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4216 Comments by highhatsize

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In case of emergency: East End SWAT teams

To K Aventi:

What can I say, you missed the joke inherent in the name.

As for the remainder of your post, it is an opinion that I do not share.

An inexperienced SWAT team is worse than none." Mar 4, 10 4:41 PM

To political pawn:

Had the perpetrator strapped Semtex around his body, holding hostage a few dozen people and threatening to detonate himself and everybody else?

Was he spraying the area with gunfire from automatic weapons?

In short, was he doing anything that the plain vanilla police could not have handled without the drama of ST SWAT?

How, exactly, was he "threatening"? I assume that he was unarmed or you would have mentioned the fact." Mar 4, 10 7:07 PM

to Bayman1:

Maazel Tov!" Mar 4, 10 7:09 PM

To political pawn:

Really! Another poster claimed to know that they were "intensely trained". Now you say that they are trained "in house", (on their own time?)

You demand research from others but offer no references yourself.

I hold a high opinion of American military personnel. Implying that the East End PDs are their equivalent is libelous. " Mar 4, 10 7:31 PM

To courtesy;

Ad hominem remarks aside, your post asserts that East End SWAT teams need to train to get better. I responded to that inane notion days ago." Mar 4, 10 9:32 PM

As I have stated, there is no persuasive argument for a Town or Village SWAT team. If it is as rigorously trained as NYC SWAT, we are spending too much money since it is unlikely to be needed. (In addition, all the training in the world without experience is useless.) If it is trained one weekend a year, then it is unqualified both by inexperience AND training.

East End cops can handle most situations without calling for specialized teams. Moreover, the PBAs will cite the additional training as a reason for higher salaries, just as teachers use post-graduate degrees to increase THEIR salary.

The raison d'etre of East End Swat teams is to provide cops with a diversion from their daily DWI grind and to boost their pay.

Cops are typical civil servants. Treat them as selfless, noble warriors and they will all drive foreign sports cars and own houses on the beach." Mar 5, 10 12:44 PM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate

What a nightmarish election. The STPD PBA endorses another Democratic poodle and the Republican candidate is a cop! KA-CHING! " Mar 5, 10 1:01 PM

Westhampton Beach Village police officers file notices of claim

Obviously, more is going on here than meets the eye. The confrontation between board members over what should have been a procedural issue is incomprehensible.

I wonder if this is a bluff by the two cops or if they really intend to file suit." Mar 6, 10 2:54 PM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate

I will support the candidate who will pledge to make public the actual expenditure in salaries and overtime for the STPD. At the moment, we only have prospective data on annual salary costs without overtime. If we were able to read the actual cost per pd rank for 2009 as we are now able to read the prospective salaries for 2010 on the town website, we would have a clear picture of the true cost. The public data we have,even though showing stunningly high salaries, is misleadingly low.

" Mar 6, 10 10:09 PM

I will support the candidate who will pledge to make public the actual expenditure in salaries and overtime for the STPD. At the moment, we only have prospective data on annual salary costs without overtime. If we were able to read the actual cost per pd rank for 2009 as we are now able to read the prospective salaries for 2010 on the town website, we would have a clear picture of the true cost. The public data we have,even though showing stunningly high salaries, is misleadingly low.

" Mar 6, 10 10:09 PM

In case of emergency: East End SWAT teams

to political pawn:

I cannot recall a single incident in the history of the East End that would have required a SWAT response. East End SWAT teams HAVE enrobed in costume for inappropriate incidents such as that you described wherein an emotionally disturbed individual in Flanders holed up in a house and "threatened" people. (With a banana, perhaps? You never clarified your account.)

Moreover, your analogy in not apt. Were each E. Quogue fireman taking in $150,000/yr. in salary and overtime, it would be a closer fit. Were this the case, buying a superpumper and training them in high rise fire fighting would be as dumb as buying cool black tactical gear and training the STPD in SWAT, for the same reason.

Homicidal co-workers and terrorists do not worry me. DWI cops playing SWAT, (with, god help us, possibly fully automatic weapons), does." Mar 7, 10 1:24 AM

to AlwaysLocal:

The "axe" that I have to "grind" with the STPD, in particular, is that it is unethical, unprofessional, and insubordinate (specifically, it fishes DWIs busts without probable cause and it intimidated the Southampton Town Council with an en masse mobbing by off-duty officers in uniform when a salary matter regarding its members was on the agenda); it is hugely overpaid and, with the assistance of a thorough cowed Town Council, hides the magnitude of its remuneration from the taxpaying public, (the salary chart published, [finally], by the Town shows police base pay but not overtime which, I suspect, is 50% more in some cases); it is pretentious, (busting drunks is, to the STPD, as collecting spare change is to meter maids, who also should not be issued Star Wars gear and automatic weapons in case of a SWAT emergency); it is avaricious, (In a year when over forty Town employees were fired because of a budget shortfall, the STPD PBA refuses to agree even to a "hold-in-place" on its salaries. It STILL demands a raise), and, finally, it is duplicitous and arrogant, (While the Town code states that an STPD officer's employment terminates with his retirement after twenty years service, the STPD PBA asserts this law is void, [in the absence of any judicial review], and becomes positively pissy whenever someone, [like the unfortunate LInda Kabot], proposes enforcing it.)

