New Suffolk Police Chief Plans New Approach to High-Profile Cases

Probes into painkiller prescriptions and the Gilgo beach murders were among the highest-profile cases in the county last year.

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    Now that former Suffolk County police commissioner Richard Dormer has retired, the department's new top cop is announcing changes to tackle its highest-profile cases.      

    Suffolk Police Chief James Burke tells Newsday he will assign a special detective to a grand jury probe of painkiller prescriptions.     

    Burke said the detective, who's also a registered pharmacist, will assist the district attorney's special grand jury review of whether physicians have improperly prescribed painkillers.      

    The announcement comes after a deadly robbery of a pharmacy in Seaford on Saturday. An off-duty federal agent was mortally wounded while trying to intervene in the holdup.      

    It was the second deadly holdup in a pharmacy on Long Island in 2011.      

    The department also plans to convene an all-day meeting with investigators in the unsolved Gilgo Beach murders. It also will focus on reducing gang activity.