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Long Island police chief due for million-dollar payday

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Meet the million-dollar cop.

The police chief of tiny, low-crime Southampton Village — pop. 3,307, with 30 sworn officers — makes more than NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

That would be the top cop of New York City, pop. 8,300,000, with about 36,000 sworn officers.

Chief Thomas Cummings was compensated $441,945.82 last year, according to village documents. His annual base pay was $263,829, easily topping Shea’s $239,092.

The village is not exactly a hotbed of crime. It has not had a murder since 2008, and last year reported no homicides, rapes, robberies or aggravated assaults. It did have two car thefts, one burglary, and 42 non-violent larcenies, according to state Division of Criminal Justice Services data.

Cummings’ massive compensation package included $86,256.66 in retirement contributions; $31,000 in extra vacation, a $23,893.02 night differential — and a $4,000 line item called “cleaning/clothing/college.” No one could fully explain what “3 Cs” taxpayers were being billed for.

Thomas Cummings
Chief Thomas Cummings first joined the department in 1987.
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But that’s not all. Whenever Cummings, 57, decides to retire, taxpayers — villagers have an average household income of about $96,250 — will have to shell out well over a million dollars in post-employment costs, including $737,073 for health benefits and $503,828 in accrued leave.

His forthcoming payday came to light at a contentious village board meeting on March 11.

“Perhaps the most egregious thing is that the previous administration inserted an evergreen or perpetuity clause into his most recent contract, basically making him chief for as long as he wants to be,” Deputy Mayor Gina Arresta said, according to a video recording.

Cummings and the former mayor, Mark Epley, were allies who “saw things the same way,” said an East End source.

Jesse Warren, the current mayor, said at the meeting that the village is now negotiating Cummings’ next contract. (There are rumors that Warren wants to dissolve the department, as reported by the Southampton Press, which first covered the meeting.)

“While I can’t comment on Chief Cummings’ contract since we are in the midst of negotiations, I do fully support our Village police and will ensure they always have the resources to keep us safe,” Warren told The Post Friday.

Dermot Shea
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea oversees about 36,000 sworn officers — and gets paid less than Chief Cummings.
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Cummings joined the department as a police officer in 1987, after graduating the year before with a fine art degree from Syracuse University, according to his LinkedIn page.

He supervises his son, whose hiring as a police officer was green lit in a 2019 midnight vote despite ethics concerns, Newsday reported.

Cummings isn’t the first Southampton Village Police Department high-roller. In 2011, The Post reported that then-Detective Sgt. Herman Lamison ran a seven-figure private security firm, a valet-parking business, and owned homes then worth some $11 million. And all of that before his police pay of $170,000 in 2010. He’s since seen his pay rise to $210,529 despite maintaining the same rank, according to SeeThroughNY.

Southampton police
There are rumors that Jesse Warren, the current mayor, wants to dissolve the department.
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Messages seeking comment from the chief and Arresta weren’t returned.


HAIL TO THE CHIEF

The top cop in Southhampton Village makes more than the NYPD Commissioner:

  • Salary — $238,930.20
  • Night differential — $23,893.02
  • Extra vacation — $31,000
  • Holiday pay — $14,236.26
  • Cleaning/Clothing/College — $4,000
  • Medicare — $4,524.86
  • FICA — $7,960.80
  • Retirement contribution — $86,256.66
  • Dental/optical — $2,200

TOTAL ANNUAL COMPENSATION — $441,945.82

Post-employment costs: 

  • OPEB (post-retirement health benefits) — $737,073
  • Payout of accrued leave on retirement — $503,828

POST EMPLOYMENT TOTAL — $1,240,901

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NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

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New video tweeted by the NYPD Sunday shows a gunman wildly firing down a Bronx street into a group of people in Fordham Manor, leaving two men wounded, cops said.

“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy?” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.

“On 6/25/21 at approx 11:10 PM, in front of 2710 Morris Ave in the Bronx, the suspect fired several rounds towards a group, striking a 26-year-old male and a 20-year-old. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”

The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
NYPD
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
NYPD
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
NYPD

The 26-year-old was shot in the buttocks and the 20-year-old was shot in the leg, police said. Both were expected to survive.

The victims said they were standing with a group of friends when the “guy just came up and started shooting,” a police spokesman said.

No words were exchanged, video shows. 

There were no immediate arrests.

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FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

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A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
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The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
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Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

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One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

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One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

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