NEWBURGH’S NEW TOP COP
Arnold “Butch ” Amthor comes to his new position as Chief of Police for the City of Newburgh with a longstanding reputation for serving Orange County communities well. Many people remember him almost hour he spent at an apartment in Maybrook in 2017 trying to avoid a shootout while attempting to talk down a gunman holed up in an upper floor apartment. When shots were fired it was Amthor who was wounded, after which a quadron of police and officials followed him to Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and waited for what were hours but must have seemed like days to find out the shot was between his shoulder and heart, but that the injury was not life-threatening. Meanwhile the gunman was found in the apartment, dead. Then there was the wait to find out who had shot whom, and the relief that the it was not police fire, rather that the gunman had killed himself.
Amthor was well known by officials and police throughout the county long before the Maybrook standoff. Before he became Chief for Maybrook and the Village of Montgomery he had had already been a member of the City of Newburgh Police Department, and as a Deputy Sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, as well as tenure as a Police Officer in Montgomery, Cornwall, New Windsor and later in the City of Newburgh. Amthor has a history of success balancing policing operations with community input, outreach, and engagement. He was instrumental in promotion of the City of Newburgh’s Police-Community Relations & Review Board and implemented data-driven policing by hiring the City’s first crime analyst—moves which brought a 40% reduction in the City’s gun-related crime in 2006. Aside from the many benchmarks of his career, Amthor coordinated the original “call in” effort in the City of Newburgh, where more than 30 offenders caught selling narcotics were successfully diverted to rehabilitation and other services in lieu of felony arrest.
Amthor left the City of Newburgh in December of 2007 as its Deputy Chief. Since then, he served as Chief of the Town of Montgomery and Maybrook Police Departments, where he was responsible for creating Orange County’s first program to channel offenders with substance use disorders away from arrest and into treatment.
Robert McLymore, a lifetime City of Newburgh resident, is a Lieutenant with the Town of Wallkill Police Department where he was the first African American Detective and Sergeant in the Department’s history. McLymore also serves as Pastor at Newburgh’s Life Restoration Church which was founded by his father in 1990. As Senior Advisor, McLymore will work with residents and community organizations to establish and cultivate relationships between the Police Department and the general public. In doing so, he will organize educational and informational programs to encourage mentoring as well as prevention activities focusing on crime, drugs, violence, gangs, and other public safety concerns. McLymore will serve as key advisor on police reform and will oversee implementation of NYS Executive Order 203 which was established in mid-June to address racial inequities in policing as well as modify and modernize policing strategies, policies, procedures and practices to better address the needs of communities of color. He will serve as a liaison during investigations and direct the City’s Police-Community Relations & Review Board and other targeted and strategic community outreach.
Lt. McLymore and his family have been leaders in Newburgh for decades. Along with Life Restoration Church, they have worked to create programs and initiatives that have helped residents thrive and restore peace in their community. Block parties are hosted regularly and feature food, music, safety trainings, and free haircuts. In 2018 the family was recognized by the City with dedication of McLymore Square at First and Chambers Streets near the family’s church.
The City hosted a number of meetings with community leaders regarding the selection process of Amthor and McLymore. Several City leaders met with the Highland Falls Chapter of the NAACP. During this meeting, City leadership introduced members of the NAACP to Amthor and discussed the possibility of having Amtyhor return to the City along with McLymore assisting in a senior advisory capacity. To that end, Ray Harvey, President of the local chapter of the NAACP stated, “I am on board with the hiring of Chief Amthor and Pastor McLymore and am looking forward to working together to implement these critical reforms.”
“The addition of Chief Amthor and Mr. McLymore will bring new leadership to a critical department,” said Mayor Torrance Harvey. “Together the two will launch initiatives and programs that will turn Newburgh’s police force into a more efficient and transparent law enforcement operation.”