I don't rely on the STPD for protection, nor should anyone else in this or any other jurisdiction. The police department is an entirely REACTIVE force. It may INVESTIGATE the theft of my "big screen" but the only way it could PREVENT it would be if a patrol car were, serendipitously, cruising by when the burglary was in progress.

The STPD has slipped the leash of our elected representatives who are too frightened of being kaboted to bring it to heel. The echoing silence on this issue by candidates for Town Council foretells that this deplorable situation will simply worsen. (But the cops will always be well dressed. I wonder how much profit Officer Aube, president of the STPD PBA whose private company holds the couture concession for the STPD, realized on the sale to the department of all the SWAT regalia.)" Mar 7, 10 9:28 AM

to political pawn:

Knowing how NYPD officers disdain traffic patrol, I would bet that NYPD ESU cops spend little, if any, of their time busting DWIs. By contrast, DWI busts constitute most of the incident reports of the STPD.

" Mar 7, 10 1:29 PM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate

to Terry & Bayman1:

Frankly, were I to submit a FOIL for this information, if, indeed, the Town Council has even compiled it, I would have to identify myself. Considering my opinion of the STPD, this would be foolhardy.

However, Bayman1 or Terry, either of you from the STPD chorus could file the request with little danger. Do so, and prove my ignorance." Mar 7, 10 1:40 PM

In case of emergency: East End SWAT teams

to courtesy:

Look up the definition of "ad hominem". Your use of it erases what little gravitas your posts possess.

For the third, or is it the fourth time, I have never been busted for DWI or even pulled over on suspicion of DWI. However, a number of acquaintances have commented on their own experiences with the STPD wherein they were fished from traffic because of their age, or their race, or their road location near a nightclub, or a combination of all three. They have been treated disrespectfully and then released grudgingly when they passed all the sobriety tests.

I am not advocating allowing drunks to drive. I simply want the STPD to follow Constitutional rules for probable cause. Putting "always-on" video cameras in every patrol car would go far towards correcting cop misbehavior." Mar 7, 10 1:52 PM

to political pawn:

Untrue. I am beloved by many. Moreover, one's character can be judged as well by one's antagonists as by one's supporters." Mar 7, 10 2:18 PM

to courtesy:

And yet, despite your assertion, you yourself cannot cite a single situation in the history of the East End that required a SWAT response." Mar 7, 10 2:24 PM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate

to Bayman1:

You are wrong, again. The only way to avoid putting my real name on a FOIL would be to hire an attorney. I won't spend the money. Furthermore, any emissary that I might ask to file in my place would put himself directly in the sights of the STPD.

There is nothing to prevent you, however, from filing and thus receiving documentary proof of your naked assertion. Since it was your STPD chorus colleague who suggested this recourse, I am surprised that you don't jump at the chance. Could it be that, just as in every other confrontation on fact in which we have engaged, you are afraid that you are wrong again, again?" Mar 7, 10 3:32 PM

to Bayman1:

To whom will the FOIL report you requested be delivered, if not yourself? Did you file it anonymously, (for instance, as you suggested, as "Mickey Mouse")? If the answer to the latter question is, "Yes", then I stand corrected. Regardless, you still appear on video making the request. Moreover, anyone who makes a request for information that would adversely affect the STPD will be remembered by the Town Clerks office. Everybody in Town Hall knows everything about anything that happens there, particularly, re STPD, the relations and friends of STPD officers who serve in various posts. Assuming anonymity under these circumstances would be as dim as assuming anonymity were one to turn in an illegal firearm at one of the police departments under the Suffolk County Sheriffs Department's absurd illegal gun buy-back program.

As I recall, our first confrontation occurred when you accused me of ignorance for stating that STPD officers were required to retire after twenty years service. I courteously posted the actual Town Code that stated that condition of employment. You, on the other hand, have never taken the trouble to cite or post a single reference to verify your opinions, although one would think it mere courtesy to return the favor. Your supposed cite to southamptontownny.gov is farcical. There is no data there on actual STPD annual remuniration with overtime included, as you well know.

