A few weeks before his imminent retirement, Capt. James Genus decided to give the Southold Police Department a parting gift: some 3,000 photographs he had taken over the past 15 years or so and uploaded to the department’s on the server.

“[Photography is] “It’s just another hobby that I like to do,” said Capt. Genus, 61, of Peconic. “I’ve taken photos at many events over the years… parades, tall ships, PBA events, Easter egg hunts, Christmas parties… some officers look at them and see their kids who are now 16, 17, They’re a one and a half year old lying on Santa’s lap in diapers at a Christmas party, and now they’re getting ready for college.

“It’s fun to look back at that history,” he added. “Digital technology has given us this ability, some old technology, movies, it will be lost, it will be put away, and it will be there, ready for people to watch.”

Photography is just the latest example of how the captain’s self-taught technical prowess has benefited Southold PD throughout his 35-year career. The former chief, who called him a “gadget,” helped improve interdepartment communication with the Suffolk County Police Department and pioneered the use of infrared-equipped drones to locate missing persons.

“I’m happy for him, but he’s going to be very difficult to replace,” Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said. “He has a great knowledge of our computer systems, records management system, computer-aided dispatch, radio service around town. He is very good at the technical side, as well as all the other responsibilities he takes on such as organizing special events and what is expected of him in his role Everything. People will miss him.”

James Genus graduated from the academy in 1988 and served as a patrol officer for 13 years, during which time he was also a member of the dive team. After being promoted to sergeant in 2001, he started working in the army. Suffolk County Police Department Installed mobile data computers into Southold police vehicles so that officers from his department could communicate with officers in the county at any time. As he progressed through the ranks, he continued to work on enhancing interdepartmental communication and implementing new technologies, leading to promotions to lieutenant in 2011 and captain in 2022.

The highest level of the department, the chief, has many public-facing demands, something Capt. Genus experienced briefly last year when he was acting chief during Chief Flatley’s suspension. During this time he also worked more closely with members of the Southold Borough Council.

“When Capt. Genus took over as acting commissioner, I had the pleasure of working with him,” Councilwoman Sarah Nappa said at the town council’s July 5 meeting. “He really stepped up and did a really good job.”

At the same meeting, Supervisor Scott Russell recounted his decades-long relationship with Captain Genus, which dates back to seventh grade. “It has been a privilege to work with him over the years,” Mr Russell said.

Councilor Brian Mealy thanked the captain for his service and highlighted his sweet tooth.

“Every time I visit Captain Genus in his office, his wonderful wife always prepares something good and we’re always giggling and I’ll ask, ‘What did Ms. Genus prepare for you today? What?’ ” said Mr Milley. “Everyone else is healthy, resistant and not having blood sugar spikes, but he and I always indulge and have a cup of coffee.”

As captain, he is more directly involved in ground work. His final month on the job has been particularly hectic as he has to ensure there are enough police and traffic control personnel to keep the public safe, close roads and erect detours and barricades for the numerous events surrounding the Fourth of July weekend.

Over the past three years, Capt. Genus has been working with the County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Southold, Riverhead, Southampton and Suffolk County Police Services to transition to a single records management system, The system, like the dispatch infrastructure, is headquartered at the Suffolk County Police Headquarters in Yaffink.

“We’re dealing with the same district attorney’s office, and there’s always been little difference in how the different departments do things,” he said. “This will hopefully bring all [the departments’ processes] Today’s era calls for exchanging and sharing data and information, and standardizing the way everyone does things. “

Capt. Genus said the fruits of the consortium’s labor will blossom this fall. Commissioner Flatley explained that the new records management system will help reduce the time it takes officers to file reports.

The captain, who officially retired on July 18, said he hopes his colleagues remain safe and that the department continues to grow. Police and leaders, he said, will continue to adapt to “changing capacity in our communities, changing transportation, and adapting to some new ways of society, new beliefs, new thinking about police, how cameras have changed a lot” of things. Some are good and some are bad.but i think [having] cameras are everywhere [for] They’re a better police officer in the long run because they know the public eye is there, which I think, at the end of the day, is a good thing. “

While he and wife Tina have no immediate plans to embark on the “next chapter”, Captain Genus said he was “looking forward to traveling without work constraints” and spending more time with parents Alec and Maureen Gener Smith with his stepdaughter Vanessa Moreau.

“It’s about time,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m getting old, but I’m in my 60s. I’ve been here for 35 years and it’s time for me and my family to start enjoying different parts of our lives and spend more time with our family gone.”

When asked if there was a single day on the job that stood out in his memory, Captain Genus was unable to single out any one moment as the most important.

“It’s an honor to work in this town and serve the people of the town,” he said. “I’ve seen people at their best and at their worst, I’ve helped people when they were dying and I’ve been there when babies were born. So it’s all the way through, tragedy, success and happiness. It’s definitely a Interesting career.”

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