Tom Grenci Takes Charge

Lieutenant Thomas Grenci Jr. has taken over as the East Hampton Town Police Department’s Montauk Precinct commander. He said he would welcome residents to visit him in his new office. Janis Hewitt

From the time he was able to think of such things, Thomas Grenci Jr. knew he would be a policeman. In 1982, when he was 19, he joined the East Hampton Town Police Department as a traffic control officer, and over the next five or six years worked as a dispatcher, in the motor pool section, and, in the summer months, on the town police boat.

He became a full-time officer in 1988 and graduated the year after from the Suffolk County Police Academy. Ten years later he was promoted to detective, then to uniformed sergeant. He became the East Hampton precinct commander in 2005, and in 2010 was promoted to lieutenant, assigned to police headquarters in Wainscott.

On March 30, the lieutenant became commander of the force’s Montauk precinct, taking over from Lt. Chris Hatch, who had retired three days earlier. Last week, at his new office, he said he would not miss the daily commute across Napeague.

Lieutenant Grenci, a volunteer with the Montauk Fire Department who was its chief in 1996 and 1997, was born and raised in Montauk, where his father was a state park police officer who rose to be a state park manager. The job came with a state-provided house, which is the second to last house on Long Island, just west of the Montauk Lighthouse overlooking Block Island Sound.

His position here, he said, requires a lot of logistical work, which includes providing safety initiatives and coordinating officers for the hamlet’s many special events, such as triathlons and the St. Patrick’s Day parade. He also works on state programs aimed at curtailing drunken driving, vehicles passing stopped school buses, and other aggressive road-related incidents.

Residents can feel free to visit him at the precinct office with any issues they may have, said the new commander. He plans to attend civic meetings in the hamlet as well, and to introduce officers assigned to Montauk to local businesspeople. “I just want people to know I’m here,” he said.