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Supervisor Allocates $104K For More Police Patrols on Main Street

Board is poised to vote on the resolution Tuesday.

After a recent spike in crime around Riverhead, Town Supervisor Sean Walter vowed to double patrols downtown with an eye toward keeping the area safe.

And now, he has put forth a resolution, to the tune of $104,000, to help pay for the increased police presence.

At Thursday's work session, the town board reviewed a resolution that will be up for a vote Tuesday, that would authorize $104,000 for additional part-time police patrols downtown.

"This is what it costs to keep additional patrols on Main Street," Walter said. "It's going to cost money."

Some of the funding, he added, will go toward overtime costs. "We're going to get the biggest bang for our buck," Walter said.

"It's money well spent," Councilman Jim Wooten agreed.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio asked if sectors had been assigned to the downtown area, so that sections of West Main Street, near Diggers and Hi Ting "are not getting forgotten about." 

Walter and Wooten said there are three sectors; an officer on foot, a downtown car, and a sector near Railroad Avenue.

"There are more police officers downtown than any other place in Riverhead," Walter said.

Giglio asked if some officers could be put on bikes to make it easier for them to catch up with a suspect. "If I'm voting on additional spending I want to be sure it's effective," she said.

"I'm sure the police department knows how to make sure its effective," Walter said. "I have nothing but kudos for the police department and the recent arrests that have been made."

Giglio continued that she'd like to see extra police in the parking lot behind Diggers; she was approached by a panhandler recently while walking to her car. 

Walter said he refused to discuss police deployment during a televised work session and said he hoped the additional funding would pass with a three-person vote on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, a number of high profile crimes have taken place in Riverhead, inclduing a series of one at Barth's -- suspects were charged earlier this week in relation to the Barth's robbery -- a couple held up at knifepoint after leaving the aquarium; a woman tied up and robbed at Tanger; and gunfire on East Main Street Wednesday night. A carjacking took place last week on Sound Avenue, police said; the little boy in the car gave the suspect a dollar.

An in relation to a woman held up by masked men in her Doctors Path apartment Friday.

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