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Southampton Town board votes to give police chief contract

Robert Pearce gets sworn by Sundya Schermeyer, Town

Robert Pearce gets sworn by Sundya Schermeyer, Town Clerk of Southampton as the Southampton Town's new police chief. A long-time police department veteran, he has been acting chief since the post became vacant a month ago when the former chief resigned. (Dec. 6, 2012) (Credit: John Roca)

Chief Robert Pearce is poised to get a contract with Southampton Town through 2016, after the town board took an unscheduled late-night vote at its Tuesday meeting.

Pearce, a 32-year veteran of the town’s police department, would get a 1 percent raise in July to make his salary $171,702.40. He’d get a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1 of 2014, 2015 and 2016, said Russell A. Kratoville, town management services administrator. The vote was unanimous.

Pearce said the contract would provide stability for the department. He and town officials “agreed there should be a contract in place for the chief of police, so it’s not a distraction,” Pearce said. “Right now, being in the position I am, I think that is my long-range plan.”

The previous two chiefs — James Overton and William Wilson — did not have contracts.

Pearce and Kratoville said a change in state law in recent years necessitated a need for the contract.

Kratoville said the contract’s final language has not been finalized. The town board voted on a resolution to authorize Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst to execute the contract.

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