Arrests Up Last Year

Chief Ecker touts more aggressive investigations

    The number of arrests rose significantly in 2011 in East Hampton Town, according to an annual report released by the East Hampton Town Police Department last week.
    Total calls for police assistance rose by 11 percent to a five-year high of 18,148. This number, however, includes all calls, from criminal complaints to a report of a cat stuck up a tree, Chief Edward Ecker said on Monday.
    More telling is the category “penal arrests,” which rose 22 percent to a five-year high of 388. The records released go back only five years.
    Part of the increase is related to enhanced police technique, particularly in the detective squad. “Last year, we had a lot more proactive investigations,” Chief Ecker said. “We’ve expanded. We’ve added a detective sergeant.”
    Another noticeable area of change was in parking enforcement: Traffic control officers were busy, writing 6,180 summonses, another five-year high.
    “It’s a one-year thing,” the chief said, explaining that the return rate from the previous year of the younger, seasonally employed T.C.O.s is crucial to strong enforcement. “Last year, we had a very good nucleus of workers. They hit the ground running.”
    Chief Ecker also pointed out that writing parking tickets wasn’t the only way in which the Police Department uses traffic control officers.
    “People don’t realize how much they do,” he said. “Triathlons, marathons, at least eight smaller road races, library fairs.” Being able to rely on this squad frees town officers to focus on other police activities.
    One area where there was a decrease was in driving while intoxicated arrests, which, at 156, were at a five-year low. There were a variety of reasons for the drop. “We had 11 people out last year. We were working with a skeleton crew.”
    One of those out was Officer Vincent Rantinella, who was recently awarded a “top cop” award for his work against drunken driving. The officer was in a crash in February 2011 in which the other driver, who was drunk, was going the wrong way on an exit ramp. Officer Rantinella returned to duty earlier this year.
    The department has increased its efforts against drunken driving. “We’ve changed it up this year. We’re up about 20” arrests for driving while intoxicated as opposed to last year at this time, he said.


I miss the days when I didn't have to worry about if I locked the doors or took the keys out of the ignition even. It doesn't surprise me to see arrest rates go up. Law informant is a major industry in the U.S. We got more people in prison or in the criminal justice system then any country in the world! This trend is no different here then in any other part of the country and its only going to continue as long as crime pays someone. If your a person of statistics then you might see us the U.S. as the most evil country in the world or perhaps that something else is really wrong here and only getting worse. But hey, the more that our power of handling issues between our selves as mature citizens are removed by laws and the more we have to rely on big brother to settel our differences, the more incompetent we become. How can we expect law enforcement to have time to focus on more significant issues that effect all of us if they are bogged downed with nonsense like someone chimney smoke blowing on their property. Or a kid riding his dirt bike. Or a dog going poo poo.? Come on people. Lighten up! We are american. We are good. This trend sweeping the country is not us. Pay attention to some real problems like this for example.§ion=4765066