State Senator Fred Akshar, who spent 15 years in law enforcement, has been hired as a police officer in Broome County.

The Port Dickinson village board appointed Akshar as a part-time patrolman nearly 11 months ago.

Akshar, a Republican who lives in Endwell, has represented the 52nd District in the New York State Senate since November 2015. He had been with the Broome County Sheriff's Office for 13 years before running for the senate seat.

His appointment to the Port Dickinson Police Department had gone largely unnoticed until Binghamton resident John Solak raised questions about the move. Solak discussed his concerns during a call Friday to WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program.

Village Mayor Kevin Burke said the arrangement allows Akshar to prevent his law enforcement certification from lapsing. He said he had heard no concerns or complaints about the board's action. Akshar's hiring took effect on March 27.

Police Chief Douglas Pipher said "we were just happy to have him here." He said Akshar is one of a half-dozen part-time officers employed by the department.

Pipher said although the action approving Akshar's hiring occurred last spring, he didn't actually start working with the agency until around Christmas time. He estimated Akshar has worked a "total of 20 hours" to date.

Emmanuel Priest, Akshar's director of public affairs, wrote in an email statement that "the Legislative Ethics Commission advised that he was free to pursue this opportunity while serving as state senator."

The statement indicated Akshar "appreciates the opportunity from the Port Dickinson Police Department to continue serving the community as a law enforcement officer, however limited as this may be. He is paid hourly."

The statement confirmed that the work for the village agency allows Akshar "to maintain his law enforcement certification in New York."

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