By Jessica Bagley firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The City of Tonawanda council unanimously approved Mayor Ron Pilozzi’s appointment Tuesday of William Strassburg, formerly the department’s captain, to the position of police chief.
“We are very lucky that he was here and available,” Pilozzi said after the council’s passing of the resolution, which was welcomed with a round of applause from the audience. “I couldn’t feel better about this appointment.””
Strassburg began his career with the City of Tonawanda police in January 1990. He was promoted to the position of detective in February 2001 and lieutenant in June 2001. In 2010, he was appointed to his most recent position of captain.
He was serving as the department’s interim captain before his predecessor, John Ivancic, battled an illness that led to his retirement.
“Bill Strassburg has had a long and exemplary career of service in law enforcement to the citizens of the City of Tonawanda,” Pilozzi said.
Strassburg, who is a lifelong city resident, said he is honored to assume the position.
“I am still in a state of shock,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started. This is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”
Strassburg said one of his main goals is for the department to work closer with the city’s schools to improve safety and security in light of the recent tragedies across the nation.
“That is the thing I am most concerned about — I want to expand on the relationship we already have with the schools ... so that people are comfortable with reporting incidents, saying, ‘hey, check this out,’ and don’t feel shy about approaching police about something they have noticed,” he said.
Pilozzi submitted his selection of Strassburg to the council Friday. Under the city’s charter, the mayor has the authority to appoint the chief of police subject to the consent of the council.
Strassburg had been serving as acting chief since June, when John Ivancic retired after 23 years with the department and three years as chief. As a result of the retirement, Lt. Fredric Foels was named an interim captain, and a new patrolman was appointed Friday.
Tuesday’s approval was effective immediately, and an official swearing-in ceremony is being planned at the city pavilion in Niawanda Park.
“The event will be public and will offer residents a chance to come down and meet their new police chief,” Foels said.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley