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Robert Pearce Unanimously Named Police Chief

Southampton Town Board votes to promote captain.

Southampton Town Police Captain Robert Pearce was promoted to chief Tuesday evening in a 5-0 vote of the Town Board.

Pearce's swearing in is scheduled for Dec. 6, five days after the retirement of current Chief William Wilson takes effect.

Pearce has been acting in the capacity of chief after Wilson announced Nov. 6 that he would retire. Wilson is expending his vacation time throughout the remainder of his tenure.

Wilson told Patch the he decided to retire after 18 months as the town's top cop because he had been blocked at every turn from making the kind of changes and improvements to the police department that he had hoped to when he was appointed. He said that a majority of the Town Board members — either because they are financially hog tied or because of internal board disputes — have not allowed him to accomplish what he set out to do.

Pearce was promoted in March from lieutenant to captain, to replace Captain Anthony Tenaglia, who retired after he was passed over for the chief's post. Pearce's promotion to captain came in a split vote, with the Republican and Conservative members of the board in favor, and the Democratic and Independence Party members opposed.

According to the text of the resolution to promote Pearce, the Civil Service Law authorizes the Town Board to make a provisional appointment when
the list of eligible candidates contains fewer than three candidates who are willing to accept the position.

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