Tags Posts tagged with "Mayor Margot Garant"

Mayor Margot Garant

A ribbon cutting was given for Give Kids Hope on Sept. 23. Photo from PJCC

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Give Kids Hope, Inc. on Thursday, Sept. 23. The new thrift store, located at 1506 Main Street in Port Jefferson, is an endeavor by owner Melissa Paulson (center holding scissors) to bring more resources to people struggling within the community. 

The celebration was attended by Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, Village Trustee Bruce Miller, Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden; members of the chamber including President Mary Jo Pipe, 1st President Stuart Vincent and Director Douglas Quattrock; friends and family.

Created as a nonprofit to help provides assistance to less fortunate children and families on LongIsland, the storefront features housewares, antiques, furniture, etcc. with a food pantry in the back of the store. 

“We are so thankful for the warm welcome we received from our village,” said Paulson. “[And a] huge thank you to my amazing volunteers who have donated countless days and hours to make our mission possible. The love and generosity we receive from our donors and supporters is incredible. We are truly blessed beyond words.”

The thrift store is currently open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please call 631-538-5287.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The North Shore of Long Island was hit hard when the aftermath of Tropical Depression Ida swept along the East Coast.

While the storm pummeled the Island Wednesday night, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Suffolk County. Severe flooding headed down Main Street, E Broadway and the side streets of Port Jefferson, causing damage to local stores, the Port Jefferson Fire Department and Theatre Three.

Photo from PJFD

On Wednesday night the fire department responded to numerous water rescue emergencies, and multiple victims were rescued from their vehicles by its High Water unit. They were joined by the Terryville Fire Department and Mount Sinai Fire Department.

According to the PJFD, in some cases, civilians were found on the roof of their vehicles, or trapped within a floating vehicle. Additionally, a landslide took place on Dark Hallow Road, which left the road essentially impassable with nearly 4-feet of mud and debris.

As a result of the landslide, eight families were evacuated from their apartment building due to unstable conditions of the land.

While fire department volunteers made their ways out to help others, they, too, were victims of the storm. The firehouse on Maple Avenue suffered extensive flood damage.

“Our firefighters did an excellent job coordinating multiple rescues,” said Chief of Department Todd Stumpf. “We have a lot of cleanup ahead, but we are fully in service and able to respond to all emergencies.”

Photo from PJFD

He added that fortunately no injuries were reported during the storm.

Down the street, Theatre Three said they had more than three-and-a-half feet of water inside as of Wednesday morning.

Executive artistic director Jeffrey Sanzel said that the theatre has had its fair share of floods throughout the years, and even though they were more prepared for Ida than others in the past, it was still a hard hit.

“This will be two or three days of cleaning,” he said, “But we’ll get it done and you won’t know what happened.”

Water record-setting levels heading too close for comfort to the stage downstairs. Sanzel said water knocked over and carried one of the dumpsters outside, as well as damaged dozens of costumes, furniture and a beautiful, donated upright piano that is now ruined.

Other businesses like Ruvo and Lavender Fields had flood damage and are currently in the midst of cleaning up.

“Port Jeff was hit again with a flash flood of over 7’’ of torrential rainfall,” said Mayor Margot Garant. “While it hit hard, we remain resilient and continue our work with the state emergency office and state agencies on our flood remediation efforts.”

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Photo by Julianne Mosher

Shortly after the festivities of the Port Jefferson Fire Department Independence Day Parade, residents and visitors gathered near the front steps of Village Hall to watch the swearing in of Team Unity on July 5.

Village clerk Barbara Sakovich kicked off the oath of office by thanking the fire department for hosting the event. 

“Thank you to the Port Jefferson Fire Department for always putting on a fabulous parade and incredible display of patriotism,” she said. “And of course, we thank them for their service to the Village of Port Jefferson by keeping all of us safe.”

Sakovich welcomed the three incumbents and their families to the podium, thanking them for their work “for a common good.”

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Trustee Stanley Loucks was the first up. 

“Stan works tirelessly every day and is the perfectly liaison to the recreation department, as he has a passion for all things recreation, as well as to the Port Jefferson Country Club, which is our treasure here in the village,” Sakovich said. “He works around the clock for us, and he is always the first to volunteer to get the job done.”

Loucks thanked his wife, Peggy, for all of her support, and the community for allowing him to do this all again.

