‘Listening tour’ sessions scheduled for Jan. 12, 14 for Riverhead Town’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel

Riverhead Town’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel will have a two-meeting “listening tour” next week, according to Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

The meetings, which will be held virtually via Zoom, will take place at 11 a.m. Jan. 12 and 5 p.m. Jan. 14.

In order to listen to the meetings, you must register in advance, according to Police Chief David Hegermiller. Registration for Jan. 12 can be done here. Registration for Jan. 14 can be done here.

“These are only listening sessions,” he said. “There will be back-and-forth as far as questions and answers.”

There will be a Spanish interpreter available, he said.

The Suffolk County police did listening tours for all of its precincts as well as one for the East End police departments, which Ms. Aguiar said she and Chief Hegermiller attended.

The Town Board in November appointed members to its LEAP in order to comply with an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo requiring all municipalities to adopt a policing plan by April 1, 2021, by creating a task force of various law enforcement, government and community members to examine police reform.

The Executive Order mandated police agencies to examine the perceptions of the communities concerning policing and policies.

The town also issued a survey on people’s views about the Riverhead Police Department, which was online for about a month, ending on Dec. 31.

The survey was also required by the governor’s Executive Order.

Chief Hegermiller said that more than 1,200 people took the survey.

The town will have to take all of the data it receives from the survey and then the LEAP panel will write a report that will have to be adopted by the Town Board and sent to the governor’s office by April 1.

The panel includes its core members: Ms. Aguiar, Chief Hegermiller, Councilman Frank Beyrodt; Dwayne Eleazer of Stop the Violence; Rev. Mary Cooper of the House of Praise; Connie Lassandro, who chairs the town’s Anti-Bias Task Force; Annette Totten, who co-chairs the panel with Ms. Lassandro; community member Jeremy Hobson; Lane Bubka, an attorney who advises the youth court; Carlos Flores, the owner of Che Argentinian Steakhouse in Riverhead; Patricia Theodorou of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office; Gwen Mack of the Church of the Harvest in Riverhead; Roberto Ramos, a member of the town’s Anti-Bias Task Force; Sarah Mayo, a member of the NAACP; and deputy town attorney Dan McCormick.

An advisory committee which meets less frequently also was created. Those members include Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio; Sister Margaret Smyth of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate; Andrew Mitchell, the president and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center; Robyn Berger-Gaston of Family Service League; Daniel O’Shea, the executive director of Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach; Ron Schmitt, a retired Suffolk correction’s officer; and Baycan Fideli, the director of Public and Fire Safety at Suffolk County Community College, according to town officials.