a homecoming of sorts: Melchiorre had served in the Monroe Police Department for 40 years before retiring as chief in 2016.
He returned to Monroe in January to replace Chief Dave Conklin, who retired in August 2018. The Town of Blooming Grove named Melchiorre as its police chief on Aug. 1, replacing Chief Carl Schupp, who resigned March 20 after 38 years with the department.
Blooming Grove Supervisor Robert Jeroloman had said in a June interview that whoever filled the town’s police chief position would have to resign from his current department. On Tuesday, he clarified that Melchiorre was hired under the condition that his tenure with Monroe will end Nov. 1, when the village is expected to hire a new police chief.
“We don’t want to cause problems for our neighbors in Monroe,” Jeroloman said. “We decided to bring (Melchiorre) on and share him until Nov. 1.”
Jeroloman said Tuesday that the town's chief position is full-time, and that the village job is part-time. However, Melchiorre said that both positions are full-time.
“You want to know how I do my business? I work 12-hour shifts, I work 14-hour shifts,” Melchiorre said. “And that doesn’t count the phone calls in the middle of the night. I am here for the community, for the residents, for the town and for the village.”
Melchiorre is earning salaries of $140,000 a year with Blooming Grove and $100,000 – pro-rated weekly – with Monroe.
Monroe Mayor Neil Dwyer praised the work Melchiorre has done.
"We want to give our new chief every chance to excel," Dwyer said. "Chief Melchiorre will be training him, because policing is not in our wheelhouse. We (Village Board members) are simply the stewards of our village."
Dwyer said four village police sergeants took the police chief civil-service test, and the Village Board could decide on a successor at its Oct. 3 meeting. A start date depends on when the new chief is fully trained and ready.
This isn’t the first time Melchiorre has held two positions. He’d been police chief in Tuxedo Park since July 2016, and held both that position and Monroe’s title until June of this year, when he resigned from Tuxedo Park. A new chief has not yet been named for Tuxedo Park.
The Town Board’s unanimous decision to hire Melchiorre will result in savings of about $30,000 a year for the town, Jeroloman said, because Blooming Grove won’t be paying for health insurance or a pension for him.