Politicizing Police - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2010867

Politicizing Police

Last week, I read with interest The Southampton Press’s update about the continuing search to hire a Southampton Village Police chief [“Search For Southampton Village Police Chief Continues,” 27east.com, August 10].

I was glad to read that Trustee Roy Stevenson now considers it essential to allow Trustee Bill Manger to access information to bring him up to speed, and that he be allowed time to digest it so he could interview candidates. When I was a trustee, this was the same information that was consistently denied to me by all my colleagues and the village administrator. That Trustee Stevenson has now changed his tune is not surprising.

However, at the December trustees’ meeting, understanding the seriousness of the village not having a permanent chief for too long a time, I moved for a resolution to allow a promotional exam within the department to aid selection and hiring. As the minutes show, the resolution failed to be brought to the floor for a vote.

Where was Trustee Stevenson then?

Village residents and taxpayers deserve the best possible police chief, and that person should be able to stand on their record and be vetted in depth — but this process has to happen within a reasonable time and not be stalled by politics. As a result, it left us without a police chief for too long, and it has continued.

Aside from the sense of incompetence, this dithering has resulted in instability, and done damage to what could have been a good working relationship between law enforcement and the village officials.

Hopefully, Trustee Manger, given information, time and cooperation, will lift this out of the political mess it landed in. Good luck to him!

Joseph R. McLoughlin

Southampton Village