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East Hampton Village board a step closer to naming police chief

Michael Tracey, the acting chief of the East Hampton Village Police Department, is set to become the official top cop, pending civil service approval.

The village board appointed Tracey, who has served on the village force for 32 years, to provisional chief during an Aug. 18 meeting.

The appointment depends on Tracey passing the Suffolk County Civil Service test for village police chiefs, which is offered once a year in March.

Tracey has run the department since January, when Chief Gerard Larsen took leave before officially retiring July 31.

“Chief Tracey stepped up to the plate and has been, from the board’s perspective, very successful,” Village Administrator Rebecca Molinaro Hansen said Tuesday.

Tracey said the duties of acting and provisional chief are identical, but that there is more job security with the promotion. He said his time as acting chief was “an opportunity for me to get to know the job” and for the village board to see him as “a good fit.”

Tracey said he has made some changes to the way the administration and the emergency communications department operate, including by adding dispatch supervisors to free up a police lieutenant who had been overseeing the dispatch center.

The police chief oversees 22 police officers, 17 emergency communications department staffers, 14 traffic control officers and one paramedic.

Tracey said he hopes to hire more police officers, adding that “everybody’s looking forward to moving ahead.”

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