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Southampton Town Police to Add Detectives

Police Chief William Wilson told the town board he intends to transfer at least three personnel from the Street Crime and Community Response Units to the detectives' division.

Chief William Wilson told members of the town board last Friday that he intends to downsize certain units within the department and transfer those personnel to the detectives' division.

Wilson said the division is understaffed due to attrition; there are only five detectives on staff currently, plus one detective sergeant who oversees the unit. He told board members he would like to add three or four new detectives, possibly transferring them from the Community Response Unit and the Street Crime Unit. Wilson did not return phone calls asking for comment this week, and during the meeting he did not specify how many officers would be transferred from each unit.

“We have one detective carrying 114 cases, and the others have between 60 and 70 cases,” he said, adding that the cases are all felonies and run the gamut from credit card fraud to sexual assault. “I would like to get to where they each only have 40 cases.”

Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming asked Wilson how morale was in the detectives' division, considering the staffing issues.

“I think the infusion of new blood will be a welcome change,” he said. “They've been running short for quite some time.”

Wilson also noted that due to attrition, come September there will only be 92 sworn officers in the entire department, down from 105 officers in 2008. One of the retiring officers will be Det. Sgt. Randy Hintze, who oversaw the detectives' division.

He said he does not intend to hire additional officers in the near future, but the board should keep in mind.

Later in his presentation, Wilson asked for permission to seek bids , expected to cost about $20,000 each. He said  the vehicles would replace two other rusting vehicles with high mileage and problematic mechanics. The purchases were necessary to ensure the safety of the officers, he said.

Members of the board agreed to allow Wilson to call for bids.

highhatsize August 08, 2011 at 12:15 AM
So, the strength is down but crime isn't up. Good work, Chief Wilson and Councilpersons! Now keep reducing it. There's still a lot of patronage fat in the department. Do we need more $$200K/yr. detectives? Couldn't clerical staff be added that would allow the existing detectives to spend more time in the field detecting?
Jimmy MacDoogan August 09, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Wow....your an idiot whether you post on 27east or on the patch. Consistency is a wonderful thing. Here is me detecting for you.......you need to spend more time at your sisters house, have a glass of wine, then go for a cruise to see whats going on in Westhampton. Now go dust off the dusty wallet.
highhatsize August 09, 2011 at 03:14 PM
to Jimmy MacDoogan: MORE ankle-biting. Do you have an opinion about the ARTICLE? For instance, you could rebut the assertion that the crime rate has been unaffected by the reduction in strength and that additional detectives would be superfluous. The existing S.T.P.D. is the product of decades of uncritical patronage by the Town Council. This is most obvious in the elevated pay scales ($$150K/yr./cop), the scant respect for civilian authority by the rank and file, and their casual attitude to the Constitutional requirements of probable cause. However, it is also evident in STPD overstaffing. If the crime rate doesn't change with fewer cops on the payroll, the simple conclusion is that those absent cops aren't needed. Before we elevate patrolmen to detective status (including a significant elevation in pay), the caseload of the existing detectives should be carefully examined. How many of the incidents are of the gravity of sexual assault and how many are in the category of "somebody stole my I-Pod"? Parenthetically, if the detective division's detecting skills are on a par with your own, the Town is in deep trouble.

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