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Oct 10, 2012 10:47 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Releases Bids For Police Protection, Southampton Town Lowest

Oct 10, 2012 12:15 PM

Following an at-times contentious discussion on Tuesday night regarding Sag Harbor Village’s process in accepting bids for outside police protection—and the acknowledgement that some bids had been posted on an online police blog—Mayor Brian Gilbride OK’d the release of the proposals.

The Southampton Town Police Department, the last agency to respond to Sag Harbor’s request, offered the lowest bid, at $720,694. The Suffolk County sheriff’s office estimated it could police the village for $923,520, a figure that does not include fuel costs, while the East Hampton Town Police turned in a nearly $1.2 million proposal.

Southampton Town’s bid, received last Thursday, October 4, calls for one full-time patrol officer per shift and, in the summer, a seasonal patrol officer as well. It would create a new sector and use a new, fully equipped police car. Investigative and emergency services would be billed as needed.

The sheriff’s office offered two patrol units with one deputy sheriff in each per day and evening tours, and one car for midnight shifts from Sunday through Thursday and two cars for midnights on Friday and Saturday. Investigative and K-9 services, as well as Marine Patrol, would be billed as needed. East Hampton Town offered one officer assigned to just the East Hampton Town portion of Sag Harbor for three shifts per day.

On Wednesday morning, Sag Harbor Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele Jr., who also serves as a state assemblyman, said that none of the three bids was considered a leading contender at this point. The village will likely share all the bids with all three agencies and follow up with further discussion.

Mr. Gilbride has been considering slashing the size of the Sag Harbor force from 13 officers to about six. The village has already started drafting an early retirement incentive for eligible officers. He maintained his position that looking outward for protection is a potential cost-cutting option amid spiraling police costs.

While he repeated that his position was not a bargaining ploy—as the village and its police union are headed to arbitration over a contract dispute—he did say that if things improve and all the employees chip in toward their medical and retirement benefits, he may be able to bring back the whole force.

Former Sag Harbor Village Mayor Pierce Hance on Tuesday criticized the village for not being transparent enough through the process. Mr. Gilbride replied that he felt officials were being so open that releasing some bid numbers before all bids were received may have affected the process. He decided to release all the bids publicly after acknowledging some bids had already been posted on The Schwartz Report, a Long Island blog with a police forum.

Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Thomas Fabiano told the board he was “hurt” by the ongoing discussions and said he felt he was being kept largely out of the loop of what was going on.

The resignation of Officer Michael Gigante was accepted on Tuesday night. He took a job with the Northport Village Police, Mr. Thiele said later. According to the chief, Officer Gigante switched departments because he was unsure of his future with Sag Harbor. The village budgeted $113,811 for his total salary for 2012-2013.

Longtime resident Tom McErlean took issue with Sag Harbor’s search for outside protection, claiming it would not get the same level of service. Sag Harbor officers often respond more quickly to incidents in neighboring North Haven, he said, which is covered by the Southampton Town Police. He also claimed there was a “pattern of acrimony” dating back to the 1990s, which flares up whenever the police contract expires.

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So basically, nobody knows what this will really cost. If there are a lot of billed expenses, these proposed numbers could increase, I don't know about mayor gilbride, but I like to know how much something is going to cost before I buy it.
By Clarity (65), Whb on Oct 10, 12 10:44 PM
Heck, me and the boys'll do this fer half that much long as we get free coffee, donuts and whiskey.
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Oct 11, 12 8:48 AM
It is not going to happen - this is a weak attempt to settle there contract problems.

It is interesting to note that the locals do not seem to be taking it too seriously and that the one board member seems to be the driving force. As an aside, the Towns of East Hampton and Southampton Police forces and very low on manpower, and neither is currently staffed to handle the job - they were "asked for numbers and they gave them, but neither can do it at this time Papers should ask these chiefs ...more
By harrisw (27), sh on Oct 11, 12 8:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
take care of your Chief and his number 3 guys!
By maggieb (11), sag harbor on Oct 11, 12 9:19 AM
alot of wasted time here , they are getting alot of press but thats about it . get back to the bargaining table , and hammer this out like men. no threats, make it work. doesnt sound like the mayor had alot of support at the meeting, sounds like the few were all for keeping the force.....
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 11, 12 5:03 PM
sagaponack had to yell loudly for more police coverage and it was very apparent over the summer months but will it continue? Hope so.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 11, 12 7:15 PM
Sounds like Sagaponack and Northaven should compare Southampton Town's bid to provide services to Sag Harbor with what they currently receive. Seems like all villages need to go shopping.
By Larry74 (1), Southampton on Oct 11, 12 10:07 PM
2 members liked this comment
Settle this outside the corner bar!
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Oct 12, 12 10:16 AM
Why not ask Northaven if they would be interested in having Sag Harbor Police protect them? Am I wrong to think that the Sag Harbor Police could get there faster than the Town Police? Less workload for the understaffed Southampton Police. Faster response for the North Haven residents. Continued employment for Sag Harbor Police officers. Maybe the Press can find out how long it takes Southampton Police to respond to a call in Northaven.
By lieggs (1), Southampton on Oct 12, 12 8:07 PM
heard 50,000 for meditation or whatever its called, divided by 12 4.166 per cop, doesnt seem like a bad raise. maybe the pba prez should start looking at these numbers and other villages/towns budgets, no where is the bottom lines of a cops wages and benfits and retirement plan 182,000. either we are being mislead by the local officials or maybe time for sag to do an audit like i just read westhampton is doing. and why isnt 27 east going out to interview the supervisors of the towns that have ...more
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 14, 12 11:39 AM
No one has ever accused you of being eloquent, have they?
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Oct 15, 12 10:15 AM
By sgt202 (75), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 12 3:49 PM
and PS to the Chief : im guessing the taxpayers dont want to hear your "hurt."..maybe pissed off, tired of the bs, disrespected,micromanaged, something but hurt is something you get in 4th grade when your friends take your lunch...
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 14, 12 11:48 AM
1 member liked this comment