Crimefighting Tools - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2062904

Crimefighting Tools

Things you can count on: death, taxes, and Ed Surgan’s overwrought and oversimplified rhetorical responses to letter writers.

In Mr. Surgan’s latest letter [“Subverting the Rules,” Letters, December 15], in response to one I recently wrote about the Democratic response to the issue of crime [“Mature Leadership,” Letters, December 8], was wrong on several levels. Let’s dissect his harangue:

Mr. Surgan asserts that any “Democratic initiative in law enforcement on a state or national level produces less law and order, not more of it.”

What I wrote was that the Democratic Congress and President Joe Biden provided funds for police in the American Rescue Plan. Some recipients of that public safety package include these two cities.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Republican Mayor G.T. Bynum will allocate money from the American Rescue Plan on the following items: police academy, body cam replacement, a police air support unit, court support and a family crisis prevention unit.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul will receive funding, including $8 million to replace patrol and other vehicles, $3.3 million to implement gun violence reduction strategies and increase community policing, and $1.8 million for technology investments such as automated license plate readers.

The list of small cities, large cities, Democratic cities and Republican cities receiving public safety funding is impressive (

Mr. Surgan also disparaged the efforts I mentioned about steps that Southampton Town is taking to improve public safety. Maybe he’ll like this one.

Last January, The Press reported on a new telehealth initiative to assess individuals in mental health crisis [“Police And Mental Health Professionals Collaborate On Telehealth Response Pilot Program,”, January 25]. Through smartphone technology, Southampton Town Police can link to the Family Service League’s Diagnostic, Assessment and Stabilization Hub to promptly assess individuals in crisis.

Here is former Chief Skrynecki’s assessment: “The program is a win-win-win.” It ensures the person in crisis immediate, professional evaluation, allows police officers to stay on the roads in the community, and prevents an unnecessary burden on hospitals. “I love this collaboration,” the chief said.

Dr. Jeffrey Steigman, chief administrative and innovation officer for the Family Service League, also praised the pilot as an exemplar in cooperative effort, “using resources effectively and efficiently and right sizing the system. … We’re providing the right service at the right time.”

“Collaboration” and “cooperation,” from Washington, D.C., to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and from Southampton and the Family Service League to distressed individuals.

All good things, if you ask me.

Mike Anthony


Anthony is the former chair of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee — Ed.