DRYDEN — Since Randy Mack, of McGraw, was young, he aspired to work in local law enforcement and be able to help people.
On June 16 he took a career step that will give him a large role in doing so, as he was sworn in as the new village of Dryden police chief.
He is replacing Michael Watkins, who retired this year to move south with his family.
“Feels good,” Mack said about becoming the new chief. “It is what you work so hard for.”
Mack was not bashful in admitting that becoming chief of police has always been something he wanted to do. He said he always had a passion for law enforcement and moving up through the ranks to a position he could make a difference in.
He said he first tested the waters of being a police officer in 1999 by taking part in a voluntary auxiliary police department program in Homer, where he would go on a ride along with officers. And that was the only taste of working in law enforcement he needed, as Mack said he knew right away that, this was what he wanted to do.
His first full-time position as a patrol officer started in 2007 with the Homer Police Department, before he found his home with the Dryden Police Department in 2008. He served as a patrol officer and last year was promoted to a sergeant, with the responsibility of running day-to-day operations.
During his time at the station, he built a good relationship with the community and his fellow officers. OfficerJosh Tagliavento, who has worked at the department, and with Mack, for the pastthree years, said the transition from Chief Watkins to Mack has been an easy one.
“All officers are very pleased to be working with him,” Tagliavento said about Mack becoming the new chief of police. “He knows the department, village and people well. He is a very good asset to the village.”
Smaller villages have always appealed to Mack because he said he believes officers in smaller villages are able to be more personal with the community. And that kind of attention results in a mutual bond between the local police and thecommunity.
“We have a very good community here,” Mack said. “They are very supportive of the police and we do what we can for them. I enjoy working with the local community.”
Mack said he does not expect to make any big changes as previous chiefs have done a good job in organizing the department. As time goes on, he said there may be some policy changes, but he will not be reinventing the wheel.
Just a little more than a month into the position, Mack said he is still in a transition phase, but believes he is properly prepared for the position. As it was always his aspiration to make it to this level in law enforcement, he said he was always preparing himself to be ready for it. Watkins and previous police chiefs have been great mentors to him, too, he said.
Now it is Mack’s turn to be the mentor, which Tagliavento said he already has been.
“(Mack) is very well respected,” Tagliavento said. “He’s been a good mentor.”