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Aug 29, 2013 4:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Mayor, Police Chief At Odds Over Police Staffing

Aug 29, 2013 4:54 PM

A special meeting of the Sag Harbor Village Board, called Thursday afternoon to hash out the final details of the upcoming HarborFest, quickly devolved into an argument over the village police force so old and layered that one trustee characterized it as a war.

At the meeting, a request was made before the board by Village Police Chief Thomas Fabiano to authorize the potential hiring of Garret P. Lake as a part-time police officer for $23 an hour.

The town currently has three part-time officers, and Mr. Lake would be a fourth part-timer who could be called on duty if any full-time officers cannot make their shift. The board discussion indicated that these part timers are used to save money on overtime costs that would be incurred if full-time officers were used to cover missed shifts.

While Village Mayor Brian Gilbride, the village’s police commissioner and liaison between the police force and the board, supported the measure, Trustee Kevin Duchemin, who is also the president of the East Hampton PBA, opposed the measure. Mr. Duchemin was against the move on the grounds that part-time workers cannot properly fill in for full-time workers and said the answer, instead, is to be more lenient with overtime.

“We had a part-time guy working alone this past weekend; he knew none of the roads,” said Mr. Duchemin.

“You’ve got to decide, Kevin, if you’re talking as PBA president or as a trustee with the village’s interests in mind,” replied Mr. Gilbride.

“You’re acting like a PBA president, it’s bull,” he went on to say, adding that he thinks if this other part-time officer was available, having only one part-time officer working by himself wouldn’t happen.

“This could’ve been someone else to call to alleviate the [issues of] the other day. You have to realize that overtime pay is $90 an hour,” Mr. Gilbride said. “This falls under my purview as police commissioner. My job is to keep the costs down in my position as police liaison, but apparently I’m not the person [making the calls]. I’d never interfere with anyone else’s liaison.”

Trustee Ed Deyermond later broke in on the argument, saying that the issues surrounding the police force are extensive and that the board should wait until after Labor Day to act on the proposal.

Chief Fabiano agreed, saying he didn’t need the extra officer until after October or November, but reiterated his stance that the department does in fact need more full-time officers.

Chief Fabiano tried to diffuse the situation, saying, “Before we get into a major war here ...,” at which point Mr. Deyermond cut him off and said, “Well, we’re already there.”

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Sag harbor is 2.3 square miles. I would think that that 2 tours should get one accustom to the roads and area.
By theprogram (37), east quogue on Aug 29, 13 8:15 PM
Does that include water?
By Board Watcher (532), East Hampton on Aug 29, 13 11:30 PM
And another fact is when the other full time officers came to this village they did not know the village,but after a few days I am sure they learned as others will have to.

It sounds like Kevin wants to spend more of the taxpayers money than the mayor with paying a lot of overtime.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Aug 29, 13 8:34 PM
Think this out again taxpayer , a new officer learning his beat , unfamiliar with area and your loved one is having a heart attack, choking, just walked in on a robber in your home , at the bottom of a pool . And the new beat cop is sitting in an RMP getting the call and either putting the address in a GPS , or grabbing his hagstrom . You decide and then maybe make a intelligent comment . I'm sure the town has a budget line for overtime . Where does that stand ?
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Sep 1, 13 1:06 PM
Duchiem is a turtle balanced on a pole!
By The Gipper (11), Sag Harbor on Aug 29, 13 10:45 PM
A pole turtle ? Similar to a snapping or box turtle ? Is this a political cliche ?
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Sep 1, 13 1:09 PM
Wait until AFTER labor day ....when it slows down....?????? Gilbride has zero interest in saving the taxpayers money ... He allowed the floating docks at the wharf to REMAIN in the water prior to hurricane sandy thus costing the taxpayers money ... Pay attention people
By Biba (557), East Hampton on Aug 30, 13 12:12 AM
Shouldn't the Harbormaster be pulling out the docks? Oh!that's right another double dipper, just like Duchiem! Wait Duchiem is an triple dipper these guys should be running an ice cream shop! And Biba you would be there number one customer.
By The Gipper (11), Sag Harbor on Aug 30, 13 7:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hey guess what .... The final decision as to what happens( or what didn't happen) belongs to the MAYOR . It was the MAYORS idea to leave all the floating docks in thus costing the tax payers more!!!!!!
By Biba (557), East Hampton on Aug 31, 13 11:25 AM
Why not pool the resources of the village..i e get community more involved. Why not ask the fire departments fire police to handle shifts during Harbor fest weekend. They are equipped and had they're training paid for by the fire district to handle those situations. This is supposed to be about community involvement and team work. Stop looking at the almighty dollar, and do whats right for the people who live in the community. If man power is the issue, then def hire the part timer. It takes prob ...more
By aprlmurray (2), dover on Aug 30, 13 11:18 AM
Gripper, You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. The Harbormaster did take the docks out of the water since he started working for Sag Harbor. The Mayor reassigned that task to the highway department last fall. The Harbormaster has done a fantastic job for the Village. Gripper should think about going back to school.
By village taxpayer (1), sag harbpr on Aug 30, 13 5:44 PM
One part time officer working alone? No wonder why there have been a recent string of burglaries in the village. I'm not sure if anyone has been spending time in Sag recently but the town is a zoo. Great for businesses, but clearly makes a strong argument for a properly staffed police force. Because as we all know, most of these lovely people who visit our area do not police themselves.
By oceanview (15), hampton bays on Aug 31, 13 5:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Biba (557), East Hampton on Aug 31, 13 11:27 AM
The issues of the staffing of this police force has not changed in 15 years. This same issues came up during Mayor Pierce Hance, and Trustee Ducheim was not on the board, although at the time, Gilbride was working part-time to oversee the highway department as well as being in-charge of the Town of Southampton's waste management. It has always been an issue with staffing, and there is a PBA Contract, which at one time they pursued a staffing mandate. Studies have shown that having only one officer ...more
By trurepublician (53), hampton bays on Aug 31, 13 8:30 AM
oh "gipper" you sound like a former disgruntal board member, who may have had some dealings with the local police dept. Possibly a retired teacher . maybe you can shed some light on how one double and triple dip , you seem like you know alot on this topic and frankly im not sure which way you are taking this. Please fill us all in. article reads that maybe all the councilmen were opposed and the mayor the only one for it...well, it appears it got tabled so I guess the council people have won. maybe ...more
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Aug 31, 13 10:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Most full time officers in east end departments started out as part time officers, as is the case with Sag Harbor. There is no additional training to distinguish the two classes, only a passing grade on the civil service exam. There are times when an officer does work alone, but I highly doubt that criminals are more deterred because a full time officer is on duty.
By theprogram (37), east quogue on Aug 31, 13 11:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Does it really matter? The officer is part time at $23.00 if he's needed. What's the big fuss about? Hire him.
By peacemaker (23), Sag Harbor on Aug 31, 13 4:29 PM
So it's ok to call Kevin and the Harbor Master "double dippers " but my comment was removed ...bias anyone ???????
By Biba (557), East Hampton on Sep 1, 13 11:33 AM
Everyone out there and those who comment on this subject and refer to the "double dippers" had the opportunity to take the civil service test.......YOU chose not to and now certain people whine about police and salaries.......get a grip, get a life and if still eligible take the test
By rjhdad (73), southampton on Sep 1, 13 4:44 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Sep 9, 13 8:50 AM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend