Shelter Island Police Chief Jim Read is looking out for the future of his department.
Within four years, he might face six retirements from the nine full-time member force, including his own.
That’s why he’s urging all those who wish to wear the Shelter Island uniform to take the Suffolk County Civil Service examination on June 15, but the deadline to file for a spot to take the exam is April 1. Scoring on the test will be released in November.
Candidates to be a Shelter Island Police officer must first pass the civil service exam. Then, the town can look at what’s called “the resident’s list,” meaning Islanders who have passed to be selected for vetting by the department. After the resident’s list has been exhausted, the town will then go to the overall Suffolk County list.
“I want to have the greatest opportunity to select the best candidates from our residential pool,” Chief Read said. “Please register to take the test on April 1.”
The urgency, the chief said, for candidates to put themselves in line for the opportunity is that the next civil service exam after this year’s will not be for four years, in November 2019.
Within that time frame, Chief Read, Detective Sergeant Jack Thilberg and officers Walter Richards, Tom Cronin, Jim Cronin and Chris Drake are all eligible to retire.
“Will they all retire? I’d say no,” Chief Read said. “But there’s a strong likelihood three or four will.”
One of those could be the chief himself. “I can see that occurring,” he said.
For more information, go to the police website at shelterislandpolice.us/ and follow the links.