One of the recent controversies surrounding East Hampton's Police Department and it's chief, Matthew Reimondo, was an effort to scale back the department by eliminating the chief's position.
That effort failed, but more recent controversy about the chief and his rehiring as interim chief again raised questions about the size of the department and the need for a chief.
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Here's a look then, at how East Hampton's police force stacks up against other towns in the region, as well as towns of a similar size as East Hampton, population-wise. The following information is from the FBI's annual crime and police staffing surveys. The most recently available data was from 2011.
- Colchester: It's a town of more than 15,000 people but it does not have its own police department. Instead, it participates in the state's resident trooper program, under which it has two troopers who oversee a staff of about 10 officers, according to 2006 report of a special task force in town that looked into whether the municipality should form its own police department. The town has not done so yet.
- East Hampton: The town has a population of about 13,000 and has a police force of 15 officers and two staffers. In 2010 some town leaders sought to eliminate the chief's position but Chief Matthew Reimondo and his supporters waged a referendum and the chief's job was overwhelmingly reinstated by voters. Reimondo retired in January but was rehired as interim chief while the town seeks his replacement.
- Portland: Its population is around 10,000 and the town has its own police department with 11 officers and one staffer. It is overseen by a lieutenant, Lt. Ron Milardo.
- Coventry: With a population of about 12,500, Coventry has its own police department with 14 officers and five staff members. It is overseen by a chief.
- East Windsor: It has a population of about 11,000 and has a police force of 23 officers and seven staff members. It is overseen by a chief.
- Windsor Locks: This town's population is around 12,500 and it has a force of 22 officers and seven staffers. It is overseen by a chief.
Other towns in this region, including Hebron, Marlborough and Lebanon have populations below 10,000 and participate in the resident state trooper program.