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.