It’s finally been made official—New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy is now in effect in the Hamptons. The policy so far has been widely successful, according to the Hamptons Mounted Police Department (HMPD), and thanks to the compliance of all citizens from “Montauk to Westhampton.”
Stop-and-frisk, which has been widely criticized in Manhattan, is largely not a problem for the wealthy folks living in the city, since for the most part it seems that the policy has been enforced more in the poorer areas of New York. But here in the Hamptons, where the rich are everywhere, there has been less discrimination.
The HMPD was given the authority after a town meeting last week. Officials passed the resolution nine votes to three, and since the policy has been implemented, more than 6,000 random police searches have taken place in the Hamptons.
The pat-downs could be seen on Main Street last week in Southampton, where the HMPD stopped a man who was dressed in all white, which was highly suspicious, considering that it was before Memorial Day.
Manhattan oil tycoon William Biggsbottomline was frisked and questioned, and he was completely compliant during the incident. “Anything to help protect both myself and the area that I vacation in,” he said. “I didn’t mind at all being asked to stop in the middle of the street and have police officers frisk me for wearing white clothing before Memorial Day. It was my fault, I should know better.”
Police subsequently arrested Biggsbottomline because he had prescription pills in his wallet. He said that he must take the medication every day and keep it with him at all times, but because he was unable to immediately prove that fact to the police, he was brought down to the station and held until his wife drove down with the prescription bottle from the couple’s home. His court date is July 2.
A woman, also wearing white before Memorial Day and thus looking suspicious, was stopped and frisked while walking her poodle in Herrick Park in East Hampton. A Hamptons Mounted Police Department officer took control of the poodle and called animal rescue when the woman gave an incorrect name during questioning. The recently married Tiffany Buffett-Gates of Lilly Pond Lane “became flustered” during the incident and gave her maiden name, Thomas, although her license clearly showed her to be Mrs. Buffett-Gates.
Yes, the policy seems to be working quite well here in the Hamptons, and everybody seems to be on board. “I’m really happy with it,” Woody Bennet, a Montauk fisherman, told me in an exclusive interview. “My brother was frisked last week after police saw him wearing a hooded sweatshirt stained with fish blood. He said it was no big deal.”
Attorney Andrew H. Ourlyrate, who owns an oceanfront home in Amagansett, said that he, too, was frisked in Montauk—in front of his wife and two twin sons, just prior to their bar mitzvah. Police noticed the man lying on his back at the beach, in his clothes but without a towel, which anyone must agree is highly suspicious and potentially dangerous behavior.
“I actually kind of enjoyed it,” Ourlyrate said of the frisking. “It sort of felt good, like a massage and freedom all wrapped into one experience. And it was nice that my kids saw it. I think it really helped teach them the important lesson of trusting and obeying all rules put in place for the benefit of everyone, and never to question authority. I just hope to see more of it. I wish that we could stop and frisk everybody. It would make us a lot safer.”
Read David’s blog about Hamptons life every day at DansHamptons.com.