Dispatch from Six Corners

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dispatch from Six Corners

Updated 12/15/2009 – 11:51 am

It wasn't but six months ago that the Village, spurred by Newsday's story about Police Chief Ray Dean's salary, was up in arms over the amount that the Village's top cop was getting.

The outrage, led by sycophants of the troika, was for a time shrill!

(But then it must be remembered that Deputy Mayor Jim Kametler has made it his life's work to bring down his former boss, the one who declined his entreaties to be made a detective.)

The furor mostly died down when it was sub­sequently reported by both Newsday and The Southampton Press that Chief Dean's salary was not only in line with what other top cops on the East End were making, but wasn't even at the top of that list!

But if the taxpayers really want to examine value for tax dollars spent, let's look at the other end of the jobs in the Westhampton Beach Police Department, the dispatchers.

OtBB reluctantly concluded in early 2008 that they were not only a waste of money, but in reality an expensive luxury given that if their positions were eliminated tomorrow, South­ampton Town's 9-1-1 system would immedi­ately assume those responsibilities.

That system is currently operational whenever the local dispatchers are off, #1, and #2, it's something for which Village taxpayers are al­ready paying.

And the "paying" part isn't cheap: between the two senior dispatchers, Charlie Benkov and Kathy Barosa, the Village spends over $156k a year... which does not include the benefits!

Statewide, a police dispatcher's average salary is $40,000... so Barosa and Benkov are making almost double that amount1.

In comparison, one of the great bargains at Six Corners is Jeff Frano, who also serves as a dis­patcher... for less than $22k a year!

(And he does so politely and professional­ly, a manner which should serve as an example to the other two, but doesn't.)

It's always nice to be met with a pleasant face and a warm manner when entering the police station to make a report, or request some form of assistance. I've always felt that it's a better alternative than a red 'phone and a sign direct­ing a visitor to use it to call 9-1-1.

(Which 9-1-1 goes directly to the Town!)

But, sadly, that's not what happens locally, and it's currently costing the Village more than $200k a year in salary and benefits for what is essentially a duplicated service.

The full-time police dispatchers need to go!


Credit for finding the site which provided the financial information used in the preparation of this entry, goes to Village resident Harris Palmer who posts as "Publius" on 27East.

  1. This critical piece of information was in­explicably omitted from the initial version of this entry.


1. Surf's Up! said...

Speaking of The Empress - how's Waldbaum's doing?

Apparently better... note that her Shame on Waldbaum's site hasn't been updated since June!

2. Matlynn Carville said...

The standard at the teat job has, on average, an additional 50% of salary (or higher) benefit package. That puts the entitled two's costs over $300K a year. Outrageous, ESPECIALLY in light of their reportably truculent behavior dealing with the public.

Some key information inexplicably omitted from the initial entry is that both Benkov and Barosa make nearly twice the New York State average, $40,000, for Police Dispatchers.

3. Surf's Up! said...

Hopefully Jeff is not working full-time for half-price?

I hope it's a matter of seniority, #1, and, #2, I have every confidence that Mr. Frano could cover the department's entire dispatching requirement all by himself.

4. Victor Levy said...

Note: Jeff volunteers at the Westhampton Beach Fire Department as dispatcher/radio person. He was there at 3:30 am during this morning's Dune Road house fire.

Seems to have been in the right place... you also had departments from Eastport, East Moriches, East Quogue and Quogue, plus the local Ambulance responduing as well. Helluva guy!
– Dean

5. Hampton West said...

Nassau County has had a similar problem with dispatchers–they quickly figured out a way to milk their work chart to get lots of OT. Some of the dispatchers earned in excess of $100,000.

But I'd venture that they had to do some work for it.

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