Steven Skrynecki, who has served as chief of the Southampton Town Police Department since 2017 and was previously a veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, died Thursday. He was 69.
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the chief had been undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer.
“The last time we talked was over the weekend and he said that the chemo was very tough on him,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I had been hoping and praying for some miracle but unfortunately he passed earlier today.”
Chief Skrynecki was hired by the Southampton Town Board in October 2016 to replace retiring Chief Robert Pearce. He then started on a consulting basis before formally becoming chief in April 2017. He was a 42-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department and was the department’s chief prior to joining Southampton.
Ms. Schneiderman credited Chief Skrynecki for modernizing the department.
“There was no aspect of policing that he didn’t make better when he was here,” he said.
A statement Thursday evening announcing the chief’s death from the department said:
“The loss of such an honorable and respected officer will be felt across law enforcement from New York City to the east end of Long Island. He dedicated himself to the profession while imparting his vast experience and knowledge to the people who worked alongside him. Chief Skrynecki strived to make his communities a safer place for residents and visitors alike.”
Mr. Schneiderman said he spoke to the chief nearly every day.
“He was one of the finest individuals I have known,” he said.
Capt. James Kiernan was the department’s second in command under Chief Skrynecki.