Fredonia’s new Board of Trustees has reversed the hiring of Joseph Gerace as police chief and named David Price to take his place.
The trustees voted, 5-0, at their first official meeting Monday to rescind Gerace’s provisional appointment and hire Price. The previous board named Gerace to replace the retiring Philip Maslak in December. However, three of the four members of that board are no longer in office.
The resolution that was passed Monday noted the previous board wanted to open up the police chief job to outside applicants, while the current trustees wish to promote from within.
Price, a sergeant, has been a Fredonia police officer for decades. Gerace is a former Chautauqua County sheriff who was most recently chief of security at Chautauqua Institution.
Mayor Douglas Essek and Trustee James Lynden, who is the lone holdover on the new board, objected to Gerace’s hiring.
Essek felt the upcoming board should be allowed to name the police chief, while Lynden criticized the decision to not promote from within. Lynden was the only trustee on what was then a four-person board to vote against it.
Price’s appointment is permanent probationary upon passing the police chief civil service test. He is the third person to be police chief in Fredonia since Bradley Meyers, who held the job for 21 years, moved on at the start of 2020.