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MINUTES

DARIEN POLICE COMMISSION

SPECIAL MEETING

AUGUST 14, 2012

1.         CALL TO ORDER

The 2,248th meeting of the Darien Police Commission was held on the above mentioned date at Police Headquarters.  Commissioner Johnson, Commissioner Harrel, Commissioner Santarella, Chief Lovello, Lt. Duignan, and Sgt. Marron were in attendance.  Channel 79 was also present, filming the meeting.  The meeting was called to order at 4:08 PM.

2.         APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Commissioner Harrel motioned to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held on July 18, 2012, seconded by Commissioner Santarella.  All were in favor. The time was 4:09 PM.

3.         CORRESPONDENCE

Chief Lovello advised that he had forwarded the letter received from retired sergeant Alan Delaney to Pat Morrissey, Executive Director of the Darien YMCA, for whatever action he deemed appropriate.

A letter dated August 2, 2012 was received from Larry Zeung of the Pinnacle Construction Group requesting Commission approval to install speed bumps in the driveway of 20 West Avenue, currently undergoing renovation by Pinnacle.  As the driveway does not fall under the authority of the Commission, Chief Lovello was requested to draft a reply to Mr. Zeung stating such and adding that the Commission would not be opposed if necessary permits and approvals were received.

The Commission discussed correspondence dated August 5, 2012, received from George Mason of Bailey Avenue regarding his request for modifications to previously approved parking restrictions for Bailey Avenue near its intersection with West Avenue.  Mr. Mason is requesting removal of the ‘No Parking’ designation on Bailey Avenue adjacent to his driveway.  The Commission noted the considerable effort given by Lt. Anderson to address Mr. Mason’s concerns against those of his neighbors.  Lt. Anderson did forward a memo to the Commission addressing Mr. Mason’s concerns.  Lt. Anderson stated that he found the manner in which these problems were handled “reasonable and responsive.”  The Commission concurred with no modifications being proposed.

4.         DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY

Chief Lovello updated the Commission on a series of home invasions taking placing in New Canaan, Greenwich, and Bedford, NY.  Darien is proactively and aggressively patrolling areas of Town with similar geography to that of the locations of the incidents occurring in other jurisdictions.

Chief Lovello advised the Commission of a recent event involving a late night rescue in the waters of Stamford Harbor.  Darien’s Marine 1 arrived on scene quickly, staffed by Det. Cappelli, Off. Mulcahy, and Off. Ehret.  While all officers performed admirably, Off. Ehret was singled out for his particularly heroic efforts in repeatedly entering an overturned vessel to assist in the rescue of individuals trapped within.  The Commission applauded the efforts of all three officers, but particularly lauded the extraordinary efforts of Off. Ehret and asked that it be appropriately recognized.

5.         OLD BUSINESS

Police Department Building Project

Turner and associated engineers and contractors are diagnosing and fixing the issues with the HVAC system and related condensation issues.  This is a work in progress.  Punch list items are being worked on.  We are still waiting for the delivery of the street lamps, which are due next week.

School Resource Officer

Off. Palmieri has taken occupancy of his new office at DHS.  The office is adjacent to the Guidance Offices.  Off. Palmieri advised that school administrators and staff have been very welcoming and all look forward to the start of the school year and this new initiative.

6.         NEW BUSINESS

Post Road – Proposed Traffic Improvement

It was agreed that this item would be tabled until Lt. Anderson can be present to review the SWRPA study for items and preliminary thoughts from a police perspective.

Oakland Terrace and Post Rd.

A memo received from Lt. Anderson regarding a sightline issue at Oakland Terrace and Post Rd. was discussed.  Lt. Anderson received a complaint from residents of Oakland Terrace regarding the severe sightline obstructions posed by vehicles parked on the grass shoulder of the Post Rd. adjacent to Oakland Terrace.  The vehicles parked on the shoulder are associated with the private residence on Post Rd. at Oakland Terrace.  Attempts by the neighbors to remediate the problem among themselves have not been successful.  Lt. Anderson did include photo evidence showing the problem. The Commission voted unanimously to endorse Lt. Anderson’s request for correspondence from the Commission to ConnDOT asking for a review of the issue and possible parking restrictions to alleviate the problem.

Presidential Visit

A recent visit by President Obama caused the temporary closure of I-95 to accommodate his motorcade.  Darien officers were assigned to keep all I-95 overpasses and underpasses clear.  Total cost to the Town for this security detail was $2,554.19.  A memo was sent to Town Administrator Kilduff detailing the costs.

Building Custodian

Chief Lovello advised the Commission that the requested part-time custodian to assist the sole police custodian was not funded in the budget.  It appears that maintaining the much larger facility with one custodian is going to be an issue likely to be revisited during the budget process.

Education Increase – Officer Joseph Licari

Officer Joseph Licari recently received his Associate’s Degree from Norwalk Community College.  A motion was made by Commissioner Harrel, seconded by Commissioner Santarella, to approve Off. Licari’s educational increment.  All in favor.  The time was 4:38 PM.

Requests from False Alarm Account

Chief Lovello advised the Commission that the Senior Management Institute for Police, or SMIP, is a three-week course of intensive study at Boston University taught by some of the most renowned police practitioners and academics in the world.  As Darien is only given a single seat in the FBI Academy approximately once every nine years, it is important for Darien to seek out training that develops leaders in the Department for increased responsibility and eventual promotion.  As all Darien lieutenants currently have master’s degrees, SMIP, though expensive, would be a logical course of study.  Chief Lovello asked that the Commission consider a long term goal of sending each lieutenant to SMIP.  Chief Lovello requested funding from the False Alarm Fund in the amount of approximately $8,500 for a single seat in the 2013 session.  Commissioner Harrel made a motion to fund the request, seconded by Commissioner Santarella.  All were in favor.

Entry Level Education Requirements

Chief Lovello asked for the Commission to consider increasing the entry level educational requirements for police candidates from the current 60 college credits to a minimum bachelor’s degree.  The evolving complexity of the profession would benefit from such a requirement, with studies supporting same.  Chief Lovello did not ask for a vote on this, only wanting to introduce it as a topic for future discussion.

8.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no other business to be considered, Commissioner Johnson motioned to adjourn, seconded by Commissioner Harrel.   All were in favor.  The time was 4:55 PM.

 Duane J. Lovello, Chief of Police