Lieutenant Jillson Retires and Who Showed Up and Who Didn’t

Lieutenant Robert Jillson has retired after serving on the Saratoga Springs police force for thirty-three years. His record was exemplary. He brought a considered and restrained tone to his work which was reflected in his thoughtful leadership within the department and in his role as spokesperson for the department. He enjoyed wide respect for his dedication to service from within the department and beyond.

The current Chief, Shane Crooks, has announced plans to retire in June. While Jillson scored a 99 on the civil service exam for chief, it was clear that there was no path forward to that position for him. The very professionalism Jillson brought to the job had alienated him from the city’s Public Safety Commissioner, James Montagnino, who eliminated Jillson’s former position of Assistant Chief. Montagnino will appoint the next Chief of Police.

Retiring officers are honored in a moving tradition called a “walkout.” Members of both the Saratoga Springs Police and Fire Departments, representatives from other law enforcement agencies including the State Police, friends, relatives and community members lined up along Maple Avenue to offer a farewell. This is a link to the WNYT video of the event.

Who Was There

Many employees from city hall turned out in the cold to honor Lieutenant Jillson and wish him a farewell.

It is emblematic of the state of our city that all the members of the previous City Council, with the exception of the late Skip Scirocco, were there (Kelly, Franck, Dalton, and Madigan). In addition, the three announced Democratic candidates running against the incumbents were there as well (Chris Mathiesen, Tim Coll, and Michele Madigan).

Conspicuously absent from the event were all the members of our current City Council.

5 thoughts on “Lieutenant Jillson Retires and Who Showed Up and Who Didn’t”

  1. The incredibly well qualified, knowledgeable and mature Bob Jillson would have made a great assistant chief and eventually a great police chief. Instead, in one of the worst decisions in the history of our City government, Commissioner Montagnino eliminated the position of assistant chief shortly after Bob had taken the position. In effect, he demoted him back to the position of lieutenant. Even worse, the Mayor and the other two commissioners actively serving at the time supported this atrocious change. As a former Public Safety Commissioner, Mayor Kim should have been lobbying strongly to encourage the very inexperienced Commissioner Montagnino to re-think this foolish strategy. He didn’t and we will all have to live with the ramifications.

    Chris Mathiesen

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Congratulations on retirement ,enjoy you deserve it ,Saratoga Springs losing another knowledgeable,policeman,because of narcissistic councilman,Saratoga Springs is the laughing stock of the north country ,nice job

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Numerous FBI Agents out of the Albany Division were also in attendance to show their support for Bob and the entire Saratoga Springs Police Department. SSPD is an outstanding department and they deserve our gratitude every day. Congrats Bob!

    Liked by 4 people

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