Montauk Point, N.Y., is a famous beachfront resort community that is also home to a commercial and sport fishing industry. This vacation town has become known as “The End” simply because once you pass Montauk Point, the next stop is France.

The East Hampton Town Police Department (EHTPD) protects this part of Long Island, N.Y. and is headed by Chief Edward V. Ecker, Jr., a man who has served with the agency for over 30 years. There is another long-standing relationship within the ETHPD—these cops have been issued GLOCKs for many years.

Patrol Issue

After meeting with Chief Ecker, arrangements were made for me to go out on patrol with Lt. Chris Hatch. This particular 18-year veteran of the EHTPD also serves as a firearms instructor and commander of the Emergency Service Unit (ESU), their version of a SWAT team. He taught me more about the department and their trusted handguns.
When the decision was made to transition to a new service handgun in 1992, the EHTPD decided to adopt the 9×19 GLOCK 17 for patrol personnel. Detectives were issued the 9×19 GLOCK 19. According to Lt. Hatch, the G17 was a very popular service pistol that was eventually replaced by the G19 and the G26 in 2003, with the G19 being issued primarily to patrol personnel and the subcompact GLOCK 26 being issued to supervisors and detectives.

As far as ammunition is concerned, East Hampton Town Police are issued two 9×19 brands. They include Winchester’s 124-grain Ranger HP +P and Federal’s 124-grain HP +P for service carry. Sworn personnel of the EHTPD are required to qualify twice a year, while members of the EHTPD Emergency Service Unit qualify every other month.
In order to properly maintain their proficiency with firearms, East Hampton Town Police maintain four certified firearms instructors and two GLOCK-trained armorers. All department-issued GLOCK pistols are regularly inspected for repairs and parts are changed as required. Their GLOCK pistols also undergo a complete disassembly and inspection by a trained armorer twice a year. As far as basic training is concerned, all new recruits who join the EHTPD are required to complete a state-certified police academy that is currently six months in duration.

Policing the End

The EHTPD is a full-service law enforcement agency that provides police protection to a pair of incorporated villages (East Hampton Village and Sag Harbor Village) and four hamlets (Montauk, Wainscott, Springs and Amagansett) that are located on the extreme eastern tip of Long Island. According to Chief Ecker, 65 sworn police officers and 14 non-sworn or civilian support personnel staff the EHTPD.

The problem with policing the extreme eastern end of Long Island is that the seasonal population of some 22,000 dramatically increases in the summer months, when part-time residents and tourists literally flood the area to enjoy the beautiful beaches and other attractions that this resort area is famous for. It should also be noted that the population of year-round residents, as well as residents and tourists who visit the Town of East Hampton during three out of the four seasons, has also increased over the years.

Due to the fact that the population surges from 22,000 to approximately 85,000 to 90,000 seasonal residents and visitors, the EHTPD often have to do more with less during the busier times of the year. To give you an idea of the level of activity in this jurisdiction, it pays to examine the statistics that Lt. Chris Hatch provided.

In 2009, the East Hampton Town Police responded to 15,331 service calls and made 801 arrests for various violations of the law. In 2010, the EHTPD responded to 16,231 service calls and made 780 arrests. Up until the month of September 2011, the EHTPD responded to 14,929 service calls and made 594 felony and misdemeanor arrests. This is a pretty heavy workload when you figure that 36 out of the 65 sworn members of the East Hampton Town Police are uniformed patrol officers who are supervised by three Patrol Division lieutenants. The nine detectives and two supervisors assigned to conduct investigations for the EHTPD also contribute to the annual arrest record of this department. The rest of the sworn personnel are either on special details, on medical leave or serve in command positions.

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