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May 29, 2018 2:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quogue Police Chief, Robert Coughlan, Retiring

Quogue Police Chief Robert Coughlan will retire on Thursday, May 31. FILE PHOTO
May 29, 2018 3:44 PM

Quogue Village Police Chief Robert Coughlan will take off his badge and chief’s hat, turn in his weapon and walk out of the police station for the last time as the department’s highest-ranking officer on Thursday, May 31.

He announced his retirement from the Jessup Avenue police department at the Quogue Village Board meeting earlier this month.

Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius offered the position to Lieutenant Christopher Isola, who said last week that they are still negotiating the terms of the contract. If Lt. Isola accepts the position, he will be sworn in by the Village Board on May 31 and begin his new duties on June 1.

“It should be a pretty smooth transition,” Lt. Isola said.

The subsequent vacancy in the lieutenant’s position will not immediately be filled, however. At a special meeting on May 31 at 4 p.m. at Quogue Village Hall, the board will appoint a new full-time police officer, he said.

Lt. Isola has been with the department since 1981, serving as a full-time police officer until 1995, when he was promoted to sergeant. He has held the lieutenant title since 2001.

“My motivation was always public service—I loved the challenge of serving,” he said last week. “I’ve always wanted to advance.”

The lieutenant’s predecessor, Mr. Coughlan, joined the Quogue Village Police Department as a part-time police officer in 1978, and worked his way through the ranks, earning the title of chief in August 2001.

In October 2016, his chief’s contract was extended for three years—an agreement that strongly suggested that he would retire when it expired on May 31, 2018—“to assure an orderly transition within the police department and progression of responsibility of officers presently serving therein,” it read.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to have worked for the [Quogue Police Department] in the capacities that I did,” Mr. Coughlan said after receiving a plaque from the five-member Village Board on May 18. “It was truly something I wanted to do all my life.”

Mr. Coughlan did not return multiple phone calls and emails seeking comment.

At a Village Board meeting last week, Mayor Sartorius called Mr. Coughlan “a critical element in creating professionalism” in the department and thanked him for his service, wishing him a happy and healthy retirement. “It’s been great working with you,” he said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do without you.”

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