DELMAR — Through deliberation, scrutiny and resident demand for inclusion in the selection process, the Bethlehem Town Board has all but decided who will be the town’s next police chief.
According to a source close to the process, the board selected Detective Sgt. Gina Cocchiara after three weeks of interviews and discussion. Town Supervisor David VanLuven will officially present the appointment to the board when it meets on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Board members are expected to pass the appointment through a formal form.
Cocchiara started her career as a deputy sheriff with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department and the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department in 1994. She joined Bethlehem’s police force four years later as a patrol officer and was later promoted to sergeant in 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and is a member of the New York Women in Law Enforcement Association, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
When Cocchiara is sworn in, she will be the town’s first female police chief.