The front lawn of South Nyack Village Hall housed a bittersweet valediction Friday afternoon, as police chief Robert Van Cura was saluted by his officers one final time.
But the chief—who has spent three decades with the South Nyack-Grand View police force—won't be going far. Van Cura will step into the role of Undersheriff with the Rockland County Sheriff's Department.
Van Cura's legacy with the South Nyack-Grand View Police Department stretches back to his time as a first line supervisor, and a patrolman before that.
Van Cura was named chief in 2004, and has since combated neighborhood crime, honored teens with law enforcement scholarships, worked to crack cold murder cases dating back to the '70s—and helped secure the odd rogue black bear.
A previous president of the Police Chiefs' Association of Rockland County, Van Cura worked alongside several other chiefs—and the district attorney—to bolster public safety. He has also worked on counter-terrorism campaigns in the region, and completed coursework with the FBI.
The Undersheriff position—which Van Cura will assume on Monday, Jan. 14—was previously held by Thomas Guthrie, who served for three decades before retiring this year.
Guthrie joined the sheriff's office in 1982 from the NYPD, and served alongside three acting sheriffs—Thomas Goldrick, James Kralik and, currently, Louis Falco III.
"Sheriff Falco expressed his deep appreciation for the extraordinary work performed by Undersheriff Guthrie during the past three decades," Rockland law enforcement officials said in a press release Friday.
Van Cura's post at the South Nyack-Grand View department—nestled in the second floor of an old Victorian home on South Broadway—will be filled by acting chief Brent Newbury, who has served as a lawman in Rockland since 1990.