If you have any citation to authority, any Town documentation, or any statutory language that actually verifies any of your opinions, please post them . I DID.
" Mar 8, 10 3:34 AM

In case of emergency: East End SWAT teams

to courtesy & taxraven:

No one should be permitted to drive drunk. Drunk drivers' behavior gives the cops probable cause to arrest them and compel them to pass sobriety tests. That's just as it should be. My contention is that STPD cops fish drivers from traffic on the basis of perceptions that have nothing to do with manifest symptoms of drunkenness but, rather, on criteria that are based on age, race, and proximity to nightclubs.

This misbehavior can be solved, as I said, by equipping all STPD patrol cars with multiple, always-on video cameras. The cost of this fleet-wide installation could be covered, with thousands of dollars left over, by retiring just one of the superannuated cops working beyond his twenty year limit and replacing him with a new recruit.

Not only that, but a video record of a cop's shift would insure that his interaction with the public is always courteous, like the STPD was forty years ago.

However, I do NOT agree that cops should be allowed to stop a motorist showing no signs of driving drunk just to see if he is. I agree with Justice Brandeis, the first amendment gives all Americans, "the right to be left alone". If cops want to intrude on your personal space without your prior consent, they have to have a reason that overwhelms one's first/fourth amendment protection. The possibility that one, despite no outward signs, might be driving drunk, does not merit such an intrusion.

The argument to toss our Constitutional guarantees is never based on a trivial need. Drunk drivers cause mayhem and tragedy. But we can stop them - better than we are doing now - by a simple technological update to the patrol car fleet. Why not do that instead of permitting STPD cops to continue rogue operations." Mar 8, 10 4:14 AM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate

to Bayman1:

The dissemination of information in Town Hall is more a result of gossip than of malice, which, however, does not stop those of malicious intent from using the information against the innocent.

Thank you for the courtesy of posting the relevant NYS civil service retirement law section. The signal language in that section is, " each member
of such department shall be separated from service upon completion of
twenty years of service, provided, however, that the town board may
permit a member to continue in service on an annual basis after the
completion of twenty years of service,. . .", which, clearly, using the indicative rather than the subjunctive, states that cops WILL BE SEPARATED AFTER TWENTY YEARS.

You did misunderstand me, I stated that I would vote for the candidate who would pledge to make public the actual remuniration of STPD officers, including overtime, for the year 2009. (Plus, of course, the amount budgeted at the start of the year, [such as appears on the Town website for 2010.]) We could then compare the actual with the previously budgeted cost and determine how much more the cops were earning in overtime, a figure that is presently unknown, but which I believe to be six figures, at least.

Your cite to seethroughny.net is unhelpful. There is no way to compare the budgeted cost to the actual cost. The Town Council has this information. They should provide it to the voters as a service. It is, after all, the single largest Town payroll by far." Mar 8, 10 3:17 PM

to Bayman1:

The seethroughny.net site has historical data for police salaries in 2009.

The Town website publishes the proposed salaries for the 2010 budget.

There is no way to access the proposed base salaries for 2009. That information does not appear on the Town website, (nor on seethroughny).

There is also the problem that seethroughny.net requires the name and pay grade of the individual for whom you are seeking information whereas the Town website information is anonymous by pay grade only. I don't know the
SFPD officers' names.

If all these problems are resolved, one would still have to tabulate base pay v. base pay + overtime of a hundred cops, calculate the difference and find the percentage.

However, if I am wrong, and if there is actually a way to compare salary v. salary + overtime in the STPD for the same year, please show me how. If such a comparison shows my supposition that the STPD officers take in overtime in six figures, (at least), I will be glad to post the results.

Although, since you claim that my supposition is mere ignorance, I can't imagine why you didn't post the information yourself to prove your point.
" Mar 8, 10 7:21 PM

to Bayman1:

I thought that you were critical of my supposition that the true annual cost of the
STPD is hundreds of thousands of dollars more than appears on the proposed budget because overtime doesn't appear on the proposed budget. I AM ignorant of overtime costs because I cannot find any publicly available budget figures showing it. Hence, I thought that if you had access to a budget statement that showed overtime, you would have posted it to make the point that I was mistaken.

My supposition is that the STPD as a whole makes at least six figures in overtime but it could be, literally, any amount since the Town Council has never provided the public with the relevant data." Mar 8, 10 8:27 PM

One definition of existentialism is the belief that we exist in a reality in which we are compelled to act without knowing why or how. That makes this election perfectly existential.

Both Bridget Fleming and William Hughes are upstanding citizens with a zeal for public service according to their puff pieces published in this paper but both have proffered only the vaguest of plans to address the budget deficit which both agree is the most important problem facing the Town.

So, the choice is between two good, frugal candidates about whose post-election behavior we have to guess.

Sure wish I had a punchy finish." Mar 9, 10 1:57 AM

Special election today for Southampton Town Board seat

I urge everyone to go out and vote today to prevent this election and date, (Southampton Town Council Race, March 9, 2010), from becoming iconic as the democratic election with the worst turnout in the history of western civilization." Mar 9, 10 2:06 PM

Southampton Town Board work session canceled

Presumably, Jim Malone was on board with the cancellation. He can use the time to catch up on work at his REAL job, (Suffolk County Deputy Clerk), now that he has decided to dishonor his campaign pledge to quit that job.

