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A firsthand look at Tim Sini on the job

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, center, talks

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, center, talks about the 2016 crime statistics in his office at police headquarters in Yaphank on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, left, and Chief of Department Stuart Cameron look on. Credit: James Carbone

As the mayor of the Village of Patchogue, I read with interest your profile of Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini [“Sini’s mission,” News, Jan. 8].

Newsday’s article focused on his rebuilding of the department. But I look at him from a village perspective, and on that level he has succeeded.

In April, Donald Trump campaigned for president in Patchogue. His visit caused much concern in the community — in the Latino community, in particular.

With the 2008 stabbing death of Marcelo Lucero down the block from the site of the campaign event, and Trump’s statements about Latinos at prior rallies, tensions were high.

The commissioner immediately contacted me and attended planning meetings with the Fifth Precinct, my staff and community leaders.

In a briefing before the event, Sini kept reminding his officers to remember their training. He said their responsibility was to the people in front of them and officer in blue next to them. He also reminded them that everyone has a camera, and he could and would defend them if the actions they took were from their training and police policy and protocol.

The importance of this personal outreach cannot be overstated.

Paul PontieriPatchogue