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Southampton Town Police Department will not face outside probe

Investigators for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota

Investigators for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota descended on Southampton Town Hall, seizing boxes of personnel files related to the Southampton Town police. (May 9, 2012) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The Town of Southampton will not conduct an outside review of its police department, as Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst had requested, after she said town board members declined to back the investigation.

“I did not get the support of my colleagues on that,” she said this week. “They felt it wasn’t necessary. I saw it as a helpful tool to move forward.”

Throne-Holst called in April for an outside review of the police department, which has been the subject of controversy. A Suffolk County district attorney’s review of 100 cases led to the dismissals of convictions of seven men arrested by Southampton’s former drug unit.

Throne-Holst had said the third-party review would look at the inner workings of the police department, its policies and procedures and recent history.

Earlier this week, the town banned sworn law enforcement officers from being members of political committees or officers in a 4-1 vote.

Councilman Jim Malone, who had earlier supported the outside investigation, said he has faith in Southampton Police Chief Robert Pearce to bring forward any remaining issues in the police department.

“I have nothing but the utmost confidence in the chief of police and the command structure in place,” he said. “Let’s not go on a witch hunt.”


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