Jim has been the preferred Republican candidate for Supervisor for years. When he finally gets to run for that seat, will he, again, pledge to give up his county job?

Ah, well. It's all semantics. To paraphrase a colleague of Jim's, Spiro Agnew, this "post-Watergate morality" nit-picks behaviors like lying." Mar 9, 10 2:22 PM

Suffolk County delays closing of trailers again

Nobody, and, especially, no politician, wants to give sex offenders a per diem of $90 just for being sex offenders. The problem is, without giving them the money, they would be homeless registered sex offenders. I can't imagine a landlord renting to someone on the list. The odds are that most of that $90 per diem will go to places in residential hotels who won't know their background. East End legislators favor this solution just to get the offenders out of their community. I suspect that there is probably some case law requiring government to guarantee housing and food to people whom they have placed on the registered sex offender list.

As I stated before, I wonder how many of these people are rapists, pedophiles, and child molesters, the only categories of sex crimes that I think should qualify people for the registered sex offenders list. If there ARE a lot of people on the registered list for sex crimes like public urination and nudity, we should cull the list. The fewer people on the list, the fewer to whom we will have to provide the $90/day." Mar 9, 10 2:48 PM

Special election today for Southampton Town Board seat

to DJI13:

I believe that most voters will see these candidates as equal in qualification,(or lack thereof), equally ignorant, and equally vague in intent and will stay home since it makes no difference who wins.

" Mar 9, 10 3:02 PM

Bridget Fleming wins vacant Southampton Town Board seat

Yawn." Mar 9, 10 10:00 PM

Fleming won because voters saw no difference between the candidates so they voted for, "balance".

Had Mr. Hughes pledged to reform Town policy that allows unqualified cops to stay on the payroll at a cost of a million plus dollars a year, he would have won.

We may not be ideological, but were ARE frugal.

Perhaps next time." Mar 10, 10 12:28 PM

Southampton Village police chief rescinds internal rule governing secondary employment

Oh, please. He doesn't want this information seeing the light of day. Forbid him from destroying the information. If he has already done so, fire him." Mar 10, 10 12:38 PM

Myriad views on deer control in East Hampton Town

Homo sapiens is a mean predator. We can't change our fundamental nature. But education allows us a clear view of our motives. Hunters enjoy killing animals. That's the bottom line. Should we encourage killers to live among us?" Mar 10, 10 2:47 PM

Southampton Town Board work session canceled

It is perfectly honorable to serve on the Town Council and work at another job, as Ms. Fleming has said she would. It is a lie to say that you will give up another job if elected to Town Council and then keep that job, as Time Malone did.

Therefore, Ms. Fleming will receive no grief for being honest, contrary to Jim Malone's reception for being dishonest." Mar 10, 10 4:18 PM

Bridget Fleming wins vacant Southampton Town Board seat

Does anyone know how many registered voters there are in Southampton Town? I'm curious to know the % turnout in this election.

Here's what I foresee as the debate in the Town Council. The Repugs will want to raise fees for everything and fire people. The Demogs will want to do the same thing but will couch their approbation in REALLY, REALLY apologetic language. (The Repugs will be apologetic too, but, since they are social darwinists, not nearly so sincere.)

Neither will say bupkes about the twenty-seven cops @ $3.6M/yr. who are still on the payroll years after they should have retired and been replaced with new hires at 1/3 the cost.

Here's an idea for future consideration, just retire a few of them, just six of them, as Linda Kabot and the Chief of Police wanted to do in 2008. Use the hundreds of thousands of dollars saved thereby to mitigate the fees to use the beach, or to get a building permit, or to get a permit to run a (whatever)business.

Hey, you could, at least, put it on the agenda for a Town Council meeting. Then, if the STPD PBA members appear en masse in uniform, you could fire them, as you should have the first time, for insubordination.

Be warned, though, the PBA and the NYS Assn. of PBAs will sue for the violation of their right to be insubordinate. Just think of this as the cost of doing business. At this point in the development of the republic, it is safe to say that anyone who deprives anyone of anything that the latter think they deserve will be sued, as long as the allegedly deprived person has the cash to hire a lawyer." Mar 11, 10 9:02 PM

Board silences Westhampton Beach Village attorney

I wonder if the triumvirate read these pages. In the article about the village board that preceded this one, I asked if Bo Bishop had an opinion about the legality of the Mayor and Chief of Police refusing an order from a majority of the board. Then, at the next meeting, the junta gagged him.

Probably not, nobody reads this stuff who doesn't write it." Mar 12, 10 10:49 AM

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