SALAMANCA — Five new hires in the Salamanca Police Department and four long-time employees celebrated receiving their new badges with a pinning ceremony Saturday.
Held in the city courtroom, Acting Chief Jamie Deck said it was the first of hopefully many pinning ceremonies to recognize the new officers joining the department and the veteran officers receiving a promotion.
The city’s newly recruited officers are Rebecca Grey-Brown, Adam Johnson, Ryan Grey, Alex Miinte and Jayde Miles.
Deck said Grey-Brown and Johnson began working in the department several months ago. Johnson is attending the police academy in Chautauqua County and Brown has completed the department’s field training program.
Grey and Miinte are currently in the department’s field training program, Deck said. Miles has completed phase one of the police academy and after phase two will begin the field training program.
“This is a long and not-so-easy-sometimes job. You need to be mentally strong and stay mentally strong,” Deck said to the new recruits. “Work hard and stay positive. Those are the best two words of encouragement I can give.”
Along with pinning their badges on them, Deck also presented the new officers with copies of their original oaths of office.
“They’re at the beginning of their career, they’re thinking about road patrol, stopping cars, helping the public, answering calls, stuff like that,” he said, “But we also have so many other things that we can offer in this department.”
Promoted within the department were Adam Carlson to Captain and Tina Owens and Dennis Brown to Lieutenant.
Deck said Carlson started his career as a corrections officer for Cattaraugus County in April 1997. He came to the Salamanca department in April 2007 and was promoted to sergeant in September 2013. He was officially named Captain on Aug. 3, 2020.
Owens began her career in Salamanca in November 2004, Deck said. She was specially assigned to juvenile investigations in March 2006 and to criminal investigations in March 2015, a role she continues to perform.
Brown began his career in Salamanca in June 2016. Since then, he has been named the top DWI law enforcement officer in New York state and recently completed drug recognition expert school.
“We have a criminal investigations unit we’re going to build on. We have a criminal investigator, a juvenile investigator, a narcotics investigator,” Deck said. “Supervisors, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, chief. If you want to work your way up and be in charge of people and hold a leadership position, then there’s those also. So work hard every day and move up the ladder.”
To close the ceremony, Deck was pinned with his Acting Chief Officer in Charge badge by Common Council member Janet Koch, who serves on the police commission, and police commissioner Heather Jackson.
“When you look for a man to lead a police department, it is very rare that a person can handle the faith of his officers, the full Salamanca Police Commission and the city council,” said police commissioner Lane Hoag. “One thing you displayed through your years of service in law enforcement is the wisdom of knowing the right path to take and the integrity to take it, and you definitely have taken it.”
Koch said that sometimes the city departments don’t know the council is watching them, but she has been looking at the police department and has great respect for it. She said there is a great team there and she is happy Deck is in charge at this time.
“During the past couple months when I go through that back door, I see smiles on their faces,” Koch said. “I’ve been here for four years and I didn’t see smiles, but I have seen smiles under Mr. Deck’s charge. I’m very proud of our police department, and I thank you for what you do because not everybody could do it.”