The Riverhead Town Board is planning to hire six new police officers Tuesday, according to Supervisor Sean Walter, who said the board discussed the issue in executive session following its work session Wednesday.
The supervisor said he didn’t want to release names until they have confirmed that the officers accept the positions, but he said one of the six speaks fluent Spanish. The department has “a few” Spanish speaking officers currently, he said.
Four of the six candidates in line for the jobs will have to go to the Suffolk County Police Academy on Dec. 15, while the other two are already officers elsewhere and can start immediately, Mr. Walter said.
The hirings will replace the six officers who are set to retire at the end of this year, having taken a retirement incentive, Mr. Walter said. The move will reduce the police payroll by about $200,000 next year, he said.
Another officer is expected to retire sometime after Jan. 1, Mr. Walter said. The department staffing will remain at about 85 officers, he said, adding that he would like to eventually increase the size of the police staff.
“I think the police department should be at 90, but financially, we can’t do that,” Mr. Walter said.
To see what other items were discussed at Wednesday’s work session, click below to read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting.
The agenda is below the blog box.