1. CALL TO ORDER
The 2,264th meeting of the Darien Police Commission was held on the above mentioned date at Police Headquarters. Commissioner Johnson, Commissioner Harrel, Commissioner Huffard, First Selectwoman Stevenson, Chief Lovello, Capt. Pavia, Lt. Anderson, and Jan Lesko (Commission Secretary) were in attendance. The meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Commissioner Huffard motioned to approve the minutes of the meeting held on August 21, 2013, seconded by Commissioner Harrel. All were in favor. The time was 5:03 PM.
A letter received from a resident commending the services of Youth Officer Mark Cappelli was reviewed and the Commission acknowledged the fine service of Youth Officer Cappelli.
4. DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY
Narcotics activity has been ramping up in town and there are several ongoing investigations at present. Three arrests were made last night.
Nine people were exposed in the white powder incident, including one Tokeneke constable. The powder tested positive for white flour. It was determined that the incident was a prank and two 17-year old females were arrested.
Bank surveillance has been increased due to recent robberies of banks in New Jersey, Greenwich, and Fairfield which appear to have been committed by the same suspect.
In the past month there have been two motor vehicle burglaries (both vehicles were not locked) and one house burglary (the house was not locked). There were two commercial break-ins; both were forced entries.
5. OLD BUSINESS
Promotional Examinations for the ranks of Captain and Sergeant
An orientation will take place on September 30th for the upcoming Captain promotional examination. The test/assessment will be conducted on October 28th. The examination for the Sergeant promotional examination will be conducted on November 21st. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, oral assessments will take place in early December.
Entry Level Examination for the Rank of Patrol Officer
The entry level examination for the rank of Patrol Officer will be open to certified police officers only. An advertisement has been placed on the P.O.S.T. website and the application is available online. A testing date has not yet been set. To date, two applications have been received. In the event we are unable to attract suitable candidates, a general entry test will be conducted.
Overbrook Lane – Traffic/Speed Bollards Request
A request was received from residents of Overbrook Lane requesting permission to install three traffic/speed bollards on Overbrook Lane. The Department currently has one bollard in stock. After discussion it was agreed that one bollard would be installed and monitored for its effectiveness. Chief Lovello advised that the Department could purchase a few more bollards and use them on a roving basis at different locations. Commissioner Harrel motioned to approve the installation of one traffic/speed bollard on Overbrook Lane, seconded by Commissioner Huffard. All were in favor. The time was 5:20 PM.
6. NEW BUSINESS
Request for Crossing Guard on Nearwater Lane – Lt. Anderson received a request for a crossing guard on Nearwater Lane at Pasture Lane. That location will be reviewed for potential crosswalk installation. Lt. Anderson will contact the principal in an effort to determine the number of children walking to Hindley School using that intersection.
Request for Crossing Guard on Noroton Avenue at Park Place – Lt. Anderson will attempt to determine how many students cross at this location and if the criteria for a crosswalk would be met. A crossing guard is currently in place on Noroton Avenue at Clock Avenue.
Traffic Calming on Middlesex Road near Colony Road – Requests have been received regarding additional signage and/or traffic calming measures on Middlesex Road near Colony Road due to motorists driving under the influence and speeding. Lt. Anderson will monitor this location and report back to the Commission.
Potential of closing of the Old Kings Highway No. “spur” – Discussion was held concerning the potential closing of the Old Kings Highway North spur near the First Congregational Church and the potential for a land swap between the church and the Town to facilitate a pocket park and roadway enhancements.
Request from First Congregational Church for School Zone signage – A request was received from the First Congregational Church Pre-School for the installation of “School Zone” signage on Old Kings Highway North due to the traffic near the intersection of Old Kings Highway North and Brookside Road and the pedestrian traffic near the church’s pre-school. Commissioner Johnson motioned to approve the installation of “School Zone” signage on Old Kings Highway North at the First Congregational Church Pre-School, seconded by Commissioner Harrel. All were in favor. The time was 5:40 PM.