“It’s great to be back up here,” he said. “I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to continue to make this village better than it is now — that’s our goal. We have a lot of unfinished business to do, and I thank you again for allowing me to come back and stand here … and then after I stand here, go back to work.”

Trustee Kathianne Snaden won her second term last month due to her close work with the school district, parking committee, BID and as the commissioner of public safety. 

“She listens closely to our residents and works to bridge communication and cooperation within our community,” Sakovich said. 

With her husband and three daughters by her side, she was filled with gratitude to be standing at the podium.

“Thank you for the opportunity to be up here again and to serve all of you,” she said. “I often get asked, why do you do this thankless job? And to me it’s not thankless. This is the thanks. And this is why I do it — because of all of you. So, thank you for having me here yet again to serve you for two more years. It’s my honor and my pleasure.”

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Sakovich concluded the ceremony with Mayor Margot Garant, who now begins her seventh term. 

“I tell her all the time that she runs a small country,” she said. 

Emotionally taking the oath alongside her father and mother, former Mayor Jeanne Garant, she addressed the crowd with a smile.

Garant said she is now the longest running village mayor, officially surpassing former Mayor Harold Sheprow — who served 12 terms and sat in the crowd — while thanking her supporters for allowing her to do this once again.

“We’re family. We stick together. We work hard, and we support one another,” she said. “I want to thank my core supporters, many of who are lifelong friends, who’ve worked hard to support this administration, and who value, respect, and appreciate the work we do.”

Garant added she couldn’t do this without her team. 

“We are here to work for you to protect and preserve our quality of life,” she said. “And when making a decision, we will always do our best to make sure that decisions bring us closer together in unity, and make us a stronger community.”

Trustee Kathianne Snaden with her three daughters at the Unity Party victory party June 15. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Over the last few weeks of covering the Port Jefferson Village election, we’ve been fortunate enough to see things in person again. 

Restrictions have been lifted and people are vaccinated — the world is slowly getting back to normal. 

Last week, we attended the candidates’ debate at the Village Center. While sitting in the front row of the packed-out venue, we looked around at the people in the crowd. 

Sitting a few seats away were trustee Kathianne Snaden’s children — three girls, ages 11, 12 and 18.

As their mother debated, answering tough and controversial questions village residents asked, they looked at her with awe. That was their mom up there, taking the initiative to try and make a difference in their community. 

It was inspiring. Sure, we see strong women everywhere nowadays. There are doctors, lawyers, politicians, business owners, inventors — women do great things. But what we don’t always see is the impact this is leaving on our children. Young girls looking up to superstars who have multiple jobs — that include packing their lunches, driving them to school and doing their laundry. 

And it isn’t just that trustee. Candidate Suzanne Velazquez has a daughter who’s graduating high school. That’s another young person with an idol right in her own home. 

A few days later, the Unity Party held an election-result event at Saghar restaurant. Music was playing, food was being served and people danced together to celebrate another two years of the current administration. 

Mayor Margot Garant’s mother, Jeanne Garant, was there. She, too, was mayor of our village years ago, and during her acceptance speech, Margot thanked — and jokingly blamed  — her mom for her inspiration to become mayor. Now seven terms later, that family name is a staple in the village, and it all started with Jeanne putting her name on the ballot. 

What if Jeanne hadn’t run for mayor all those moons ago? Would Margot have decided to run? Maybe having that strong matriarch setting an example to her as a kid is what planted the seed in having her eventually try it out. 

Maybe Velazquez’s daughter will run one day. Maybe Snaden’s will, too.

But the fact that four out of five candidates this year were all women is spectacular and should be applauded. 

Above: Mayor Margot Garant with Timmy McNaulty, Brier Fox, Blake Wlischar and Grant Welischar pose for a picture while cleaning up the beach. Photos by Julianne Mosher

The community came together to make sure the Village of Port Jefferson’s shoreline is squeaky clean.

Hometown Hope, a local nonprofit made up of local residents who love, support and want to do good within the village, hosted its first annual beach cleanup event at all Port Jefferson-area beaches.

On Sunday, April 18, more than 200 volunteers, in conjunction with Sea Tow, Sheep Pasture Landscaping and Maggio Environmental, gathered (safely with masks) at the private beaches outlining Port Jeff. Starting at Centennial Beach, through Belle Terre Beach, McCallister Park, West Beach and East Beach, families and local groups gloved up to fill dozens of garbage bags on the warm and sunny day.

