At it’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, the Sag Harbor Village Board was scheduled to discuss the fate of its police department and whether or not it would use police services from Southampton Town, East Hampton Town or the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department to cut costs. The meeting had previously been scheduled and then cancelled due to weather on Thursday, November 1 and Wednesday, the 7th.
With police negotiations at an impasse for months and a skyrocketing police budget, Sag Harbor mayor Brian Gilbride reached out to the other municipalities for a solution in July. He received three proposals—all of which would eliminate the 12 officers currently employed by the Village—but Gilbride has already said he’s most interested in what the Sheriff’s Department has to offer.
Proposals from Southampton and East Hampton also remain on the table. The Sag Harbor Village Police Department budget, including 12 officers and Chief Tom Fabiano, is about $2 million.
Read the proposals below and take our poll.
Southampton Town Police Department
Total Cost: $720, 694.94
On September 7, STPD’s then chief William Wilson sent a proposal explaining that his department would add a new East End sector to the three current full time sectors in Southampton Town.
He would assign one full time patrol officer per midnight, day and afternoon shift in Sag Harbor, as well as an additional patrol officer to cover increased call volume during the summer season (May-September). Special services, including his Emergency Service Team and Investigative Unit would be billed as needed.
From May to November, Traffic Control Officers would be used to handle parking issues within the Village shopping area.
A new, fully equipped police car would be required to cover the East End sector, but part time officers and TCO’s would use cars from the Town’s current fleet.
Total cost to Sag Harbor is estimated at $720,694.94, including five full-time officers at $131,090 each, one part time officer for summer months and as needed at $13,297 and two traffic control officers, budgeted at $15,980. Investigative services would be billed at $104.73 per hour per detective and emergency services would cost $92.67 per hour per officer. The new police car would cost $35,000 and Wilson budgeted total gasoline usage at $770.54.
East Hampton Police Department
Total Cost: $1,170,200
The July 31 bid from East Hampton Town Police Chief Edward V. Ecker Jr. budgets for one officer in Sag Harbor three shifts per day, 365 days per year. Duties include answering service calls, traffic and parking control, speed enforcement and enforcement for noise and other ordinance. It notes that the Village would also have the benefit of EHTPD’s detective division for felony and long-term investigations.
The $1,170,200 proposal includes one uniform sergeant with benefits at $170,000, five officers with benefits at $159,000 each ($795,000 total), two seasonal traffic control officers totaling $15,000, school crossing guards totaling $15,000 and $25,000 for overtime.
Uniform and cleaning costs would be $10,200, detective and dispatcher services would be $15,000 each and clerical services cost $10,000. The proposal also calls for two cars for $80,000 total, including maintenance and gas. Ecker noted that he used baseline quotes for 2013, and the amounts could be subject to change.
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
Total Cost: $923,520
Dated September 11, the Sheriff’s Department proposal calls for two patrol cars for the day and evening shifts between 8 a.m. and midnight, and one unit on duty from midnight to 8 a.m. Sunday to Thursday. On weekends, Friday and Saturday, two cars would cover the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.
The Sheriff would provide the cars and would charge for additional services—detectives, marine patrol, K-9 units, etc—by the hour as needed. He points out that patrol cars could use gas from the Village fueling station or charge Sag Harbor by the gallon.
In October, Mayor Gilbride said he’d like to modify the Sheriff’s Department proposal and leave half of Sag Harbor’s 12 officers on the force, along with Chief Fabiano who would remain in charge no matter which proposal is chosen.
Meanwhile, the Village offered all eligible officers a retirement incentive, which would pay $1,000 for every year of continuous full-time service up to the day of retirement. Anyone choosing to take the incentive has to file paperwork by November 30 and retire no later than December 31 of this year. No officers have filed for the incentive yet, but Officer Michael Gigante officially resigned on October 9 to take a more stable job with the Northport Village Police.
Which do you propose?