Suffolk police commissioner to retire

Suffolk Police Commissioner Edward Webber announced Monday that he plans to retire after 43 years with the department.

Webber was appointed commissioner in 2012.

At the request of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, he agreed to stay on for the next two months to help with the transition process.

"As County Executive Bellone transitions to his second term, he needs department heads who are prepared to make a commitment to serve the next four years," Webber said in a statement. "After 43 years of service in the Suffolk County Police Department and consulting with Kathy, my wife of 46 years, I am announcing my retirement. I look forward to spending a lot more time with my three children and six grandchildren."

In a statement, Bellone thanked Webber for his service, saying, "Under Commissioner Webber's tenure, crime is down by more than 20 percent, including a double-digit decrease in violent crime. That is because Commissioner Webber spearheaded implementing a number of initiatives to make our force more effective."

County Legislator Kate Browning praised Webber's performance in the face of budgetary constraints.

Webber's retirement comes a month after the unexpected resignation of Suffolk Police Chief James Burke.

Burke is under federal investigation related to a case involving treatment of a suspect in a theft of a duffel bag from his car.

Smithtown resident Christopher Loeb, who admitted to stealing the bag, has accused Suffolk police officers and the former chief of beating him during the investigation. 

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