The Obvious Choice - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1923184

The Obvious Choice

I am writing in reference to the article “Residents Express Frustration With Ongoing Southampton Village Police Chief Search” by Cailin Riley [, March 30]. The article implied (or I inferred) that the village is likely looking to find a person to fill that role from outside the community. As mentioned in the article, at least some residents would prefer someone local and invested in the community.

However, the article did not point out that Sue Hurteau is a local.

I have had the great pleasure of knowing Lieutenant Sue Hurteau for over 30 years. She went to Tuckahoe and then to Southampton High School and, after graduating from college, she joined the Southampton Village Police Department. I point this out to demonstrate that this is only one of the many boxes that Sue checks in regard to her qualifications for the chief position.

As many know, Sue was the first female detective, sergeant and lieutenant in the history of the Southampton Village Police Department. Those are incredible achievements, and it’s an exceedingly impressive track record — but, knowing Sue, as so many of us in the community do, not one of us is surprised that Sue is the person who achieved those firsts.

I give credit to the village for properly recognizing and rewarding Sue’s work, her energy, her dedication and her loyalty. Assuming she passes the exam, I cannot think of a reason why that should not continue. It’s not only that she’s earned it. It’s also that I believe in my heart that the community could not find, regardless of the length and breadth of search, a better candidate or a better human being for that very important job.

The person Sue is today is the person that I’ve always known her to be, regarding her character and her values. She’s always been a natural leader and a person of great integrity, compassion and kindness. She’s a team-first person today, just as she was as an athlete in high school. She is bright, honest, fair and hilarious. She’s the kind of person whom even those her age look up to, admire and seek out for advice.

This is who she is and who she’s always been. She grew up here. She knows and loves Southampton — so much so that she’s dedicated the entirety of her professional life to serving this community.

In my opinion, there is no better candidate than Lieutenant Sue Hurteau for chief of police. And I’m certain many share that opinion. The village and the entire community would be very lucky to have her accept that role.

Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one. I firmly believe that to be true in this case.

Thomas Stengel