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Southampton Village Poised To Pick Police Chief On Thursday

Publication: The Southampton Press
By Colleen Reynolds   Jun 7, 2011 2:48 PM
Jun 8, 2011 9:45 AM

The Southampton Village Board is expected to select its next police chief after an executive session Thursday and possibly swear him in on Friday, according to Mayor Mark Epley.

Mr. Epley, who is the village police commissioner, and the four village trustees have not divulged whom they plan to appoint to fill the vacancy created when former Chief William Wilson Jr. left last month to become chief of the Southampton Town Police Department.

The three finalists are Captain Thomas Cummings, longtime second-in-command, who is currently heading the department; Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison, commanding officer of criminal investigations; and Sergeant David Dorchak, president of the Village Police Benevolent Association.

John Gallagher, a retired Suffolk County Police commissioner hired by the village to render an opinion on the candidates, said Tuesday he has ranked the three finalists in order, based on his interviews with each candidate, his review of their personnel files, and a conference call with the Village Board. His letter arrived at Village Hall last Thursday, June 2, but village officials declined to disclose his opinions.

Although Mr. Gallagher would not reveal which candidate topped his list, he named experience—in terms of years of service with the department and the village, not administrative experience—as the weightiest factor in his opinion, based on board members’ priorities.

According to village records, Det. Sgt. Lamison, 47, of Shinnecock Hills has been with the department the longest of the three, having been hired in June 1986. Capt. Cummings, 47, of Wading River, who has the most administrative experience of the three, joined the department one year later, in June 1987. Sgt. Dorchak, 44, of Hampton Bays, a retired commander in the Navy and Navy Reserve, joined the force in November 1998.

Village officials had been divided in recent weeks over whom to appoint, claiming all three were outstanding candidates with different strengths.

Mr. Epley said the board will likely make its appointment Thursday and then invite the new chief and his family in for a swearing-in ceremony on Friday.

The new chief will be a provisional appointment, pending results of the Civil Service chief’s examination, which is to be administered next in March 2012. Of the three finalists, only Capt. Cummings has already taken the test—which he passed twice with a high score—but those results have expired.

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Reading between the lines you are about to hire a candidate that hasn't even passed the test, when you have someone there that has Administrative experience and passed the exam already. POLITICS shouldn't be the reason. Why not hire the person that deserves it. Instead you have one candidate shouldn't have even been in the running!
By mildred (2), southamtpon on Jun 7, 11 3:01 PM
3 members liked this comment
This is a choice between Cummings and Lamison. It is a choice between a Captain who has passed the Chief's civil service exam and a Sergeant who has NOT even passed the Lieutenant's exam; a choice between a man whose police career is his life and another who moonlights at four different jobs; and a choice between a man who has gained his position by merit and one who has gained HIS by suing the Village.

And one other comparison, a choice between an individual who stands on his achievements ...more
By highhatsize (2048), East Quogue on Jun 7, 11 9:15 PM
The only people responsible here are the village residents that vote these people into office and don't vote them out. Of course its true that there are not many viable alternatives being offered to them. I would be surprised if Cummings is selected. I hope I'm surprised.
By V.Tomanoku (599), southampton on Jun 7, 11 10:22 PM
Yes, it would be great if we cleaned up our very own police force, ourselves. Instead of a popularity contest from a bunch of unqualified, overzealous police officers that place themselves above the laws which we must abide by, why not select someone by experience, and character? I'm tired of hearing all the stories of what goes on within our police forces.... Spring flings within the department should not be tolerated, nor should a Sargent, living with her subordinate. I'm tired of this "Good ...more
By The Royal 'We' (135), Southampton on Jun 8, 11 9:35 AM
This should be a vote for the people!! The people who pay taxes!! The people who expect a certain job to be done everyday!! NOT JUST WHEN THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON!! What ever happened to next in line!! I don't know Capt. Cummingings but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see he is the BEST candidate for this position. He has passedthe Chief exam 2X with high scores. REALLY!! The village village trustees obviously have a compleatly different agenda here if choose anyone other than Cumminings!! This ...more
By mychildmatters (29), SOUTHAMPTON on Jun 8, 11 9:42 AM
Transparency in politics at work! (Through frosted glass!)
A "shoo in" was originally a horse expected to win a race because the race was fixed, not by virtue of its speed or endurance.
The race is over except for the swearing in celebration.
I wonder what "Rewaards/promotions" are in the works at taxpayer expense for the Lt. and the other two (2) Sergeants with the highest scores on the prior civil service Lt list? They were eliminated first (not even considered by the "outside expert") ...more
By whocanutrust (17), Southampton on Jun 9, 11 3:18 PM
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