Editorial: A New Era

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New Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki is steering a difficult path as he seeks to prepare the department for the threats posed by the modern world while trying to maintain a small town, community-centered feel to the department.

To that end, Chief Skrynecki told a recent gathering of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee that he had ordered officers to wear their bullet-proof vests under their uniform shirts so they appear less threatening when they interact with the public on a day-to-day basis. By the same token, he said he has also begun to organize an anti-terrorism unit, whose heavily armed members have already begun to appear at major social events in town.

Chief Skrynecki told the CAC worrying about the “what ifs” keeps him awake at night. And one of the things he worries about is the threat of a terrorist picking the East End as his target.

While the two directives would seem to be at odds with one another, they actually make perfect sense, as police prepare for the most dire of threats while simultaneously signaling to residents that there is no reason to be afraid as they go about their daily routines.

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