Southampton Village Police Department History
The Village of Southampton was incorporated on July 19th, 1894. It provided for
a police constable to serve for a term of one (1) year with a total budget of $500.00.
It is interesting to note the following as quoted from the minutes of the meeting
of the Board of Trustees on September 21, 1894:
"It was voted-to pay John Rogers the sum of $200.00 as a salary for Village Constable
for the term of one year from September 4, 1894; also to pay said J.R. the sum of
$1.00 per week for taking care of the lock-up - cleaning and keeping the lock-up
in good condition, attending to fires in same when required. The Bond of said J.R.
being fixed at $500.00, with sureties to be approved by the Board of Trustees for
the faithful performance of his duties."
In addition, the following is the text from the minutes of the Board Meeting outlining
the duties of Constable:
"It shall be the duty of the Police Constable to report promptly to the President
of the Board of Trustees all violations of the Bye Laws or Ordinance of the Village
that shall come to their knowledge; to arrest all vagrants, disorderly persons and
all persons violating the laws of the State of New York, and all persons found violating
the Ordinances of the Village; for a violation of which a penalty is prescribed
and to convey all such persons before proper magistrate to be dealt with according
to law; to arrest any person or persons disturbing the peace by any unusual noise
in the night time and to preserve and maintain good order at all times in said Village,
and to execute promptly all orders of the President or Board of Trustees. Frequenting
saloons or neglect of any duty will be deemed sufficient cause for dismissal from
The police constable budget remained $500.00 until 1898, when it catapulted to $720.00
and was not raised again until 1901 when it reached $1000.00. From that point, it
gradually increased as additional constables were added.
Police Headquarters 1917 - 2002
23 Main Street - Village Hall
Police Headquarters 2002 - Present
151 Windmill Lane - Justice Center
In 1917, the Village appointed its first Chief of Police, Osman C. Lane, who served
faithfully until his retirement in 1948. At one time during his tenure the force
was built up to ten men. It was cut, however, at one point to eight men.
On September 14th, 1948, the Village appointed Leland J. Burnett as Chief of Police.
In 1956, the Department was brought back to the former level of ten men.
In October 1958, Chief Burnett's sudden death brought the appointment of Laurence
Lambrecht as the next Chief, commanding a force of ten men. But again, it was cut
to eight men.
In February 1962, the first permanent Civil Service Chief of Police, Donald J. Finlay,
was appointed upon Chief Lambrecht's retirement. At that time, the force consisted
of eight men including the Chief of Police.
In 1970 the Southampton Village Police Department consisted of seventeen permanent
police officers and two full time radio operators, plus three temporary officers,
four school crossing guards and eight auxiliaries.
In the active summer season, the department increased to twenty-seven personnel,
full and part time. The budget for the Police Department around this period was
approximately $144,000.00 and included a Chief, a Lieutenant, one Sergeant, and
Today, the Southampton Village Police Department is a New York State Accredited
Police Agency. The Department profile reflects a sworn staff of thirty personnel,
seven full time Public Safety Dispatchers, three Ordinance Officers, five School
Crossing Guards, and three full time Administrative Staff personnel. The Department
employs additional Seasonal Police Officers and Ordinance Officers in the summer
months as needed.
The Police Department is a full service department consisting of a Patrol Division,
an Investigations Division, Communications Section, a Canine Unit, a Community Orientated
Police Enforcement Unit (C.O.P.E.) which includes Beach Patrol, Bike Patrol, Highway
Patrol, and Juvenile Services, as well as a Special Patrol Section which includes
an officer in the East End Drug Task Force, a K-9 Unit, and Special Response Team.
The Department's organizational structure facilitates the requisite services which
are necessary for a contemporary police agency to meet the demands of the community.