Diane Tafuro, a board member with Hometown Hope, said creating an event like this was a “no brainer.”

“We’re trying to get back to the community and keep our beaches clean,” she said. “Which is one of the best things about Port Jefferson village.”

Tafuro said this isn’t just a one-time thing the group plans to do. 

With the mission statement to provide and connect resources and support in times of need to all Port Jeff Village residents by promoting a movement of spreading kindness. Hometown Hope strives to uplift through wellness, resilience and compassionate understanding within the community.

The local Cub Scout troop took one section, while varsity athletes cleaned up East Beach. There, they found a large, heavy tire filled with sand. 

“This is exactly the type of thing why we love to live here,” Mayor Margot Garant said. “Our community comes together, and they teach their kids to start loving the place that they live … That’s why we call ourselves Port Jeff Strong.”

To find out more about Hometown Hope visit their website at hometownhopepj.org.

County Executive Steve Bellone, center, speaks at the April 20 press conference. Police Chief Stuart Cameron, left, and Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner Geraldine Hart were also in attendance. Photo from Suffolk County

In response to the 50 mass shootings that have occurred throughout the country in the last month, the Suffolk County Police Department is enabling supermarkets and big box retailers to connect to a camera system set up to provide the police with video access to schools.

Using a resource called SHARE, which stands for Sharing to Help Access Remote Entry, businesses can plug their closed-circuit systems to the police department’s Real-Time Crime Center. The connection, which will have no cost for businesses, is designed to provide critical, up-to-the-minute information to police in the event of an active shooter.

“We know from previous active shooter events that seconds matter,” said SCPD Commissioner Geraldine Hart at a press conference on Tuesday announcing the initiative at the Suffolk County Police Department Headquarters in Yaphank. “Seconds can save lives.”

The ability to see inside a building would give the police intelligence that they could pass along to first responding officers, providing a description and updated location of a person or people who had weapons.

“One of the things that keeps me up as county executive is the idea that we could have one of these shootings here in our county in Long Island,” said County Executive Steve Bellone (D) at the press conference. The SCPD, which has been “at the forefront of efforts to address the possibility of mass shootings is, once again, announcing a continuation of these efforts.”

The collaboration between these stores and the police could go a step further, giving the police access to electronic controls that would allow them to open electronic doors remotely for emergency responders, helping them get to victims sooner and giving them a chance to maneuver around a perpetrator.

“We value partnerships with the community,” Hart said. “The goal is to keep people safe.”

Since 2016, the Suffolk County Police Department has done 420 active shooter presentations. On May 2, the SCPD will hold an active shooter drill at a King Kullen in Middle Island, which is the first time the police will conduct such an exercise in a supermarket.

The SCPD has also held 67 stop the bleed training classes for residents, which teaches people to treat wounds and practice applying tourniquets.

The SCPD will have the “ability to see inside those stores if, God forbid, an active shooter situation arises,” Bellone said.

In 2019, Bellone, Hart and Police Chief Stuart Cameron announced the SHARE program at West Babylon high school, which gave police the ability to tap into closed circuit TVs at area schools.

“This is one of the best things we can do to help save lives in an active shooter situation,” Bellone said. “We’re going to do everything we can on a local level to deal with the possibility of mass shootings.”

Bellone called the number of mass shootings in the country, which exceeds one per day, “insane,” and urged Congress to adopt “common-sense gun safety measures.” Rather than wait for a provision that might solve or prevent all the problems, Bellone urged Congress to take action immediately to reduce the risk of events that rob families and the community of loved ones amid senseless violence.

The police would only access cameras in the event of an emergency or a potentially dangerous situation.

Last month, the Village of Port Jefferson — which has had cameras hooked up to the Suffolk County Real-Time Crime Center for over two years — was able to help police find and arrest Joseph Garcia of Port Jefferson Station for the alleged shooting of David Bliss Jr. on Main Street. 

“We were proud to partner with the Suffolk County Real-Time Crime Center a few years ago to take advantage of this program that keeps our streets safe,” said Mayor Margot Garant. “It’s proven to create a quick response and help reduce crime in our village.”

Businesses and Suffolk County residents can gather more information at: SCPDShield.org.

Additional reporting by Julianne Mosher

Members from the Port Jefferson Community Garden Committee at the Beach Street location. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Just in time for spring, Port Jefferson’s community garden is planned and ready to get started.

