Larchmont Village has a new police chief. John Poleway, a 14-year veteran of the Larchmont Police Department who was promoted to lieutenant on January 29, was promoted again – this time to the top job. He will step into the position on Friday, August 15, a day after the official retirement of Steve Rubeo, the former chief.
Mr. Rubeo has been on vacation since July 10, when a memo from Mayor Liz Feld announcing his retirement took most Village staff by surprise. Mr. Rubeo, who has a legal degree, was said to be moving to Connecticut to practice law. He has not returned numerous e-mails or calls for comment. In his absence, the department has been led by Captain Tom Sullivan.
Lt. Poleway’s promotion was announced in a brief letter from Mayor Liz Feld to the Village Hall staff that was then circulated to the media. The Village Board of Trustees had met in executive session on Wednesday morning to make their selection.
Asked for further comment, Mayor Feld noted in an e-mail that “John Poleway has the leadership and management skills to lead the police department. Public safety is our highest priority and John has been an integral part of many of the department’s innovations over the past several years.” She mentioned also that, “John’s record of distinguished service reflects his commitment to protecting the community and serving the Village. He is a familiar face to the residents and business owners, and we look forward to his leadership in the years ahead. We are very fortunate to have him.”
Deputy Mayor Marlene Kolbert said she was not aware of the impending decision by Chief Rubeo when John Poleway was promoted to lieutenant. “We thought he was a superior member of the department,” Ms. Kolbert said of Mr. Poleway.
Chief Rubeo had been talking in general terms about retirement for some time, but Ms. Kolbert had not heard anything definitive earlier in the year, she said. “Steve Rubeo was also an outstanding member of the department,” added Ms. Kolbert. “His leadership brought us into the 21st century; we wish him very well in his retirement and look forward to working with John Poleway.”