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May 23, 2011 9:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Narrows Chief Candidates To Three

May 24, 2011 3:24 PM

The Southampton Village Board has narrowed down to three the field of candidates to replace former Police Chief William Wilson Jr, and will bring in an outside consultant to help the board make its decision, Mayor Mark Epley said Monday night.

The three finalists are Captain Thomas Cummings, Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison and Sergeant David Dorchak, according to the mayor.

“All were good, quality, solid individuals,” Mr. Epley said of the original pool of six candidates. “The thing that set these guys apart was that they each had a vision for the department and they were able to express that vision to the board.”

He added that the board is divided on who the right person for the job is, however.

Retired Suffolk County Police Commissioner John Gallagher—who helped the board select Chief Wilson in 2006—will therefore interview each candidate independently from the board this week, pushing back the appointment date from an original target date of Tuesday, May 24.

“His input will be very valuable to us,” Mr. Epley said of Mr. Gallagher’s role. “We wouldn’t have reached out to him if we didn’t want a third-party opinion.”

Capt. Cummings and Sgt. Dorchak will interview with Mr. Gallagher on Thursday, while Det. Sgt. Lamison, who is currently at the FBI Academy, will interview on Saturday, Mr. Epley said.

Chief Wilson left the department to become chief of the Southampton Town Police Department earlier this month. He started his new job on Monday, May 16.

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Epley and empty vessel rhetoric.Vision Vision Vision! Retired Suffolk County Police Commissioner John Gallagher is selected by Epley again to rubber stamp Epley's choice for Chief of Police Gallagher was never even a cop! When you hear politicians using "vision" it's for public consumption only. Bias, favoritism, & nepotism are really what at work here. Detective Sergeant Lamsion has everything going for him to be the next Chief of Police except merit & fitness. Only after you take a written ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on May 24, 11 10:38 AM
As we saw with the Town PD recently, the Captain who actually runs the departemnt and does the heavy lifting, gets screwed when it's time to appoint a new Chief -- and that's because the position of Chief is a political job, rarely filled by an actual "police" (working cop).

You're right about Gallagher, RonDo, He was a political hack, and he'll always be a political hack.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 24, 11 11:54 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 24, 11 10:50 AM
Stop be a hater.....Herman Lamison is nothing but a qualified hard worker and extremely capable of taking over the chief position. Don't be jealous he is a integral part of the police department and is not one one the many lazy ones who just look for there paycheck.
By local39 (14), southampton on May 24, 11 9:22 PM
Just in case you (rondo) don't realize that we have an African American as the President of the US. Your song is old...Lamison is well qualified and he has showed the community over and over again his commitment over the last 26 years! What have YOU done lately???
By chrissypooh (3), Southampton on May 24, 11 11:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your anonymous screen name has but 3 comments! All your comments have only to do with who will be the next Chief! I now ask what have you done other then create a screen name to advance Lamison? Remember 1at the written test for Chief THEN the selection process.
By RonDo (33), Southampton on May 25, 11 8:56 AM
It's always the same group of people with their own hidden agendas that feel like their postings will somehow sway these important decisions being made..... Well they Don't!! The fact is Mayor Epley, who has done a wonderful job, has been given the task to decide who the best candidate is for the Chief position for the Village of Southampton, period! If for whatever reason you feel that you are better qualified to make these decisions than maybe you should run for mayor. Otherwise deal with ...more
By banina81 (11), Sag Harbor on May 25, 11 1:00 AM
Another poster with 2 comments! Whats your agenda? Mine is stated! The Village should follow civil service law & rules. The Village should request that civil service TEST all eligible candidates. After the test (NOT BEFORE) the top three (RATED BY NUMERIC SCORE) Chief Candidates should be interviewed for the Chiefs position. This way we get a civil service Chief NOT a political Chief.
By RonDo (33), Southampton on May 25, 11 9:03 AM
I've heard that Mr. Lamison has businesses on the side in addition to his job for the police department.

I heard he is a property owner and may own as many as sixty properties around town. That number seems high to me. Is there anything to this? Could any issues arise as a conflict between this and his role as chief?

The other thing I heard is that he owns a private security company. Is this true? I assume the security company hires local (village and town) police officers. Will ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on May 25, 11 10:08 AM
To RonDo:

I understand the import of your post: The Village should follow civil service rules that forward objective criteria for choosing the Police Chief.

However, your post seems quixotic. If the civil service rules were obeyed, patronage would be lost. Absent an uprising by constituents across all the political parties, that will never happen.

I'm also not convinced that it's a good idea. There are qualities that make for a good police chief that do not translate ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 25, 11 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Civil Service actually grades the all promotional exams with a curve IF the candidate passes with a 70%. Then each candidate is awarded 1/10th of a point for every year of service. This accounts for seniority in the civil service position. Additionally Civil Service will add 5 points to a candidates score if he/she is a veteran. In 2006 the Captain was appointed by the Village Board 2 weeks BEFORE the exam results were certified. That Captain (aka Provisional Chief of Police) failed the exam. ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on May 25, 11 10:59 AM
i wish an honest to goodness third party could come in and make this decision-so many people love and appreciate that police department and in the blink of an eye one decision made by people so far removed from police work can change the lives of so many- everyone is so hung up on the political nonsense that no one breaks it down into real life - these guys and girls want to go into work everyday and have and maintain a respect for their boss - has the board asked them who will make them motivated ...more
By buddha257 (1), southampton on May 26, 11 2:30 PM
A "shoo in" was originally a horse expected to win a race because the race was fixed, not by virtue of its speed or endurance.
The Village Board will not leave Capt. Cummings, the highest ranking officer, as "Acting Chief" until the Civil Service test results (for merit and fitness) are available and then follow Civil Service Law and Rules in appointing the new Chief (one of the highest three). Why?
The only reason to rush forward and appoint a new "Provisional Chief" before the civil service ...more
By whocanutrust (17), Southampton on May 27, 11 12:14 PM
Dorchak and Cummings went to Ground Zero on 9/11 and worked at the base of the Twin Towers. Lamison did not participate. Involvement in the community is donating your time and sometimes you own money. Community involvement is not getting paid to park cars, coach basketball or work security. Visibility and recognition rarely amount to real community involvement. Dorchak and Cummings donated all their time to the October PBA Pumpkin Run and all the money went to the DARE program. Command presence ...more
By RonDo (33), Southampton on Jun 5, 11 11:13 PM