March 9, 2021
For immediate release
From Mayor Brian Tobin, City of Cortland
Law enforcement is receiving an unprecedented amount of scrutiny, and expectations for all officers are high. In the city of Cortland, we take pride in an accredited department with well-trained individuals who put the community’s best interests first. With the retirement of Chief F. Michael Catalano, the leadership of the department will be crucial to maintain a high level of professionalism, and to guide officers in how to best provide support to everyone in the community fairly and equitably.
“Chief Catalano has done an admirable job of guiding the department, and preparing command staff to be in a position to continue his work. The city was fortunate to have two candidates who not only met the basic criteria for police chief but exceeded it substantively. As an accredited agency in New York State, we aspire to hold ourselves to the highest of standards- and we will have the leadership that will allow us to,” stated Mayor Brian Tobin. “It was a difficult choice between two outstanding candidates. I am pleased to announce that I will forward the name of Paul Sandy to the city of Cortland Common Council to be the next police chief for the city of Cortland. Paul is currently the deputy chief, and has worked tirelessly to improve his own performance, and to lead those around him to do the same. He understands the challenges that our officers, community members, and the city as a whole face. I am confident that the department will continue to adapt to the community’s needs under his guidance.”
Chief Catalano stated, “I have confidence in all of my staff and the institutional knowledge of their combined years will keep the police department the professional, well respected agency that it is.”
The city opened the search, allowing candidates from throughout New York State. Finalists were interviewed initially by the city police commission, which consists of three community members, appointed by the mayor. Candidates then fielded questions from the mayor with a dozen community community members via zoom. The meetings were recorded and uploaded to youtube for public viewing. “With the focus on law enforcement this past year and legitimate concerns about events in other communities, I wanted to have a process that allowed everyone the opportunity to hear from the candidates to understand what their vision for the department would entail”, said Mayor Tobin. “For us to move forward in a positive manner, we need to continue to build confidence and trust in not only law enforcement, but also government. The chief, the department, and the city shall rise to the challenge.”