CARTHAGE On his last day of duty, Chief Reevie A. Rockhill felt confident in turning over control of the village Police Department to his former senior officer, Reginald Huber Jr. The village board provisionally promoted Mr. Huber to chief at an annual salary of $63,000 contingent upon his passing the police chief exam provided by the civil service.
Chief Rockhill said he felt the board had made an excellent choice in promoting Mr. Huber.
Hes done every aspect of the job, the retiring chief said. I hand-picked him and trained him. At times, I buried him and overburdened him, but he completed every task and was ready for more. He is always ready.
He said Mr. Huber now has a full grasp of the leadership skills needed for the position.
Mr. Huber said he was excited about taking the helm of the department. He grew up as a military dependent and considers St. Louis, Mo., home. He served seven years in the Army, including two tours in Afghanistan.
I was an infantry squad leader, Mr. Huber said, noting he oversaw nine men. Leadership is leadership. The main goal is to accomplish the mission. I was successful in the Army and have had success here.
Following his military service, he and his wife, the former Jaime L. Shorman of Watertown, decided to settle in the area. After passing the civil service exam, he was hired by the Carthage department in 2006. By 2008, he was promoted to senior officer.
It was always something I wanted to do, Mr. Huber said of joining the police force. I enjoy uniformed service and like the structure.
In addition to promoting Mr. Huber at the July meeting, the village board hired two new officers for the force. Russell Moseley was hired as a part-time officer at a rate of $18 per hour, not to exceed 20 hours per week, and Michael J. Higman was hired full time at an annual salary of $33,267.07. Mr. Higman will begin training at the police academy in Watertown starting in September. These additional hires bring the force up to four full-time and five part-time officers.
The newly appointed chief said changes will be implemented in the department to better serve the community.
Mr. Huber ,with the support of the village board, is working toward having computers with Internet access installed in all patrol vehicles to keep the officers on the road more and at the station less.
Police presence is a good deterrent to crime, he said.
He said he would like to establish a closer working relationship with the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department and state police. He would like to see coordinated patrols and more cooperation on bigger cases, which the village does not have the manpower to investigate completely at times.
The department recently obtained a live scan fingerprinting system and soon will take procession of a new patrol car.
Mr. Rockhill said he is ready for retirement; however, he will not be resting much. He and his wife, Vicki, are raising Black Angus beef cattle on their property in Malone.
Ill be working on the farm seven days a week, harder than I work here, he said.
He sees the building of the Ryders Edge Skate Park as his biggest accomplishment while at the Carthage Police Department. Along with a dozen teenagers, he raised the needed $66,000 over two and a half years to build the facility at Carthage Park.
Officer Huber will make us a great police chief, village President G. Wayne McIlroy said. Reevie has done a good job. The work has been done properly and we are grateful to him for being here. We wish him well in his retirement. We discussed at budget time about increasing the department. With two new officers and a new chief, we are in very good shape.
The village board previously had considered using an officer instead of having a chief of police. However, after talking to Mr. Huber, the board changed its thinking.
The board was very impressed with him, Mr. McIlroy said. We wanted an officer on the street and an administrator. We are making changes to accommodate the officers operating out of the car with up-to-date equipment.