Request for Crosswalk – Edgerton Street at West Elm Street – A request was received for the installation of a crosswalk on Edgerton Street at West Elm Street. Currently a crosswalk that is compliant to regulations cannot be installed.
Parking on Post Road at Noroton Avenue – A request was received asking that the Legal Traffic Authority formally petition the State Traffic Commission to prohibit parking on the Post Road eastbound at Noroton Avenue in front of St. John’s Church. Lt. Anderson will check with Planning & Zoning regarding the parking on Post Road in front of the businesses near Rings End Road. This issue was discussed with Msgr. McGrath of St. John’s Church who requested a letter from the Legal Traffic Authority that he could forward to the diocese.
Bridge Replacement Over Noroton River on U.S. 1 – Lt. Anderson provided the Commission with an update on the State DOT project regarding the replacement of the bridge over the Noroton River on U.S. 1. He also provided an update on a related project at the same location involving Giovanni’s Restaurant. Giovanni has requested a letter from the Police Department supporting his planned enhancements.
Vegetation – Lt. Anderson provided an update from a recent meeting with the State DOT Vegetation Inspector regarding the Town’s right (under local ordinance) to mandate the removal of any vegetation and/or structures adjacent to the State right of way. It was clarified that the Town ordinance does apply to State roads.
Permit Parking on Mechanic Street – A request was received from the Selectmen’s Office to explore the possibility of adding additional permit parking on Mechanic Street and Hollow Tree Ridge Road on the I-95 overpass bridge. Parking on Hollow Tree Ridge Road on the I-95 overpass bridge would not be advisable as it is used for school buses to queue in the morning plus in the winter months, it would be problematic for plows in the event of snow plus cars would get plowed in, creating additional problems. There is a possibility that additional permit parking could be added on Mechanic Street. Before any decision can be made, the lighting for nighttime hours needs to be checked and if parking at that location would interfere with Metro-North maintenance operations.
Traffic Advisory Signal at Post Road (North) and West Avenue – First Selectwoman Stevenson inquired if anything could be done with the illuminated sign instructing motorists of ‘No Left Turn” onto West Avenue from the Post Road as it is difficult to read. Lt. Anderson advised that the State will not enhance the light but would allow enhancements at the Town’s expense. He will research what new alternatives might be available.
External Vest Carriers
Chief Lovello requested that the Police Commission amend the Department’s uniform requirements to allow the wearing of an external vest carrier. The vest carrier is worn over the uniform shirt and carries equipment that is currently worn on the gunbelt. The weight of the gunbelt as it is presently outfitted is extremely heavy and can cause strain on the lower back area. The external vest carrier would more distribute the weight more evenly, thus reducing the strain on the lower back. Commissioner Johnson motioned to add external vest carriers to the Department’s uniform requirements, seconded by Commissioner Harrel. All were in favor. The time was 6:10 PM.
False Alarm Account
Chief Lovello requested the use of approximately $6,000 from the False Alarm account to cover the purchase of an external vest carrier for each officer. This cost includes the external vest carrier, the coordinating shirt, suspenders and Department embroidery. Commissioner Harrel motioned to approve the use of $6,000 from the False Alarm account to purchase an external vest carrier and accessories for each officer, seconded by Commissioner Johnson. All were in favor. The time was 6:15 PM.
7. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Commissioner Johnson motioned to convene in Executive Session per the Chief’s request to discuss a personnel matter, seconded by Commissioner Huffard. All were in favor. The time was 6:18 PM.
A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson to reconvene in Public Session, seconded by Commissioner Harrel. All were in favor. The time was 6:35 PM.
There being no other business to be considered, Commissioner Johnson motioned to adjourn, seconded by Commissioner Harrel. All were in favor. The time was 6:38 PM.
Jan Lesko, Commission Secretary
The Regular Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM has been cancelled.
A Special Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM.