Patchgoue’s Fake Constables Collapse

On or about June 9, 2008, the Village revealed new evidence that, in fact, constables could not carry firearms.  This excerpt from the June 9, 2008 Village Board of Trustee public meeting reveals newly discovered evidence that the guns were illegal: “Upon Motion made by Deputy Mayor McGiff, seconded by Trustee Crean, and unanimously carried, the board set a public hearing to held on June 9, 2008, at 14 Baker Street, Patchogue, New York, to consider rescinding Village Code 7-4, Subsection F. “This has to do with our code officers being armed. Effective June 1st the code officers will no longer carry weapons. This is something we have struggled with over the past four years. The civil service law job description does not address the issue of their being armed. The Suffolk County Charter around 1960 which created the Suffolk County Police Department effectively emasculated villages in having a separate police force. Two prior administrations have sought these code officers as peace officer from Albany and that has been denied…The third thing is, and it is the least out of all of them, but the greatest of impact on those in some sense performing, the liability insurance on our code officers carrying weapons is between ¼ and 1/3 of our total liability policy which is close to $100,000. For that policy that two men, at sometimes three men on duty, and most of the time only one during the course of the day costs about $100,000. It is not an easy decision to make. The Village Attorney did a lot of research on it for us. One of the other issues that became very clear, Village Clerk Seal contacted almost every village that has code enforcement. There is only one other village on Long Island that does carry a weapon and that’s Port Jefferson. They are going through the same process that we are going through…It is unfortunate that circumstances are what they are and based on New York State Civil Service law the carrying of a weapon ceases as of the end of this month. Upon a motion made by Deputy Mayor McGiff, seconded by Trustee Hilton, and unanimously carried, the request was approved as stated above. 74. On or about January 26, 2008, another new piece of evidence which support the illegality of the unlawful police activity on the part of Defendants alleged by Terry is the following Village public board of trustee meeting, in which the Village surrenders its titles of constables: Board Meeting January 26, 2008. The Board Meeting of the Board of Trustees met in the Municipal Building, 14 Baker Street, Patchogue, New York on January 26, 2009. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Mayor Pontieri with Deputy Mayor McGiff, Trustees Crean, Dean, Devlin, Hilton…. Village Clerk Seal read: Notice is hereby given that a public meeting will be held on Monday, January 26, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 14 Baker Street, Patchogue, New York, by the Village Board of the Incorporated Village of Patchogue to repeal Chapters 7 and 7A of the Village Code, a copy of which proposed Local Law is on file at the office of the Village Clerk. At said public hearing any person interested will be given the opportunity to be heard. Village Attorney Egan stated: This is a re-codification of sections that have been used and are in evolution as part of the code. Chapter 5A was the Park Ranger provision. It was originally adopted in the early 90’s and never been filled; we never actually had one on the force at Patchogue. Constables is step one of a two step legislation reform tonight to move that section from constables to the Division of Public Safety/Department of Code Enforcement where it always really, in my opinion, should have been in the first place. This is just more of a recodification of an evolution of these roles and how they are supervised, what their duties are, and how they are utilized today in modern day Village. We never want to leave anything in the code that doesn’t actively reflect what the actual practice procedure of the Village is. Upon a motion made by Deputy Mayor McGiff, seconded by Trustee Devlin, and unanimously carried, the Board repealed Chapters 7 and 7A of the Village Code. 75.


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