Some admittedly big shoes to fill in Schenectady.
Judge Michael Eidens has been appointed to the Public Safety Commissioner's role, filling the void left by the death of Wayne Bennett in August.
Eidens previously served as a Schenectady County Court Judge and an Acting State Supreme Court Justice. With a recent court ruling giving the Commissioner sole responsibility for discipline of police officers and firefighters, Eidens says the job is now "quasi-judicial."
"I'm very comfortable with my ability to handle that," Eidens said. "I've looked at the procedures, and I've examined them, and it's a fairly well-designed disciplinary procedure."
As Public Safety Commissioner, Eidens will have oversight over both the police and fire departments.
"I want to emphasize the respect that I have for the police department and the fire department," Eidens said. "Our police officers and our firefighters face extremely difficult circumstances and challenges day in and day out. They're confronted with situations that are often life-threatening for themselves and for others."
DA Robert Carney says he believes management and labor within the police and fire departments will be "well-served" by his tenure.
Mayor Gary McCarthy is also announcing the appointment of RPI graduate Kristin Diotte (also pictured) as the city's Director of Development.
Eidens will earn $94,000 annually in his poistion. Diotte's salary will be $70,000.
photo: WGY news