On March 15, the Village Board of Trustees voted an overwhelming “yes” to the new pilot community garden program. 

The idea behind it, Trustee Rebecca Kassay — who “planted the seed” on the project — said it would be able to give residents an opportunity to grow local, organic food and enjoy outdoor recreation together, while creating learning opportunities for its villagers. The garden would be dedicated to maintaining parkland and be a staple to the community.

And she felt that this quaint area could benefit from its own garden.

“I’ve been around vegetable gardens since I was born,” she said. “My father kept — and still keeps — an impressive half-acre in St. James.”

After completing a degree in Environmental Studies, she moved to Harlem where she found a tense neighborhood being gentrified had one common ground — Jenny Benitez’s community garden in Riverside Park. 

“It was in my time volunteering there that I most clearly saw how this simple human tradition humbles, delights and invites unity between people from all ages and backgrounds,” she said.

Since November 2020, a group of 11 residents volunteered their time to become part of the Community Garden Committee, hoping to launch the garden on an abandoned, vacant plot of land on Beach Street. 

Village gardener Caran Markson said that a long time ago, the land was once a playground with broken-down equipment. Since it was removed, it has been bare, looking for a new purpose.

“The property has been empty for as long as I can remember,” she said. “It was very underutilized.”

For months, the group researched, planned and eventually implemented a design for the village’s first community garden. 

A rendering of the potential community garden located on Beach Street in the Village of Port Jefferson. Photo from Rebecca Kassay

According to Kassay, the garden will initially consist of 16 raised beds, with some being double-high beds for residents with different abilities. The garden will be accessible to all.

“Beach Street is a great little spot for Port Jefferson Village’s first community garden,” she said. “It is a flat piece of underutilized village parkland with plenty of sun for residents to grow some organic veggies.”

But the best part is, the Beach Street plantings are set to begin this summer, and if the pilot garden project is successful, the committee expects to expand at the Beach Street site in 2022, and in subsequent years, create a second garden site at the Highlands parkland uptown.

Kassay added the group is also looking to pilot Port Jefferson’s first composting program at Beach Street, after some research of area-appropriate methods, pending community response.

“This large effort is anticipated between 2023 and 2024,” she said.

Markson said the 16 beds will be planted with vegetables.

“Outside of the raised beds, we’re going to hopefully a whole bunch of berries, maybe grapes, and we can plant native flowers just to beautify this village,” she added. “It’s going to pull the community together.”

On March 15, Mayor Margot Garant and the village board contributed $4,000 of village beautification funds toward the project, specifically to irrigation and raised bed materials. 

Committee members have already begun collecting in-kind and monetary donations from community members to meet the project’s $8,600 2021 budget and will be circulating donation material mid-April.

“No contribution is too small,” she said. “You can find a committee member for more information and/or to give a donation at the weekly Village Farmer’s Market starting May 2.”

Once established, the garden committee will raise money throughout the year with suggested-donation programming and fundraisers.

Kassay said they are looking to break ground on the project May 1, with a ribbon cutting July 10.

“I’m really looking forward to giving fellow residents the ability to grow their own produce,” Kassay said. “Whether it’s a fun family project, a way to cut down on grocery bills, a way to meet new people, part of a journey to better health … I’ve been fortunate to have access to gardens throughout my life, and now I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this with my community.”

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The former Café Bada-Bing finally went “bada-bye.”

Steps away from the train station in Port Jefferson, construction crews began to knock down the former vacant bar on April 12.

Last known as the Bahia Bar & Discotec, the plot will soon be home to a new mixed-use site with 45 units of housing and more than 3,000 square-feet of ground floor commercial space to be called Port Jefferson Crossing.

The company behind the build, Conifer Realty, LLC, joined village officials as demolition began.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

Village Mayor Margot Garant put her hard hat on and got behind the bulldozer, to help knock down its first wall. 

“This is a revitalization project that’s been going on now for many years,” she said. “We’re finally out of the planning process and into the building process.”

This is the first step toward giving Upper Port its much-needed facelift, including revitalizing the train station, building affordable and safe housing for young people and senior citizens close to the LIRR.

According to the IDA, Port Jefferson Crossing is a $24 million project that will construct 45 units of residential workforce housing in the heart of Port Jefferson.

The affordable housing component will be given out based on a lottery system, and will be located at 1609-1615 Main Street, currently the site of two vacant buildings.

