Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 30, 2012

After more than 40 years as Falls cop, John Chella steps down

After more than 40 years as Falls cop, John Chella steps down


Niagara Gazette — “(Chella) had all the qualities that you’d want to be a chief,” Shamrock said. “How he’d deal with the public, how he acted on their concerns, you could tell he was the right man for the job.”

Administrative Capt. John DeMarco has spent almost a decade in the office next to Chella. He says he enjoyed that time with “the chief.”

“His intensity level was always at max,” DeMarco said with a chuckle. “You always knew where you stood with him and all he ever asked you to do was show up and do your job.”

Chella said the job has changed dramatically during his career. 

“The disrespect for authority, the propensity for violence,” he said it citing what he called disturbing trends. “It’s a scary scenario for police officers now, Twenty years ago, in narcotics when we did a search warrant, if you found a gun once or twice a year it was remarkable. Now, if (narcotics detectives) don’t get (a gun) on every search warrant, they’re disappointed. It’s much tougher for a cop today, much tougher.”

Traffic Capt. Salvatore Pino spent years working as a narcotics detective with Chella. He says the superintendent was a cut above the rest.

“He was the smartest detective we had,” Pino recalled. “He knew everybody and everything there was to know about narcotics.”

As he leaves his post. Chella admits that a reverse in the downward trend of crime in the city, during most of his tenure,

is bothersome.

“This has been a difficult year (for crime statistics),” he said. “I’m sorry I’m leaving on that note.”

Chella also said the slaying of 5-year-old-child, the shooting of a 3-year-old and the dismemberment murder of a woman this year have taken a toll on him.

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