Southampton Town’s 74 highest-paid employees last year were police officers, a Newsday analysis of town and city payrolls shows.
Police Chief Robert Pearce led the list, with a total pay of $201,549 and a base salary of $175,136. The money beyond base pay was a mix of sick-pay buyback, a clothing allowance, holiday pay, night differential pay and longevity pay, which represents additional income that unionized police officers receive after five years with the department, said Russell Kratoville, the town management and services administrator. Civilian union employees’ longevity pay starts after six years.
The town’s top overtime recipient in 2014 was Robert Julian, a labor crew leader in waste management. He was paid $45,355 in overtime in addition to his base salary of $67,303.
One reason for Julian’s high overtime is that he is the only person in the department who is licensed to drive a tractor-trailer, operate certain heavy construction equipment and perform other tasks, Kratoville said.
Eight of the other nine top overtime recipients were town police officers.
Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone said much of that overtime comes during warm-weather months, when police help conduct traffic control for and patrol the town’s many special events.
“In May, June, July, August and September, you will see an uptick in overtime for our police officers,” he said.
The town spent 3.78 percent of its $39 million payroll on overtime in 2014, lower than the Islandwide 4.83 percent average.
The large number of tourists and seasonal residents leads the town to hire many seasonal and part-time employees, who work at the beaches and other warm-weather venues, Zappone said. Nearly 44 percent of town employees in 2014 were seasonal or part-time.
The total number of full-time and part-time employees on the town payroll fell slightly between 2013 and 2014, from 920 to 910.