Updated: East Hampton Village Police Chief Retiring

Update, Dec. 22: The village board met Wednesday morning to ratify East Hampton Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen's 2016-17 contract, which had not yet been decided on, and approve a separation agreement. Chief Larsen will leave office at the end of the month, use up his remaining vacation time, and not officially retire until the end of the village’s fiscal year on July 31.

The board announced Wednesday, however, that it would appoint Capt. Michael Tracey as acting chief on Jan. 5 while a search for a new hire is conducted.

“I have had a rewarding career,” Chief Larsen wrote in a statement issued Wednesday, referring to memorable cases in East Hampton and his participation with a group of officers who helped the New York Police Department guard the United Nations in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

As chief, he wrote, “I have been able to touch people’s lives, whether it is hiring local men and women to serve as police officers and dispatchers or transporting a family by police car to the hospital when their loved one has been severely injured or planting a tree in memory of a young girl who was tragically killed. I also take great pride in our Police Department, our 911 dispatch center, and our paid paramedic program. I am proud of all the dedicated men and women who serve the village and have served the village under my command; they are great people.”

Chief Larsen also announced that he had taken a job as director of security for a private-sector company. “I don’t know if that would ever happen again,” he said Wednesday of the offer. “I felt I had to take it.” He and his wife, Lisa Mulhern-Larsen, own Protec Security Services, which provides property management services and installs alarm and video surveillance systems.

Furthermore, in his statement he expressed interest in running for town board. “I know I can do a great job for the residents of East Hampton,” he wrote.

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said on Tuesday that the chief had indicated that he was ready to move on. “We accept that and wish him well,” the mayor said.

The news comes just months after Chief Larsen was passed over for the chief’s job in the Town of Southampton. He applied for the position in April, and the town board hired Steven Skrynecki, the Nassau County police chief, in September. He does not start until early 2017.

Asked about his working relationship with Chief Larsen, the mayor said, “He’s been our chief of police for a certain number of years. We’re moving into a new era. . . .”

Chief Larsen has been with the department for 33 years. “During my career I have been fortunate to have had and continue to have great support within the community, with the mayor and the village board,” he said in April.

An East Hampton native, he started his career as a traffic control officer with the village in 1983 and became a part-time officer the following year. About two years later, he entered the New York Police Department’s academy but two weeks in was offered a full-time position in East Hampton under Chief Glen Stonemetz.

Chief Larsen’s annual salary was $180,558 as of April.

Originally, Dec. 20: East Hampton Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen is retiring after 14 years in the position.

The village board will meet on Wednesday morning at 8 to ratify two contracts, the first being his 2016-17 contract, which had not yet been decided on, and a separation agreement. Chief Larsen will leave office at the end of the month, use up his remaining vacation time, and not officially retire until the end of the village's fiscal year in July. 

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said a more formal statement would be made after the meeting. He said the chief had indicated that he was ready to move on. "We accept that and wish him well," the mayor said.

The news comes just months after Chief Larsen was passed over for the chief's position in the Town of Southampton. He applied in April, and the town board hired Steven Skrynecki, the Nassau County police chief, in September, though he does not start until early 2017.

Asked about his working relationship with the chief, the mayor said, "He's been our chief of police for a certain number of years. We're moving into a new era, and we wish him well." 

Chief Larsen has been with the East Hampton Village Police Department for 30 years. “During my career I have been fortunate to have had and continue to have great support within the community, with the mayor and the village board. However, I am certainly interested in other opportunities that may exist,” the chief said back in April. 

An East Hampton native, he started his career as a traffic control officer with the village in 1983 and became a part-time officer the following year. About two years later, he entered the New York Police Department's academy but two weeks in he was offered a full-time position in East Hampton under Chief Glen Stonemetz. 

Chief Larsen's annual salary was $180,558 as of last April. He could not be reached for comment.