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Jan 1, 2013 2:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Still Has Not Pulled Trigger On Police Force Cuts

Jan 2, 2013 10:06 AM

Four months ago, Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride predicted that his village’s police department would be 
slimmer in size and operating under contract with an outside agency by the beginning of 2013.

But now that the new year is here, it appears that Sag 
Harbor is considering less dramatic ways to save money—namely, the reduction of wintertime staffing on the 12-member police force.

But at a special meeting on Friday, December 28, the last village meeting of 2012, Mr. Gilbride said he wants everyone to understand that while the idea of reducing police 
staffing is “still alive,” the village is still not ready to make any cuts.

“We’re not looking to lay anyone off until we have a clear picture of who’s here,” the mayor said at the meeting, noting that one sergeant has been out sick for three months with a return expected later this month, and another officer has requested a leave of absence.

The meeting, which lasted less than an hour, was called, in part, so the village could discuss the police department’s seasonal staffing. But only two other board members, Kevin Duchemin and Robby Stein, were in attendance. Ed Gregory was absent, and the board has opted not to replace former trustee Tim Culver, who stepped down in August after moving to North Haven Village, deferring to the spring election. Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele Jr. also missed the meeting.

Since then, the village scheduled another special meeting for Friday, January 4, at 8 a.m., at Village Hall to discuss “personnel.” The mayor has not returned requests seeking additional information on that meeting, although Mr. Thiele has said the village has been looking to discuss seasonal staff reductions.

Though the board took no action regarding the police department last week, it did fill some vacancies on certain boards. Stephen L. Clarke Jr., an entrepreneur, was appointed to the Harbor Committee. Penni Ludwig, a goldsmith, was named to the Board of Historic Preservation & Architectural Review, and Tim McGuire, a book-publishing industry retiree, was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Finally, the Village Board voted to accept the long-
planned transfer of Long Wharf from Suffolk County back to Sag Harbor.

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It is my opinion that the Sag Harbor Village Police Department performs an incredible service to its residents. Keep the police department intact. Bigger isn't better! Home rule is the way to go! Just ask the Mayors of the villages to the west in both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Most of them would love to have their own police agencies.
By Jimion (125), Hampton Bays on Jan 2, 13 4:44 PM
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