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Police & Fire

Harrison Names Fourth Police Chief In Four Years

New permanent Harrison Police Chief John Vasta.
New permanent Harrison Police Chief John Vasta. Photo Credit: Harrison Police Department

There’s a new sheriff in town.

For the fourth time in four years, the Town of Harrison has appointed a new police chief, this time turning to a familiar face to fill the shoes of Joseph Yasinski, who retired in October.

Harrison Police Lt. John Vasta, who has been with the Harrison Police Department for more than two decades, will officially take over as chief of police after serving in the role as interim chief for two months following Yasinski’s retirement.

Vasta will reportedly earn $210,000 this year and if the budget for 2020 is approved, he will see a pay bump more than $10,000, up to approximately $222,000.

Now that his appointment is official, Vasta follows in the footsteps of former Chief Anthony Marraccini, who was mired in a tax evasion scam and other scandals during his tenure before retiring in 2016. He was followed by Michael Olsey, who retired in February last year after being accused of sexual harrassment. Yasinski was forced out of his position due to a civil service law.

Vasta came to Harrison 22 years ago following a brief stint with the New York State Police.

"I am happy to report that a much-anticipated promotion was recently made within the Harrison Police Department," Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont said. "At the (Wednesday,) Nov. 27 swearing-in ceremony in Town Hall, Police Lt. John Vasta was promoted to Police Chief. I am completely confident that Chief Vasta will carry out his new duties in a professional manner and will continue to be an asset to the Town/Village of Harrison.

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