Southampton's ex-top cop defends department

James Overton, former Southampton police chief, in Riverhead.

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James Overton, former Southampton police chief, in Riverhead. (May 23, 2012) (Credit: James Carbone)

Former Southampton Town Police Chief James Overton Wednesday strongly defended top officers and practices during his 21-year tenure at the helm of a department that now is being investigated by a Suffolk grand jury.

In his first extended interview on the topic, Overton charged that critics of the department have political motivations.

Overton, who spent 43 years on the force before retiring...

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