“The public private partnership with the Brookhaven IDA, Suffolk County and the Village of Port Jefferson is instrumental in bringing Port Jefferson Crossing to fruition,” said Roger Pine, vice president of Development of Conifer, in a statement. “This is a long-term partnership that will bring continued revitalization to areas most in need in Long Island.” 

Garant added that this project was a collective effort of several state agencies to bring life back to uptown, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) complimented the mayor for her efforts. 

“Some good things are happening,” he said. “You’re making things happen here on the local level. You’re doing the things necessary to create   vibrancy, to create opportunity to create a place that people will flock to here, right around this train station.”

He said that a mixed-use building like this one will make the region more attractive to young people.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

“We need to build a growing sustainable innovation economy,” he added. “You’re at the fore-front of doing that work and making it happen. And certainly, building more affordable housing in our downtown is key, not only to revitalizing and creating more vibrancy downtown, but to creating a prosperous economy.”

The land-clearing demo will take about two weeks before its ground-breaking event and the actual building.

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File photo by Heidi Sutton

During Monday’s virtual board of trustees meeting, the Village of Port Jefferson agreed upon the 2021/2022 budget, with a total increase of 1.9% to $10,187,442.

Treasurer Denise Mordente explained on April 5 the increase over last year’s budget of $9,992,565 is attributed to several factors, including the loss of LIPA revenue and increases in state mandated expense lines.

A simple roll over budget would have resulted in a budget gap of approximately $400,000.

But according to Mayor Margot Garant, “The village was able to manage the gap reducing it to $194,877,” just slightly over the impact of the loss of LIPA revenue of $116,646 by reassigning resources and not rehiring staff in positions vacated due to retirement or attrition within certain departments. 

“We’re looking to make up the difference by increasing taxes by $122,000 with the balance covered  by increased revenues sources,” added Garant. 

“The impact to the average household, which would have an approximately $1,500 village tax bill is approximately a $45 increase,” she said. 

“We feel the budget, as proposed is going to provide the necessary resources, the village needs to continue to do its job, which is to provide our basic services to its residents.”

During the pandemic this fiscal year, Garant said, “We’re actually at $8.7 million in revenue, so we’re about $1.2 million short.” 

However, despite the loss of revenue, the village also managed to maintain services and staffing by implementing a spending freeze and strict oversight of village resources. 

The budget hearing has been posted the Village of Port Jefferson’s YouTube account. 

To read this year’s budget, visit the village website.

The crime scene outside Dunkin' Donuts in the village. Photo from Margot Garant

It was a tragedy, but local officials say all the right protocols were in place which led to the quick arrest of a Port Jefferson Station man in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old David Bliss Jr. of Shirley.

The incident occurred on Wednesday, March 24, at approximately 3:35 p.m., when Bliss was shot in front of 122 Main St. in the village.

According to a Suffolk County Police Department spokesperson, police from the 6th Precinct were on the scene within 2 minutes, 32 seconds after the victim was hit. 

Mayor Margot Garant said the whole incident itself took less than 10 seconds, from the argument between the two men to the duo in the car driving off. 

“Upon learning of the incident, our code enforcement chief and I immediately headed to the scene,” she said. 

But the police were already there, and once the SCPD steps in, they take the reins on any incident. Upon assessment, the police spokesperson said, the detectives on the scene immediately determined that it was a targeted incident.

“Upon arrival at the Port Jefferson shooting scene, police knew the shooter had left the area in a vehicle immediately following the shooting and a lockdown was not necessary,” the police said in a statement to TBR News Media. “Each incident presents specific circumstances that are assessed by responding personnel to determine if a lockdown is warranted and what radius needs to be covered.”

Village trustee Kathianne Snaden said that although some people are curious and are upset over the protocol, the village did everything within their ability to keep their residents and children safe.

“Everybody wants to know why a lockdown didn’t happen, and the last answer is we do not have that authority,” she said. “We confirmed that with our attorney and we don’t have that right.”

Garant reiterated the same, that although people may think the local government has more ability to shut down a village, they do not. 

“As soon as Suffolk is on the scene, it is their game,” she said. “I do not have the authority to put the village in a lockdown situation. Under New York State law, I do not have that authority.”

Thanks to the village’s street cameras, police were able to get a license plate number and began tracking the vehicle which was already headed into Smithtown.

