The Mayor’s Office announced Thursday that John M. Dolce, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, has submitted his retirement papers to Mayor Joseph Delfino.
The man, whom White Plains Police Officers reverently call “The Chief” submitted his resignation to the Mayor personally on Tuesday.
In a statement to WPCNR today, George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer confirmed that Commissioner Dolce and Commissioner of Planning Mike Graessle had both tendered their retirement papers to the Mayor.
Hickey will serve as Interim Commissioner pending a search.
Mr. Gretsas reported that Mr. Dolce’s last day will be December 28, at which point Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety, Daniel Hickey, will be appointed Interim Commissioner while the city conducts “a nationwide search” for a successor.
Gretsas said that Deputy Commissioner Hickey will be considered a candidate for the permanent position.
A subdued George Gretsas reflects on the Dolce legacy and tradition of law and order in White Plains
Gretsas said the Mayor understands Mr. Dolce’s decision, and that Mr. Dolce has been a “tremendous asset, and has made great contributions to the city.”
Gretsas reflected, “Under Mr. Dolce, the White Plains Police Department has been recognized as one of the best police departments in the state for its cutting edge crime fighting techniques, and flexible ability to police a city that swells to 250,000 persons during the workday and returns to 50,000 residents in the evening, using effective management techniques.”
Presided over the Police Department that Police Departments hire from
Based on this reporter’s observation, Commissioner Dolce created a unique police department that polices without being obtrusive, enforces with respectful authority, and presents a model officer to the community.
THE CHIEF HAS LEFT THE BUILDING: Public Safety Commissioner John Dolce will retiring December 28 after 36 years with the city. The Commissioner planned and designed the Public Safety Building on Martine and Lex.
Other Police Departments across Westchester County lure White Plains Police officers away because of the extensive training they receive under the Dolce course that creates a White Plains Policeman.
Ahead of the curve, Respectful of its citizens.
Mr. Dolce has always been “ahead of the curve,” on technology advancement, having recently installed computer identification procedures and equipment upgrades that allow his force a full range of tools to serve and protect and prevent and apprehend. The performance of his police and fire departments have shown it.
Recently, Mr. Dolce complained when Washington D.C. refused his department a grant for upgrading of the police walkie-talkie system, because the government officials said New Rochelle and Mount Vernon need it more, White Plains is too well equipped. This, from the U.S. government.
Communications and response time on Mr. Dolce’s watch has always been swift, and the police take every citizen’s call as important. When a person wants the police, an officer is dispatched, no matter what, a hallmark of the Dolce legacy. White Plains citizens count on this and they expect it.
They perform with discretion and poise: the best example of this is when a bear wandered about the streets of White Plains several years ago.
Instead of shooting the animal, police monitored the bear, assured it did not hurt any citizen and humanely subdued the ursine perpetrator. Dolce’s officers’ handling of an incident was professional and measured, something White Plains children and this reporter, at least were duly impressed.
Creator of a police and fire department the citizens love.
Despite rhetoric to the contrary during political seasons, the police and fire departments under Commissioner Dolce perform with camaraderie and mutual respect, bravery and efficiency.
They treat citizens of White Plains courteously and correct gently, and always maintain their poise and professionalism. White Plains Police officers can make receiving a $100 wrong turn traffic ticket a pleasant experience, because of their demeanor. (I know, I received one on Church Street.)
White Plains citizens young and old have such respect for the police, that the police can control crowds of thousands as in the recent candlelight vigil without a massive show of force.
Fostering cooperation and teamwork
The ability of police and fire departments to work together as created by John Dolce has been demonstrated year after year. Recently, in the runaway garbage truck incident, the Bryant Gardens fire, the robbery resulting in an officer’s apprehension of a suspect at Mamaroneck and the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Dolce handles problems quietly without press conferences
The Dolce style is low key and action-oriented. His creative use of task forces to police up neighborhood problems discreetly (as on East Post Road rowdism), is a trademark of Dolce’s ability to work with the community in a nonthreatening, constructive way. His innovative use of radar signs is a passive restraint slowing down White Plains traffic.
Another quiet innovation of Commissioner Dolce’s forward thinking is the Officer in the Schools Program inaugerated last year. In fact, there are few communities where the youth hold the police in such high regard, from this reporter’s observation.
A Commissioner who works as hard as his men and women
Make no mistake, Mr. Dolce is a policeman, and though Mr. Gretsas says Mr. Dolce is departing to “enjoy life,” he was the champion people of White Plains looked too because he created two departments of champions.
Dolce’s men and women, fire and police are very good and every one is a personal extension of their Commissioner, John Dolce. Dolce is known to monitor the 24-hour tapes of police calls to maintain his perspective of White Plains police activity, and speak personally to officers about their handling of incidents.
He cannot be replaced. He will always be remembered. He has set the standard.
Thank you, Chief.