The Port Chester Police Department is in the midst of a reorganization, reshuffling, shakeup or whatever you want to call it.

"There have been reassignments which is typical," Village Manager Chris Steers told Westmore News Tuesday. "It is a work in progress."

"I just call it moves in the normal course of business," said Acting Police Chief John Telesca. "People retire and others get moved around. No one has a proprietary ownership of their job. No one is guaranteed they work in a particular job forever."

"Variety is the spice of life," quipped the acting chief. "We hope to spice up a number of people's lives."

Four reassignments have been made so far. They were all effective Sept. 18.

• Detective Lieutenant Royal Monroe was transferred out of the Detective Bureau into the Patrol Division and remains a lieutenant for now.

• Sergeant Charles Vaccaro was transferred from the Traffic Division into the Detective Bureau as acting detective lieutenant.

• Sergeant Gustavo Kiliveros was transferred from the Patrol Division into the Detective Bureau as a detective sergeant.

• Sergeant Mark Braccio was transferred from the Patrol Division into the Traffic Division as sergeant.

Following these reassignments, Lt. Monroe submitted his papers and will retire effective Oct. 5.

"Sometimes it's good to move around and experience different things," said Telesca. "I'm a firm believer in cross training. I give some of the guys in patrol an opportunity to see what goes on on the other side of our building."

Steers said he would feel more comfortable talking about the reason behind the changes next week.

"We expect there may be some more changes," said the village manager. "We are also still focusing on the pending investigation into the theft of the evidence."

"Ultimately we should be looking at making the department more efficient," said Steers. "How that looks at the end of the day is still left to be determined. I don't know the direction yet. We are plotting the course now."

Steers and Telesca are working together on the plan.

"In many ways I'm following his [Telesca's] lead," said Steers.

Telesca said he and Steers work closely on personnel issues.

As for the reaction in the department, Telesca said: "I didn't take a poll of the entire department, but some people are happy, I imagine. The unhappy ones haven't come in to see me."

Richard Grall, president of the Port Chester Police Association, said there is a lot of uncertainty "because we don't know if the changes being put in effect are going to remain in effect" and everything is up in the air.

"I think it's good," said Deputy Mayor Sam Terenzi. "I think we've cleaned out, got new faces in different departments. I think the morale is going to go up considerably now. What I'm getting anecdotally, they're kind of happy with what's going on."

The Board of Trustees had nothing to do with the changes. "The internal workings of who gets put where, we don't get involved in that stuff," said Terenzi.

"I was surprised to hear that Royal [Monroe] is retiring," said the deputy mayor. "I guess he thought it was better to cut and run than put up with the aggravation that is going to be going on for the next few months until we get to the bottom of what's happening."

Monroe did not return a phone call for comment as of press time Wednesday night.

As the Board of Police Commissioners, the village board approves any promotions and is the final arbiter over any discipline. Terenzi said he expects a promotion to lieutenant and another to sergeant will be on the board's Oct. 7 agenda.

Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski has been out of the office with an apparent illness since Aug. 30. On Sept. 5, the village board appointed Telesca acting chief until Krzeminski could return to work.

Steers said Tuesday that he hadn't had any direct contact with the chief since he visited him in the hospital in early September. The chief spent six days in three hospitals undergoing tests which were inconclusive.

Steers said there might be a development relating to the chief by next week.

"The chief right now, I think, will probably go out and get 3/4 pay and that will be it," said Terenzi. "All's well that ends well in his eyes. I think the investigation is going to go on and on and on."

Krzeminski did not return two phone calls placed Wednesday for comment.

On Sept. 16, the village board clarified, confirmed and ratified the rules and regulations of the Port Chester Police Department originally adopted in 1990. The mayor and trustees resolved that "it is the intent of the Board that it delegate to the Village Manager day-to-day operational authority over the Police Chief (or Acting thereof)."

Previously the chief had been reporting to the village board as the Board of Police Commissioners and not to the village manager.

"The village board remains the Board of Police Commissioners, the acting chief remains the chief of police," explained Steers this week. "I have authority over the chief as is relative to day-to-day operations. There probably will be a continued level of involvement. Hopefully it will be a lot less hands-on in the near future. I'll be kept updated" and deal with "any problems or issues that would come up. It's more of a partnership."

"I don't mind being seen as the bad guy if I need to be the bad guy," said Steers. "My sole purpose in taking this job and being here is to help better this community."

"The shakeup after 15 years of the same hierarchy is going to work out well," concluded Terenzi. "If there is a silver lining in this whole [stolen] evidence thing, I think it is the shakeup of the police department."

"In the light of recent events and in the midst of the speculation that's out there, there are a lot of good guys in the department working their hearts out for the village, and at the end of the day, I hope that shines through," concluded Steers.