“The police officer on the scene confirmed the community is not in harm’s way,” Garant said. “He said they are tracking the vehicle in Stony Brook, heading to the Smithtown area and this is very much a one-on-one attack.”

And because investigators on the premise knew right away that the shooting was not a threat to the rest of the village, schools were not put on lockdown.

Snaden, who was watching her daughter’s tennis game at the school, got the call from Garant and immediately asked if a lockdown was needed.

“We can’t say it enough — as soon as the call came to me, my first question to the mayor was, ‘Are the kids safe?’” she said. “Margot was standing with Suffolk police who confirmed ‘yes.’”

Snaden, who is also the community liaison between the school district and the village government, began tracking down Port Jefferson Superintendent of Schools Jessica Schmettan who was already aware of the situation and rerouted the buses to avoid Main Street.

“Everybody was fully aware, and the school was already doing whatever protocol they do in these situations,” Snaden said. “Superintendent Schmettan had already, long before, already known about it and was acting on their behalf.”

Schmettan told the mayor that once she heard of the incident and bus reroutes, she communicated with the SCPD and verified that a lockdown was not needed — all within less than 10 minutes of the actual shooting.

Snaden said that upon learning of the incident, students were brought into the building out of an abundance of caution at the discretion of the athletic director and coaches who had kids outside.

“Upon notification of an emergency situation, our district immediately enacts our safety and security plans to help safeguard our schools,” Schmettan said in a statement. 

“These plans have prescribed actions specific to various potential scenarios and are often guided by the unfolding details of the events transpiring. As the safety of our students and staff remain our top priority, we are thankful to our partners in law enforcement and our village officials for their continued partnership with regard to our safety efforts and for their open lines of communication along every step of the way.”

The next day

Garant said that the next day the village had a debriefing and decided to begin using their CodeRED system for situations like this.

Criticisms have been made that the village should have used the system to let residents know what happened, and Garant said normally CodeRED is used for villagewide emergencies, like natural disasters. 

“If we had used CodeRED in this instance, because of the initial information and the lack of information from Suffolk at that point, the CodeRED would have just said that there is police activity on Main Street, please avoid the area, period,” Snaden said. “It wouldn’t have said lockdown.”

She added, again, the village does not have the authority to lockdown. Only the governor or county executive can make those decisions. 

Garant said that the social media hysteria that happened along the way could have caused more harm than good.

“It’s dangerous, because what happened was parents rushed to the school, there could have been a traffic accident, there could have been who knows what,” Snaden added. “The rumors were extremely reckless.”

Some of the rumors claimed that a student from the Port Jefferson School District was the culprit, another was that it was an active drive-by shooter. Both of those claims ended up being false right away, but the threads kept going.

“It didn’t really matter what we did or didn’t do that day,” Garant said. “My job is to keep this community as safe as possible, and not create more chaos or danger to them.”

But Garant said she did have the executive decision to give the community statements on what was going on. 

“This is because of who we are as government officials that we choose to do,” she said. “Because we feel it’s important. We’re not required to have this line of communication with the district.”

Garant added the CodeRED system currently has 4,800 subscribers and, after last week’s event, they will now use it more consistently.

“I think the thing that we learned from this is that we’re going to use our CodeRED and you need to be on our system,” she said. “You can get a text, you can get a voicemail, you can get  an email. And that’s how you’re going to get alerted from us from this point forward.”

Catching the culprit

“The good news is because of their thorough investigation, they caught the shooter within 72 hours,” Garant said. “That’s exceptional.”

Snaden said the cameras that are throughout the village are state-of-the-art devices, which are hooked up to the Suffolk County Real Time Crime Center — the first village within the county do so.

When the code officer was on the scene, a doctor and nurse bystanders were already tending to the victim, as police headed over.

 “There were good people that did help,” she said.

Snaden added that the village has 37 code officers, plus the chief, who monitor the area, and who work alongside the police. Two more hires are planned for this month.

“We have a good working relationship with the SCPD,” she said. “The code officer that was there was the supervisor at the time and secured the scene. He did what you are supposed to do as an officer.”

On March 27, SCPD arrested Joseph Garcia, 19, of 11 Market St., Port Jefferson Station, and charged him with 2nd degree murder. 

He was arraigned on March 28 and pled not guilty. 

The investigation is still ongoing and details about the altercation between the two men have not been released.

The SCPD encourages anyone with information about a crime to report it to 911 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS (8477).