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Apr 11, 2012 10:49 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town PBA Officer Receives Anonymous Threats

Apr 12, 2012 9:55 AM

The vice president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association of Southampton Town, Officer Kevin Gwinn, who has in recent weeks openly accused the Southampton Republican Party of playing politics with the Southampton Town Police Department administration, said he was threatened last week to keep his mouth shut or lose his job.

Officer Gwinn said he received an anonymous, typed threatening letter at his Center Moriches home on April 4. The letter was dated March 22, but postmarked April 3 and mailed from the Middle Island post office.

“Kevin, just wanted to remind you about the retirement law that requires town board approval for police officers to stay past 20 years of service. Isn’t it true that you have more than 20 years of service? In these uncertain times shouldn’t you be careful about ‘going after’ people like Nuzzi, Malone, Kiernan or any one else for that matter? Just food for thought. Sleep well,” the letter states, referring to Town Councilmen Chris Nuzzi, a Republican, and Jim Malone, a Conservative, and Town Police Lieutenant James Kiernan, a Southampton Town Republican committeeman.

Officer Gwinn said he documented the letter with the Suffolk County Police Department.

With 25 years of service, Officer Gwinn is the only PBA board member with more than 20 years of service. A decades-old provision of town code allows the Town Board to force police officers who have worked 20 years or more to retire. The provision has been on the books for decades but has been rarely used.

The week before he received the letter, Officer Gwinn said he received a similar threat via an anonymous call to his cellphone. He hinted that another agency—not the Suffolk County Police or Southampton Town Police—may be looking into the call, and that he has been advised not to comment on the details of the call.

He said as a PBA leader, such anonymous warnings are relatively common. He said he does not know who the sender or caller were.

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I smell something fishy here. My first thought is that Officer Gwinn is trying to set himself up so that if anyone makes a legitimate attempt to oust him and others using the 20+ rule he can claim it's all politics not economics. Who would be dumb enough to mail him an anonymous letter? And this investigation which can't be discussed because he doesn't want to out which law enforcement agency is handling it? Is he kidding? Does the investigation involve double secret probation?
By Wagoneer (28), Southampton on Apr 11, 12 2:08 PM
3 members liked this comment
I agreed with you 100 percent. If this was a true letter why would they give the contents to the press. Let the FBI investigate the letter and they will find it's pure BS. The shtpd needs to have a house cleaning and throw these clowns out.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 11, 12 10:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Fishy or not, its common practice to have an outside law enforcement agency conduct the investigation. Given what has been going on in Southampton I would expect nothing less. Using the mail to send any threat could prove problematic if they can trace the origin.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Apr 11, 12 6:40 PM
First, STPD Chief Wilson smells "a political appointment" in the selection of an STPD Captain over his objection. Now STPD PBA Vice President Gwinn alleges that HE has been threatened.

If only an STPD patrol officer were to to come forward with an allegation that his fourth amendment rights had been violated, the STPD would hold the Guiness Book of World Records for Irony.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Apr 11, 12 9:42 PM
The irony is that you and you alone can hold more Guiness records for your posts. I have to admit that I do look forward to reading them, if only you would begin them with "Hello Clarice".
By theprogram (37), east quogue on Apr 11, 12 11:30 PM
to theprogram:

By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Apr 12, 12 9:00 PM
Investigation by an outside agency? How did that work out with WHB PD? The findings of any investigation will be discounted by the town board anyway.
By Quoguer (8), Quogue on Apr 12, 12 8:02 AM
SHT cant do the investigation because he does not live within the township. Its the County jurisdiction..
Quote : Officer Gwinn said he received an anonymous, typed threatening letter at his Center Moriches home...
By tookatz (83), westhampton beach on Apr 12, 12 11:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
Curious: Is Kiernan on the police force a son of very politically conected Ann LaWall? Does anyone know?
By baywoman (165), southampton on Apr 17, 12 5:06 PM
Sadly, Jim Kiernan is not related to my family. But thanks for asking!
By Theresa Kiernan (26), Southampton on Apr 18, 12 7:35 PM
HE mailed the letter to himself. The guy is a thug, this is the same guy that was involved in the DWI when Johnson was driving and she killed someone. HE TRIED TO COVER IT UP. His buddy Auby was the one that drove the patrol car into the water over in Remsenburg. YOU KNOW ANNAS BUDDY!! Time to get the broom and sweep the department clean of these thugs, they lie and cheat and get away with it. DISGUSTING, WE NEED A NEW DISTRICT ATTORNEY THAT ISN'T AFRAID TO INVESTIGATE THE REAL CROOKS!!!!!
By lbrand (7), hampton bays on Apr 17, 12 8:06 PM
1 member liked this comment