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Amityville trustees to vote on contract that could boost police chief's salary to $211,000

Amityville Police Chief Glenn Slack during a meeting

Amityville Police Chief Glenn Slack during a meeting on Nov. 13, 2017, with the village board.  Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Village of Amityville board of trustees is expected to vote Monday on a proposed contract for the village’s police chief that would give him an 11 percent raise.

Under the proposed agreement, Chief Glenn Slack’s  base salary would rise by $21,671 from $189,927 to $211,598, an 11.4 percent increase. The new contract, which runs until May 2019, would also retroactively increase Slack’s pay for the period since his previous contract expired, with a base salary of $204,383 from July 2017 to January 2018 and $207,959 until June 2018, when the new salary becomes effective.

In addition, the proposed contract changes the terms for separation pay. In Slack’s previous contract, unused vacation and sick days would be paid out at a sergeant’s hourly rate, which is $91.28. Under the new proposal, Slack’s unused time would be paid out under his new hourly rate of $114.01. This change would result in a $50,000 increase in the payout, Mayor Dennis Siry said.

Trustee Nick LaLota, who provided Newsday with a copy of the proposed contract, criticized the agreement, which has been negotiated for more than a year.

“We gave a lot and we got nothing in return,” LaLota said. “They gave him this $50,000 provision and got nothing in return.” LaLota said that while village police officers “deserve to earn a good living,” the chief's salary and payout increase is “neither commensurate with the risk the chief takes nor representative of what the village can afford.”

Slack, 59, is a village resident who has been chief since 2015 and with the department since 1984. He said he has been working with an understaffed department, which has 22 members, and that he has provided a giveback to the village. He said that he was offered a sick day separation payout at 70 percent of his rate — which he said previous chiefs had in their contracts — instead of the 60 percent standard for village employees, but that he declined.

“I felt it was fair that I should receive my separation pay at the percentage that everyone else does,” Slack said.

Siry defended the proposed contract.

“Slack is worth what he’s getting,” the mayor said. “He’s doing a good job . . . and he’s doing it by himself without a lieutenant.” The village has not filled the second-in-charge lieutenant position since 2015.

Siry said that Slack’s contract was the first chief’s contract, approved under the previous administration, that changed the separation pay policy to the sergeant rate.

“Every officer in the PBA gets their separation pay at the rate they’re earning at that time,” Siry said. “Why should he be treated differently than the rest of the people in the department?”

Siry said Slack’s proposed salary is in line with chiefs of other Long Island villages, such as Malverne, which has a smaller population than Amityville but a similar size police department.

Malverne's police chief, John Aresta, who is also president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, said his base salary is about $240,000 a year and that Slack’s proposed salary is "probably on the lower end of the average” for village chiefs. Aresta said it is unusual for a department not to have a lieutenant.

“It’s not only unusual, it’s bad practice,” he said. “Without a true second-in-command, you’re kind of setting up the chief for failure.” 

The board of trustees will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 21 Ireland Place.

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