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Sag Harbor forum to focus on police salaries

A former Suffolk County legislator from Sag Harbor is holding a forum next month on what he calls “the unfairness of the laws covering municipal negotiations with police unions.

“It’s just unfair .?.?. the system is rigged,” Bill Jones said. “I bet you never thought you’d hear that from a West Point graduate.”

Jones, who was once a village trustee in Sag Harbor, said most people know that police salaries are high but do not really understand the arbitration process, which makes it all but impossible to do anything about it, and said it will take a change in state law to make any meaningful change.

Sag Harbor officials last year looked into closing their village police department and having the work taken over by another municipality as a way of holding the line on taxes. They took no action when, after public hearings, it became clear that local residents want more police protection than other agencies were willing to provide.

The board also offered an early retirement incentive to the members of its small police department, but no officers accepted the offer.

The forum will be from 10 a.m. to noon March 7 at the Pierson High School auditorium in Sag Harbor.

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