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Oct 18, 2017 10:26 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Police Chief Credits Drop In Crime Rates To New Analytic Tools

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki. PRESS FILE
Oct 18, 2017 10:46 AM

Crime rates in the Town of Southampton are slightly lower than they were this time last year, according to Police Chief Steven Skrynecki, who credits the drop to new ways to track crime and an increased effort for police to be involved in the community.

Chief Skrynecki, who took the reins of the department in May, said the trend was not overly dramatic to begin with, but since implementing strategies he brought with him from Nassau County, where he capped more than four decades of service as chief of department, the department has seen a solid drop in some crimes committed in Southampton.

For example, between January 1, 2017, and September 20, 2017, the department saw 17 burglaries in places other than homes, compared to 36 during the same period last year, a nearly 53 percent drop. Also, during that period, the department saw 49 residential burglaries compared to 73 the year before, a 33 percent drop. Rapes during that period went from 10 to eight, and criminal sexual acts went from nine to eight. The number of robberies in town was consistent both years, at seven, and there were no murders either year.

“These are numbers that the police department, under the direction of Chief Skrynecki, should be proud of,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said.

The drop in crime is being credited to a newly implemented intelligence-led policing system, which Chief Skrynecki said focuses around the concept that the majority of crime is committed by a small percentage of people. “Most people in the community are abiding by the law and are not a problem,” he said.

Chief Skrynecki said new technology and reporting tools track crime on a daily basis, allowing the department to look at immediate trends to better predict where future crimes might occur, and then put police officers in trouble spots.

By following the patterns and putting officers where the crime is going up, Chief Skrynecki said, the department is going to get better results.

“This is the beginning, and I expect as time goes on we will become more proficient,” he said. “We are all pleased at the results so far, and encouraged by it.”

Another thing the department has stepped up is its community involvement, allowing officers to be more engaged where crime is taking place. Chief Skrynecki said members of his department are attending community meetings and encouraging leaders to share information about individuals who pose a threat to the community.

“People in the community know more about what is going on in the community than we do,” Chief Skrynecki said. “One of the things these analysts reveal is that every community in the town has its own unique crime issues.”

He explained that crimes seen in Flanders and Riverside, where drugs and gangs are a concern, might be different from crimes in Bridgehampton, where there are issues with traffic and the occasional burglary.

Chief Skrynecki said a blanket solution does not exist for an area as big and diverse as the Town of Southampton. Therefore, he finds out what the problems are, addresses those problems and “puts the cops on the dots.”

“Keeping crime in check is a constant battle,” Chief Skrynecki said. “It’s really a matter of paying attention to what’s happening and analyzing why.

“We’re looking to take advantage of data and analytics as much as possible, and still have a distance to go, but so far I am pleased,” he added.

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WOW 5 months...
By knitter (1892), Southampton on Oct 18, 17 2:31 PM
The five months with the most activity on the east end, no?

Thanks for the hard work, SHPD!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7966), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 18, 17 2:47 PM
Great tool it seems. Glad to see the department is being proactive.

Looking forward to seeing how the department will address traffic enforcement.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Oct 18, 17 3:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Lolllll this dude just admitted to a reporter that he straight up profiles the population of this town and puts his officers in "trouble areas." Broken windows policing, without even sugar coating it. Maybe, just maybe, if those cops went snooping around rich people's homes, they might find some stuff too...

Also, if I remember right, a large portion of the thefts occurring outside homes last year were attributed to a single individual looking for drugs/money. So, I mean, pat yourself on ...more
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 17 4:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
What's unreal is you thinking trouble areas don't exist. Yes I'm sure there are plenty of white collar criminals that live south of the highway, but that doesn't erase the trouble areas .....
By Sturgis (605), Southampton on Oct 18, 17 8:09 PM
SO true ! Lets see if he can locate the High End Prostitution ring for the upper class thats going on here in our prestigious an elite lil Southampton community an put an end to it.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Oct 19, 17 7:25 AM
I'm sure the SHPD would love to investigate any tips you may have.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7966), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 19, 17 7:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
I wish I knew much more than simply its existence . Hoping my comment will stir enough conversation around town to where maybe more info will surface...
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Oct 19, 17 7:49 AM
Maybe if you had a clue about policing you would understand that "Broken Windows" is a concept that has worked throughout the country. Of course police should "target" problem areas and assign their resources where it would have the most impact! And what is wrong with "profiling" future criminal behavior committed by a relatively small number of people and identifying those people? Learn something about police work before you speak such ridiculous comments!
By mtkfish (59), montauk on Oct 20, 17 7:58 AM
It makes sense that Law Enforcement would focus on areas where more calls originate, but the issue is what they consider sufficient reason for a stop/search when they're in those areas and whether they're held responsible when they overstep their bounds.

The data, particularly in the city 90 minutes up the road, demonstrates that overzealous policing is a net loss for law enforcement and civilians alike.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7966), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 20, 17 8:15 AM
Wow. This guy is good...

Or, it’s more election year propaganda from the three J’s.
By Draggerman (940), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 7:10 AM
What a concept! When you actually invest in crime-fighting rather than just blindly point fingers at entire communities, crime rates go down. Frankly, I'm gobsmacked.
By johnj (1019), Westhampton on Oct 19, 17 9:39 AM
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