Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 18:11
Footit says it has proven difficult to balance position with full-time job as Port Washington police officer
Village of Belgium Marshal Steve Footit has high expectations of the job he and Deputy Marshal Leon Anzia do.
Thatâs why when his village patrolling duties started to conflict with his full-time job as an officer for the Port
Washington Police Department, he knew he had to make a choice.
After two years on the job, Footit earlier this month resigned from his village position effective May 31.
âIâm no longer able to put in later nights in the village like I wanted to,â Footit said.
When he started in 2013, Footit would work his regular shift in Port
Washington and then come home to patrol for a few hours.
His work day has changed since then and his patrolling has suffered, he said.
The minimum requirements for the marshal and deputy marshal are 5-1/2 hours of work per week.
âThat doesnât sound like a lot, but you also carry the marshal cell phone, which is on at all times,â Footit said.
The Belgium marshal doesnât have arrest powers or carry a gun like the Fredonia marshal, for example, he said.
Itâs for that reason that the next village marshal should have law enforcement experience, Footit said.
âI think it is definitely a plus if an officer would apply for this position,â he said.
âTo be able to resolve minor disputes like shoveling sidewalks or enforcing parking ordinance, if you donât have a certain tact to deal with people, the general public might not be ready for that response.â
Footit noted he was âmore sternâ with enforcing ordinances than residents were used to. He made a point to make sure the sidewalks were clear in the winter and people didnât dispose of things they werenât supposed to at the
âI think I did a good job of responding to calls when they came in and followed up when I needed to,â Footit said.
He said he would miss his job as marshal, but he wouldnât miss having the cell phone to carry around.
âIf I was retired, I might look at this position again,â Footit said.
Anzia said that while he would likely accept being named interim marshal, he had no interest in taking the position long term.
The Village Board plans to advertise for the position immediately, noting law enforcement experience would be recommended but not required of applicants.
Trustee Clem Gottsacker praised Footit for his service last week.
âHeâs done an excellent job for the village,â he said.