By Kathryn G. Menu
In what Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride called “a first step” in paring down the cost of the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, on Friday afternoon the village’s board of trustees adopted a resolution giving them authority to offer a retirement incentive package to the department’s officers as well as police chief Thomas Fabiano.
According to a memorandum outlining the incentive program, Chief Fabiano and all full-time, active members of the department who are currently eligible to retire, or have completed 10 or more years of service in the New York State Police and Firefighters Retirement System as a full time employee of the village, excluding leaves of absences, are eligible for the incentive offer.
In addition to any benefits already accrued, any officer who is eligible and accepts retirement at this time will be paid $1,000 for each completed year of continuous full-time service as of the effective day of their retirement.
Anyone interested in the program, must complete paperwork and give it to the Village of Sag Harbor by November 30, 2012. Anyone who chooses to retire through this program will have to retire no later than December 31, 2012.
The decision to offer the retirement incentive to the department’s 11 officers and the chief comes as Sag Harbor Village Trustees are entertaining the concept of allowing an outside police agency the ability to provide some of the village’s police services. The village has received proposals from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, as well as East Hampton and Southampton towns.
On Friday, trustee Ed Gregory wondered whether the loss of officers — if any do in fact take the retirement incentive offer — would result in more overtime costs for the village.
Gilbride said he believes the department may be overstaffed, particularly during the winter months.
“If none take it, I think we should lay off a few people for the winter and move on,” he said, noting that between June, July, August and the first two weeks of September approximately 150 sick, personal or vacation days were taken off by members of the police department.
“In the busiest time of the year, that we can take 150 days off — that tells me a lot,” said Gilbride.