After more than 42 years in the East Hampton Town Police Department, Lt. Francis Mott will retire from the force on Saturday with the distinction of being the town’s longest serving officer to date.
Since joining the force right out of high school in July of 1969, “I don’t remember a bad day,” Lieutenant Mott said Monday. He left the force only when drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War from 1971 to ’72, when he served as a military police officer, based at Fort Dix in New Jersey.
When Lieutenant Mott was given a proclamation by the East Hampton Town Board at a meeting on Dec. 15, fellow police officers lined the walls of the Town Hall meeting room to honor him. Among his many awards, honors, and recognitions over the years, he was named Top Cop in 1977, 1982, and 2002. However, the true testament to his career, according to Lieutenant Mott, will be the success of those he has trained to follow in his footsteps. He said he hopes that those he has mentored and trained will hold themselves to the higher-than-expected standards that he always tried to, and “thinks he did.”
A volunteer fireman, he was also chief of the East Hampton Fire Department from 1999 to 2001.
Lieutenant Mott was a police sergeant for 17 years. His final post has been as commander of the department’s Montauk Precinct, where he has also supervised the police scuba team, of which he was a charter member. The dive team started in 1980 under then-chief Tom Scott. Before that, Lieutenant Mott said, the department relied on the boats of local fishermen when they could not wait for assistance from the Suffolk County police.
Lieutenant Mott does not have firm plans for the future, but he will take the winter months to figure it out. His wife, Wendy, will remain employed by Carol Mercer at the Secret Garden, and his two daughters, Emily Dwyer and Patsy Gould, live nearby. He has a 1-year-old granddaughter, Lilian, via Ms. Gould, who will likely help to keep him occupied during any downtime. Also on the agenda may be an opportunity to dive somewhere with more than the 15 feet of visibility that local waters have allowed.