GLOVERSVILLE - A city police officer who has been out of work on a workers' compensation claim for more than two years has retired.
Officer Greg Felter, who has been collecting his salary of more than $50,000 a year, officially retired after 18 years of service, Mayor Dayton King said Wednesday.
Felter had not worked since April 2010. Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said this was the longest an officer had been out since VanDeusen has been working in the department.
Felter was hired in June 1994, said VanDeusen.
The chief had been working with the mayor's office, administration within the department and Labor Attorney Bryan J. Goldberger to resolve the issue.
The Police Department does not offer any light-duty assignments, so the officer's only options were to return to full duty or retire, VanDeusen said.
Felter notified the department he had decided to retire effective last Friday.
The department will try to fill the position as soon as possible, said VanDeusen.
"We will have a full compliment of officers to better serve the city," he said. "This was nothing more than simply wanting our police force to be at full staff to benefit the department."
He said a new officer would be hired.
He estimated the interview process and background checks will take about six to eight weeks.
He said depending on the level of experience of the officer hired, the change could save the city money.
An entry-level officer with little-to-no experience would start at $37,544 per year, and an officer with a year's experience would start at $44,824, VanDeusen said.
He said if the officer has three or more years of experience, he or she would receive the same pay that Felter received - $50,232 a year.
The city also could save money if the new officer falls under the city's new retirement tier.
"Greg was a good officer that did his job very well," said VanDeusen. "His retirement was the best decision for both him and the city. I wish him the best in whatever he decides to do next."
VanDeusen would not say what injury the officer sustained while on duty.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org