After reviewing the Hartnett report on the Southampton Village Police Department, I came to two conclusions.
The first is that Mayor Jesse Warren’s “task force’s” interpretation of the report is purposely slanted to agree with his personal bias against the Village Police Department. He paid $40,000 for this report, had his committee of cronies cherry-pick a few negative points from the report, and then released their false findings of gross mismanagement and waste.
The task force was obviously spoonfed their conclusions by Jesse. Jesse is simply using his task force findings and his “Citizens for a Safer Village” propaganda to justify his obvious anti-police agenda.
What qualifications do his task force members possess? Is his task force chair a close friend of a fired Village Police sergeant?
I find it very disturbing that the mayor would give his task force access to this report before our elected officials could review it. Jesse should have invited Mr. Hartnett to address the Village Board directly before having his task force and citizens group give their warped, biased interpretation of the report.
The second conclusion I have is that I agree with the Hartnett report’s summary that states: “The Southampton Village Police Department provides quality policing to those who live in, work in and visit the village. Although the local crime rate may be relatively low, the men and women of the SVPD are proud of their agency, motivated to serve their community and rightfully embrace their full-service policing model.”
The report found that the violent crime rate in Southampton Village is less than 10 percent of New York State and the U.S. averages. Our low crime rates are what make Southampton Village such a desirable and safe place to live, with such high real estate values.
We should all be thanking the fine men and women of the SVPD for what they do to keep us safe. Instead, Jesse has chosen to base his mayoral campaign on a platform of unjustly attacking them.
The mayor’s task force has attempted to turn a mostly benign report of a well-managed, professional police department into the smoking gun needed to drastically overhaul or possibly even disband the entire organization. There are no glaring indications of waste or mismanagement, as he and the task force allege — and the public can see that for themselves.
The mayor’s dislike for Chief Thomas Cummings and his strong desire to terminate him is quite apparent, and he just wasted another $40,000 in his attempt to accomplish that.
Mr. Raffel is a former member of the SVPD and a former president of the Southampton Village PBA — Ed.
One fine body…