About that Police Commissioner business...

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

About that Police Commissioner business...

...beginning with an emendation and clarification re­garding Thursday's Public Hearing of Local Law 1/2015, "Establishing Position of Police Commissioner."

The fact that the matter is on the February 5th Agenda is as a result of a NYCOM opinion that only seven (7) days notice is required for a Public Hearing, rather than than the previously believed ten days. So the legal advertisements in the current Southampton Press and last week's Newsday satisfy the requirement.

Portions of the notice are bound to raise some questions:

  1. The Police Commissioner will act as the head of and chief administrative officer of the Police De­part­ment. He/she will report to and be super­vis­ed by the Mayor. [§4 A]
  2. The Police Chief will report to and be supervised by the Police Commissioner in the same manner as he/she currently reports to and is supervised by the Mayor and Board of Police Commissioners, if established. [§4 B]
  3. ("If established?" The Village Trustees already are the "Police Commissioners!")

  4. The Police Commissioner will be responsible for the management and administration of the Police Department including, but not limited to, super­vising the Department's operations. [§6 A]
  5. Direct, supervise and evaluate members of the Police Department in their assigned duties; [§6 B ii]
  6. Recommend commendations or disciplinary action in the same manner as is currently per­formed by the Police Chief; [§6 B iii]

If anyone hasn't figured out what's afoot here, that last item, "in the same manner as is currently performed by the Police Chief," spells it out quite starkly.

The creation of the Police Commissioner fully eviscerates the duties and command prerogative of the Police Chief!

This raises the question of why even have a Police Chief in Westhampton Beach?

Why didn't they leave Chief Trevor Gonce as Lieutenant and bring in a new Police Chief?

(O, wait... they tried that, didn't they?)

This stinks! There's something rotten at the core of the Moore/Palmer apparát and it's going to make the New York Post wonder what was so bad about Ray Dean's compensation!

Mayor Moore looked me in the eye just before Christmas and very directly told me that "having a Commissioner and a Chief is going to cost less than a Chief and a Lieutenant."

That's some scary voodoo budgeting right there!

Sixteen years ago, the Westhampton Beach Police De­part­ment was broken, and had been for decades! Now that it's been fixed, the Village Board should stop trying to reimage it, and get themselves under control.

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