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May 12, 2010 12:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sagaponack has other options for police protection

May 12, 2010 12:23 PM

A few members of the Sagaponack Village Board think that $2.1 million is too much to pay for police services the village receives from the Southampton Town Police Department.

Village Mayor Don Louchheim is considering either contracting with another police department, like the East Hampton Town or Sag Harbor Village departments, or starting Sagaponack’s own force, in order for the village to get more bang for its buck, he said at a board meeting on Monday.

Mr. Louchheim said that rising assessments in Sagaponack—which increased, on average, by about 22 percent this year—upped how much the village contributes to funding the town police department by about 1 percent. This year, the village is paying slightly less than 10 percent of the approximately $19 million portion of the department’s budget that is funded through taxes. Next year, the village is slated to pay 11 percent, the mayor said.

Other areas of Southampton Town have seen their assessments decrease by as much as 20 percent, which means Sagaponack also has to pick up the slack for those losses, Mr. Louchheim said.

Southampton Town Police Captain Anthony Tenaglia said that Sagaponack “shares” a sector car with Bridgehampton 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and that in the past, village officials have told him that they were satisfied with police service.

Before looking to contract with a neighboring police 
department, or starting its own force, Mr. Louchheim said that he would like to see if 
he could negotiate a fixed rate for police services with 
Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

“There are a lot of options on the table,” he said.

Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Sagaponack Village Board is considering not participating in Southampton Town’s hazard mitigation plan, which is meant to help municipalities get money from the federal government after a disaster.

Southampton Town officials recently sent out inquiries to all of the villages within its boundaries, as well as the Shinnecock Indian Nation, to see if they wanted to participate. Mr. Louchheim said that he is not interested in the plan, and at the same time said he wants more information about how much participating in the plan would cost. He added that, because the village is protected by the Southampton Town Police Department, which is administering the hazard mitigation program, the village should automatically be included.

The plan will detail areas that are most affected by a variety of natural disasters—from flooding to wildfires—and suggest ways to diminish those effects. Having one in place will qualify the town for federal grants and other funds.

“I’m not crazy about it,” Mr. Louchheim said on Monday. Village Trustee Lee Foster added that she was also opposed.

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2.1 million does seem excessive for a “shared” Southampton Town Police car. Sagaponack Village should explore the idea of contracting with another area police department. I have worked in Sagaponack and I never see a police presence. I know that my employers, who are homeowners in Sagaponack, would like to have more patrols, as well as enhanced code enforcement. Start up for a new PD will be expensive. Interview a few different pd's and see who offers the best package.
By K Aventi (33), Southampton on May 15, 10 7:01 PM
I see lots of police cars in Sagaponack...Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Summer writing tickets on beach goer cars !
Southampton should pay Sagaponack a fee for the ticket writing concession instead of the other way around.

By Sag (54), Sag harbor on May 17, 10 1:43 PM