The editorial in last week’s edition of The Southampton Press concerning the vacant police chief position in the Southampton Village Police Department was right on target and to the point [“Bad to Worse,” April 7].
Upon Chief Thomas Cummings’s retirement, the mayor and Village Board of Trustees should have immediately petitioned the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service to administer a promotional examination for the position of police chief for the Incorporated Village of Southampton. This is the protocol that is utilized by municipalities when they need to fill a vacancy for the office of chief of police. Most recently, the Village of Westhampton Beach utilized this protocol to appoint a new police chief.
Furthermore, in requesting a promotional examination for the position, the village could establish the criteria that a candidate would have to exhibit to be an eligible candidate for the position. Most importantly, it would limit candidates for the position to members now serving in the Southampton Village Police Department.
There is no question the police department has several local qualified officers who would be very capable and competent to perform the duties inherent with being a police chief. The department needs a permanent police chief as soon as possible. A permanent chief will bring back stability to the department and the leadership necessary to successfully promote the police mission.
The back-door politics both inside and outside the police department must cease to exist. The Southampton Village Police Department is one of the most professional and finest law enforcement agencies in the State of New York. The police department is a major contributor to why the Village of Southampton is one of the greatest communities in the world to live, work and enjoy, with a wonderful quality of life.
James J. Sherry
Sherry is former chief of the Southampton Village Police Department — Ed.
One fine body…