Southold Town hired three new entry-level police officers Tuesday morning at a starting salary of $39,905.
The replacements, for which the town has budgeted despite limiting hiring in other areas, are needed to sustain a force that has lost six officers in the past year and a half, said Police Chief Carlisle Cochran on Tuesday.
“This is maintenance hiring,” said Chief Cochran. “It gets us to a level where we can function and keep the overtime bill low. If you have the right number of people, you can keep that down,” he said.
Two of the new officers, Andrew Garcia and Christopher Salmon, will start training at the Suffolk County Police Academy in Brentwood next Monday and will join the force full time in about six months.
The third officer, Daniel Lillis, was an employee of the New York City Police Department who was raised on the North Fork and joined the Southold department because he wanted to be closer to home, said Chief Cochran.
Officer Lillis will begin work here next Monday.