Tonawanda News —
A North Tonawanda police officer who has served as interim head of the department since March will be appointed police chief permanently later this week.
William Hall, a well-respected officer who was a captain before taking on the interim chief role has nearly three decades of experience. Hall will officially take over the department's reigns when he is sworn in Wednesday by Mayor Rob Ortt. While the decision is left to the mayor, the common council is expected to consent to the decision Tuesday.
Ortt chose Hall as interim after former Chief Randy Szukala retired in late March. The city then awaited the results of a civil service exam taken March 23 by several interested members of the force.
Hall, who was already considered a leading candidate, tendered the highest score. That, coupled with the fact that Hall "has done almost everything in the department," made him a natural selection, Ortt said.
"When you look at his experience as somebody who has benefitted the department and someone who has the respect of members of the department, there's no doubt in my mind that he's the best person for the job," Ortt said.
Ortt also said Hall had plans to make departmental changes, though he declined to elaborate prior to his investiture, which will take place in council chambers.
Called a cop's cop by department insiders, Hall established himself among police ranks as chief of detectives, a role he began in 2002. Prior to his tenure with the department, he worked at two state universities as a public safety officer.
Randy Szukala planned on pursing teaching opportunities after leading the department for nine years.Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.