On May 25, the Southampton Village Policeman’s Benevolent Association members made ourselves available to the public to answer any questions. This is the first time they have ever seen the union get involved in a public information campaign.
Our “Save the Police” signs are not political. Our police department, administration and officers are being spoken about very negatively, and with many blatant lies.
The task force report was utilized in the most inappropriate manner. The public believed that the taxpayer-funded review by the Hartnett Group of the police department was going to be delivered in its most true form, as an honest, unbiased review of the department. The public did not get that. The task force brief has since proven to be misleading and slanted. There were some inaccuracies in the Hartnett Report. Had our chief been interviewed, he could have given documentation and statistics to clear them up.
Why is this village spending taxpayer money just to have a false narrative fed to the other trustees and the public? Why was our accreditation never mentioned?
A headline read: “Southampton Village Police has excessive expenses and few controls.” On May 25, the mayor revealed to us that the police department had gone under many line items, actually saving the village money, and that he can allocate unused police budget money and transfer it to the capital fund. Mr. Mayor, how, if the department has gone under line items, do we have “excessive expenses and few controls”?
Regarding overtime, most if not all of the police overtime of 2020 came from Village Hall-approved protests, rallies and dining in the streets, requiring extra officers to maintain safety, allowing these events to happen peacefully.
In regards to diversity, the police department has 31 officers. We have five females, two who hold rank, three members of color, two who represent the LGBT community, a Hispanic code enforcement officer, and approximately 14 officers who were born and raised in this community. We have employed part-time officers from the Shinnecock Territory and from the Hispanic community. Again, it’s Village Hall that hires.
What was the delay in staffing dispatch? The mayor explained to us on May 25 that only “white men” were on the list. We were appalled. There is a civil service process, but to discriminate on gender and race? I would call for a resignation.
I ask that Mayor Warren stop using the police department as a scapegoat to promote his political agenda. Our department and PBA have and will continue to be dedicated to this community, building our relationships, and reflecting on ways to improve and be better.
We will do that regardless of who is mayor. That is what we do.
Ms. Lubold is an officer in the Southampton Village Police Department and a member of the PBA — Ed.
One fine body…