Big Crime Down, Arrests and Calls Up in East Hampton Town

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East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo. Christine Sampson photo

The East Hampton Town Police Department is reporting four-year lows in cases of larceny, burglary and criminal mischief and an overall high over that time of 970 arrests, which it attributes to “investigative efforts and preventative patrol measures,” according to Police Chief Michael Sarlo.

Mr. Sarlo offered those and other statistics during a 2017 year-end report to the East Hampton Town Board during Tuesday’s work session.

“Over the past several years, the department has taken many steps to address quality-of-life issues and improve the safety and security of our rapidly growing community,” he said in his report.

In 2017, East Hampton Town police responded to more than 20,000 calls for the first time. That number steadily increased from 18,832 in 2014 up to 19,889 in 2016 before topping 20,000 last year. Police issued 7,218 vehicle and traffic law violations, up from 5,827 the year before — an increase of about 24 percent.

Cases of burglary were down from 55 in 2014 and 2015 to 40 in 2016 and 36 in 2017. Cases of criminal mischief dropped under the 100 mark, down to 89, for the first time since 2014. Cases of fraud decreased from 83 in 2016 to 47 in 2017. The department saved seven drug overdose victims in 2017.

The department improved its response time to “priority emergency calls” by several seconds, Mr. Sarlo said, with the average response time now at five minutes and 48 seconds.

Mr. Sarlo laid out the department’s goals for 2018. Among them are addressing the opioid epidemic, taking part in a new town-wide mental health task force, targeting vehicle and traffic safety on the roads, finishing a multimillion-dollar radio system upgrade and certifying officers for in-house training initiatives.

“We plan on focusing on our patrol sergeants and creating monthly training,” he said. “We have a very young police department with a lot of turnover in the last three to four years.”

Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc praised police on Tuesday, saying, “I think the department has really presented a great deal of foresight and engagement with the public in an effort to really provide the very best of law enforcement to our town, and we’re really proud of our department.”

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