Retired Leyden police captain appointed to train officers on FID application process

  • GALVIS

  • The Leyden Town Offices and Police Station in the former elementary school.

Staff Writer
Published: 1/25/2022 4:54:56 PM

LEYDEN — Despite a “peaceful protest” of opposition at Monday evening’s meeting, the Selectboard voted to approve retired Police Capt. Gilda Galvis as a consultant to the Police Department for training officers in software and paperwork so residents’ firearm identification (FID) cards can be issued starting in February.

Galvis, who continues to serve as town clerk, will work for a rate of $100 per hour for a maximum of eight hours, per the Selectboard’s decision Monday night.

“I wouldn’t want a card out there and have it expire, knowing there’s firearms in the house,” said Selectboard Chair Jeffrey Neipp. “We’re not doing a service to the residents of the town. This way, we’re going to move forward and start issuing the FID cards to the residents who need them.”

Galvis said it would only require a few nights in February to complete the training.

There was some concern over and clarification requested about what level of access Galvis will have to private information. Galvis said although she won’t have access to CJIS (Criminal Justice Information System), the software used by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to keep track of private and sensitive data, she can walk Officer-in-Charge Mike Aiken through the steps for how to use it.

“He’ll have an application,” Galvis explained. “All it is is their name and address, date of birth … but as far as private information … (Aiken) knows how to do background checks.”

Selectboard member Erica Jensen noted she spoke “at length” with the information officer at CJIS, who she relayed was comfortable with a former, retired officer “helping with the basics.”

“He understood that personal information would be shared,” Jensen said, adding that she wouldn’t opt to move forward with the approval without assurance from CJIS.

“I understand there are outstanding FIDs,” Jensen said. “And it would be great to move forward on something.”

The motion for Galvis to serve as a consultant to the Police Department was approved unanimously, but not before a brief upset in the meeting room in response to a woman sitting against the wall who held signs objecting to the appointment. One of the signs signaled she was staging a “peaceful protest.”

In a phone call Tuesday afternoon, resident Ann Zaveruha — who was unable to attend the meeting because of the lack of an option to attend remotely — said she feels it was “outrageous” for the Selectboard to approve having Galvis as a paid consultant.

In October, Galvis and her husband, then-Police Chief Dan Galvis, announced their immediate intent to retire. The notification came days after an Oct. 25 meeting where the Selectboard shared the results of an Oct. 18 executive session meeting with Dan Galvis to review racist, misogynistic and xenophobic content from emails he shared with other town employees and officers between 2015 and 2016.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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