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Woman tapped to join Shelter Island Police Department

Taylor Rando has been appointed as a probationary police officer with the Shelter Island Police Department effective Tuesday.

Ms. Rando, who has been a traffic control officer, is undergoing training at the Suffolk County Police Academy. She was already among top scorers on the test necessary to establish her as a candidate for an appointment and has passed the county background check, Chief Jim Read said.

Her appointment by the Town Board at a special meeting fulfills an effort to place a woman on the currently all-male staff that the chief had suggested to the Police Reform Task Force, which filed its report with New York State at the end of March.

Ms. Rando will replace an unnamed police officer who notified Chief Read he would be retiring in January 2022. Ms. Rando’s annual salary of $66,120.87 will be pro-rated, costing the town about $40,000 this year. Since she will be replacing a senior officer who earns a higher rate, her salary as of January will be less than it would have cost for the salary of the retiring officer, Chief Read said.

When COVID-19 struck last year, Suffolk County announced a 50% cut in public safety money to municipalities. With the passage of the most recent federal American Rescue Plan, the county has received enough money to restore the $80,000 that had been cut from Shelter Island.

Chief Read called the appointment “a real win-win.” He has previously said a female officer would be positioned to handle much needed backup for the 10-member force and the hiring would help enhance public safety, improve handling of mental health calls and help to de-escalate potentially volatile situations.