Riverhead Town officials will bring on a new full-time code enforcement officer to handle weekend and evening cases and help ease the backlog of 300 open complaints.
Instead of waiting to hire a full-time code enforcement officer in the 2018-2019 budget, the town will post a job description and interview for the position, which will have to be funded for the remainder of the year from the current budget.
“I don’t know where you’re funding it from,” Mr. Walter said. “It comes down to, obviously, the budget. There’s a reason we’ve done so well in our budgets because we don’t spend money.”
The new officer would work from Thursday to Tuesday, town officials said. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the officer could also identify new, overcrowded houses that are potentially dangerous for those living there.
“I’ve been trying to get this for four years, so I’m ecstatic,” she said.
Meanwhile, the town will continue to explore the possibility of training as many as 13 part-time police officers to address code complaints — “things that are easy and don’t take long investigations,” such as grass cutting and abandoned vehicles, Mr. Walter said.
The supervisor said he asked the police department to find out which part-time officers are willing to train for the task.
“We could immediately descend, could be 13 people, on code enforcement, so those 300 complaints are gonna evaporate because a lot of them are going to be quick,” he said.