Both Nassau and Suffolk county police departments got new top cops this week, although the incoming leaders at each Long Island law enforcement agency are not quite official yet.
Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale, the NYPD’s former chief of personnel, is awaiting confirmation by the county legislature. To the east, Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber is keeping the seat warm for whomever a search committee chooses for the job—although he too is in the running to make the post permanent.
Dale replaced Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, who County Executive Ed Mangano appointed to run the department after former Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey retired in April. Krumpter is now Dale’s first deputy commissioner. A police spokesman also confirmed that Dale has chosen Robert Hart, a former FBI agent who once led the Long Island Gang Task Force, to be assistant commissioner.
Additionally, Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, formerly the department’s chief spokesman, was moved up to the commissioner’s office. Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lack took over Smith’s role as the head of the public information office, a spokesman said.
In Suffolk, Acting Commissioner Webber, a nearly 40-year veteran of the force, replaced former Commissioner Richard Dormer after new County Executive Steve Bellone made replacing Dormer a top priority. Leaders of the committee Bellone appointed to search for a permanent police commissioner said it will issue its recommendations in several months.
Bellone also named James Burke, a former chief investigator for Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, the new chief of department.
The changes came a week after the second fatal Long Island drug store robbery in six months, underscoring a drug crisis gripping the region.
Police said a Hampton Bays man robbed a Seaford pharmacy for prescription painkillers on New Year’s Eve but both he and an ATF agent who tried to stop him were killed as he fled. In June, David Laffer gunned down four victims at a pharmacy near his Medford home while stealing painkillers for him and his wife.