University Police Chief David Dugatkin has announced his decision to step down from the position he has held since 2011.
Last Thursday the campus community was informed via email of Dugatkin’s departure. The email also stated that effective May 4, Deputy Chief Mary Ritayik will serve as Interim Police Chief until the College takes the next steps in this transition.
According to the email, Dugatkin is a 28-year police veteran and a 1985 New Paltz alumnus and he joined the New Paltz Police Department in 1990. He was appointed supervisor of the detective division in 2003 and promoted to detective sergeant in 2008. He left the town police department in 2011 to assume the role of chief of University Police here at SUNY New Paltz.
Ritayik joined SUNY New Paltz in 2000 and was promoted to University Police Investigator and held that position for a decade before taking on the role of Deputy Chief of Police in 2013. The email does not specify what prompted his departure or whether or not it was voluntary. Dugatkin has experienced conflict with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) of New York State in recent years.
On Nov. 16, 2017 The New Paltz Oracle reported that several New Paltz campus police officers were disciplined early last year after the state investigated complaints that the officers fell asleep on the job and falsified time sheets, according to a news report and investigative documents that were made public.
The PBA has stated that they are aware of his decision to step down.
“We wish him well in his future endeavors,” a statement from the union said.
“We would like to express appreciation to the college’s administration for their fair handling of the situation …” The union did not explain what the situation was in their reference, according to the Times Herald Record.