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Your Thoughts: Police Command Van; New Ford Interceptor Fleet

Readers weigh in on big changes coming to the Southold Town Police Department.

Last Week, the Southold Town Board approved a from the Department of Homeland Security to fund the addition of a police command van to the Southold Town Police Department, a high-tech mobile law enforcement vehicle that Police Chief Martin Flatley says is needed to speed response time in certain remote areas like Orient Point and Plum Island and called it a "once-in-a-career opportunity."

Flatley also proposed replacing the police department’s aging fleet of Ford Crown Victoria models with the Ford Police Interceptor, a rival to the Chevy Caprice that the chief had been leaning toward earlier this year as a replacement model. He said the Ford model, featuring a V-6 engine, all-wheel drive and a roomy consol, is already being used by a few Long Island police departments and is getting high marks.

Some readers said they liked the choice of the Interceptor as a new fleet, while others wondered why, given the state of the national economy, the federal goverment would grant this much money to a rural place like Southold for a command van.

Here are a few thoughts on the matter, feel free to keep the conversation going in the comments.

"Lets follow the money leading us to the debt crisis we are in: If Southold got a $194,000 police car, how many other small towns across these united states also got one, two? or 600???? ... Only the federal government, in debt $86 trillion, an amount surpassing the entire global GDP ... these jerks 'grant' (who's $$$???) $194, 000 police car, not to NYC but to itsy bitsy Southold? If you are not upset you're not paying attention." -- local yokel,

"I dont mind the expenditures if it saves one Officers life.. i would not want to be in a cruiser that has to do a high speed change of direction and the steering ball breaks or the brakes fail.. yes it happens a lot in older Crown Vics..There is a wall up for the Officers that lost their lives due to this problem...its a tough job don't minimize it or the risk they take." --

"I will agree the [Crown Victoria] cars are obsolete and the new ones look pretty impressive. My point is that other parts of the country seem to get a lot more use out of their fleets than we do around here. By the '03 model year the entire Panther platform, including the P71 had gone from recirculating ball to rack and pinion, so thats not really an issue with local fleets (theres very few '03 and older left around here), the masters did give out over time and hard use but it's something that happens over time and a suden failure can be prevented if proper maintenance is done when the first symptoms present themselves." --

"I'm not in a position to judge whether or not our police department is in need of a special - large - van in order to protect our community. My sense is that we could get by nicely without one. I do ask how much of a budget increase is now required to man the van, equip the van and maintain the van. I'm talking local tax dollars here." --

"If the van with it's eight radio's will be used to coordinate issues caused by CSF traffic,New London Police and Plum Island Security, Southold should impose a 'Security Tax' for the service provided on both CSF and PI. Additionally I would like to think the unit will be equipped with a DB (decibel) meter, enabling the officers to verify the volume of Harley's with no mufflers. As the system grows we could add drug sniffing dogs, security cameras and rename the group Southold TSA. I'm talking 'Gold'!!" --

Erin Schultz December 11, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Greg Fischer said on Facebook: "'Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.' Benjamin Franklin."
Jonathan Baker December 12, 2012 at 11:05 PM
@ Police Chief Martin Flatley Will you tell us here, on Patch, how much of an increase in your on-going budget will be needed to man the van, equip the van and maintain the van in the years ahead. Or, will the federal TSA foot that bill, too? If that happens, what strings are attached to that *largess*. We don't need federal style intrusion as part of our local police system. Until you can explain the full impact of acquiring this van on our taxes and your department's future increased involvement with the federal TSA that may go along with acceptance of the van, I'm against Southold acquiring the van. On principal, Southold should not be party to increasing our country's debt by accepting this *handout*. Please explain here, Captain Flatley.
Jonathan Baker December 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM
@ Frederick Orestuk Your desire for system growth requires additional tax money. If you want to pay more in taxes, be my guest, as they say. I can tell you that I don't want to pay for this system growth that you are enamoured with. And I don't want to live in Southold Town under constant surveillance of cameras either, on principal, not to mention the cost of those cameras and necessary support system. As for those motorcycles with straight pipes in lieu of mufflers, the police department has a decibel meter, I believe, that a patrol car could carry on weekends to record those LOUD bikers in our villages and give out tickets if necessary. We don't need the van for that. And, I'm hoping that you were being facetious in saying "I'm talking Gold!". Do you really want the Southold police department to prey on visitors and local citizens? We all make mistakes. Do you want to pay a fine for every mistake that you make??? Living in peace with your neighbours and your police department makes for a pleasant, stress-free life 8>)

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