The Sands Point Police Department held a promotion ceremony at the Sands Point Village Club mansion on Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. Lieutenant Richard Lertora was promoted to chief of police. Sergeant Thomas Ruehle was promoted to lieutenant and Officer Christina Howes was promoted to sergeant.
Lertora, Ruehle and Howes were all individually sworn in, then proudly had their new badges pinned.
New Police Chief Lertora, on the force for 34 years, said he learned everything he knows from former Police Chief Mark Mandel, and feels “terrific! It’s an honor to be the police chief of one of the best police stations in New York State.”
Newly sworn in Lieutenant Ruehle, on the force for 18 years, is “excited to take over. I look forward to keeping the department going in the same direction as our wonderful chief of 10 years.”
Newly sworn in Sergeant Howes, on the force for 28 years, is the only female police officer in Sands Point Police Department history. She chuckled that “they had to build a new locker room for me. But, what makes a good police force is varied talent and good community.” She is “excited and looking forward to continuing with the village and the people.” Sergeant Howes is also someone who “knows the dogs.” She said, “If a dog goes missing, I’m like the unofficial dog whisperer.”
Retiring Chief of Police Mark Mandel, on the force for 31 years, with a decade as police chief, said that the promotion of Lertora will be a “perfect, smooth transition. Richard Lertora will do a wonderful job as chief of police.”
On July 31, the Sands Point Police Department also hosted a final “walk-off” for Mandel.