There’s a new sheriff — er, police chief — in town in the Village of Southampton.
Lt. Suzanne Hurteau, a 24-year veteran of the force, was named acting chief of police after longtime Chief Thomas Cummings retired on September 10 following a public feud with Mayor Jesse Warren. She will run the department, which has 30 sworn members, while a committee searches for a permanent replacement.
“The department is in great and capable hands with Acting Chief Hurteau,” Warren said.
Cummings, 57, was hired by the department in 1987 and became chief in 2010. Following a rare detailed public airing of the contract negotiations, the village board voted this summer to end his contract, resulting in a $774,000 retirement payout.
“I would have liked to have continued here,” Cummings told The Southampton Press. “I had no plans on retiring.”
Warren said the police chief search committee will consider Hurteau and current officers in the department as well as candidates from outside the village.
Hurteau added: “I would like to thank Mayor Warren and the entire Village Board for having the confidence and trust in me to lead this department during this transitional time.”