LITTLE FALLS — Little Falls Mayor Mark Blask and members of the Common Council expressed their appreciation to retiring Police Chief Michael Masi with a proclamation and standing ovation during a meeting Tuesday.
Masi is retiring after 26 years of service with the Little Falls Police Department. His final regular working day was Jan. 4. He will be using unused time off, however, so his retirement will officially begin April 30.
Blask also recognized Masi’s wife, Sonia, and son, Justin, who were on hand for the presentation, stating their support was necessary to allow Masi to do a job that often involved late-night calls and interruptions to vacations and time spent with family.
"Two words come to mind when I think about Chief Masi," said Blask. "Commitment and leadership. Commitment. Anything we needed, he has been there for us. Leadership. You cannot do this job successfully unless you can lead."
Some people choose to manage rather than lead, he said, but Masi has been a leader. He quoted Marianne Williamson, an American spiritual teacher, author and activist, who wrote, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us … Your playing small does not serve the world."
"She was saying it’s OK to shine," said Blask.
He noted Masi joined the department as a part-time officer, was hired full-time and then worked his way through the ranks, becoming a sergeant, then assistant chief. In 2008, he was named chief after Chief Gregg DeLuca announced his retirement.
Masi said he appreciated the support of the city’s Police and Fire Board and Common Council and called for appreciation of "the men and women in blue." He also thanked his family for their years of sacrifice.
He added, "I continue to be proud to be a member of this community."
When asked about appointing a new police chief, Blask said Masi’s retirement won’t take effect for several months so nothing will be done immediately. The assistant chief will handle the department in the meantime and Masi will be helping with this year’s budget process.