Editorial: Off the Beat

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An odd thing happened at the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee Monday night. A Southampton Town police officer, who looked a little out of place, walked in shortly after the meeting began and was greeted warmly by committee chairwoman Pam Harwood, who told the gathering he or another on-duty officer, would henceforth attend every CAC meeting to make sure its concerns make their way back to Chief Steven Skrynecki. Shortly afterward, the officer was joined by a sergeant.

For the remainder of the two-hour meeting, the pair tried to appear engaged, as the committee talked about the town’s plans to make Main Street safer for pedestrians and improve the flow of traffic in and around the hamlet center. But it was pretty obvious they would have rather been elsewhere.

We think they should have been elsewhere too — perhaps enforcing the speed limit or keeping an eye open for some other crime, rare as it may be in eastern Southampton Town on a Monday evening.

After a few months on the job, Chief Skrynecki has done an admirable job of reaching out to the community. But given the limited resources at his disposal, we think it would be more efficient to simply give the committee’s leaders his email or direct phone number so they could share their concerns with him. Committee members have often complained about the lack of officers in the Bridgehampton area. We think they would be better deployed on the streets, not twiddling their thumbs at a CAC meeting.

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