Drones, police foot patrols, more floated to uplift Riverhead’s downtown

Riverhead officials are considering a new policing plan for the downtown area — which would include increased foot patrols, cameras and drones — that they said will help improve public safety and revitalize the area.

Police and town officials said the goal is also to help improve the perception of downtown Riverhead. The area began declining in the 1970s as more storefronts became vacant.  

“We’re concerned about revitalizing downtown, and part of the revitalization of downtown is also public safety,” Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said in a Sept. 4 interview. “Questions have come up, whether it be the perception of safety or whether people were comfortable parking their cars and walking to an area [downtown].”

Riverhead Police officials and the town board discussed a comprehensive policing plan for the downtown area at an Aug. 9 work session.

Splitting Riverhead’s current police foot patrol sector into two sectors would “create more of a community connection in the area that the officers

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