Citing the small number of police remaining on their force, the Hamptons Police Department is notifying residents that the hours of law enforcement are being sharply reduced.
“Unfortunately, we have to cut back,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch says. “Whereas we used to patrol the streets around the clock, monitoring for all types of violations, we are now going to limit our patrols to the hours between 7 and 5 p.m., and we’re going to be looking out especially for small violations.”
The emphasis on misdemeanors rather than more serious felonies, Hirsch says, is a labor-saving measure. “If we make a big bust, that ties up a lot of officers for an extended period. If we write up a failure to signal, that’s relatively quick. So we’re going for the small fry.”
Hirsch acknowledges that a large number of crimes tend to take place at night, under cover of darkness. However, he points out that such crimes affect fewer people, since most locals are asleep at night.
“We think it’s a wash, in the end, so we figured why not keep the day shift,” Hirsch says.