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Steven Skrynecki sworn in as new Southampton police chief

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki gets sworn into

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki gets sworn into office by town clerk Sundy A. Schermeyer Monday, May 1, 2017. Supervisor Jay Schneiderman stands to the side. Credit: Newsday / Rachelle Blidner

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki was sworn in Monday — his first full day as the department’s top cop.

Skrynecki took the oath of office administered by Town Clerk Sundy A. Schermeyer in the Town Hall auditorium, surrounded by Southampton officials and police officers.

“This is truly a great honor and a great privilege. I have nothing but good expectations,” Skrynecki said. “I’m anxious to get to work.”

Skrynecki said he has numerous initiatives planned, including enhancing “intelligence-led policing” and improving community relations. But the first thing he intended to do as chief was to go through weekend crime reports, as “any chief begins his day.”

Skrynecki, 64, transferred to the department last week after retiring as chief of department for the Nassau County Police Department, where he served for 42 years.

Lt. Susan Ralph said having Skrynecki as chief is “fantastic” and that she looks forward to his plans for the department, which include “re-enlisting officers as community liaisons” and getting more technology and equipment.

“He brings a lot of knowledge and experience from Nassau County to this department,” said Ralph, who is the department’s Freedom of Information officer.

Skrynecki was appointed Southampton’s police chief in September to replace Robert Pearce, who retired that month. His start date, which was initially set for Jan. 16, was pushed back three times, with Skrynecki citing prior commitments. He served as a part-time consultant for the department for the past four months while Capt. Lawrence Schurek acted as interim chief.

Det. Kevin Gwinn, president of the Southampton Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said that while Capt. Schurek did “a great job,” not having a permanent chief was “a little rough.”

“It’s just the anxiety of not knowing the future,” Gwinn said. “Especially in law enforcement, stability and continuity is very important. It looks like we have that now.”

Skrynecki is the fifth chief since the town’s police department was founded in 1951, officials said.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he didn’t need to wish Skrynecki luck with the new job because he’s “already got the skills.”

“It’s a great department,” Schneiderman said. “It’ll only get greater.”

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