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MINUTES

DARIEN POLICE COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

APRIL 17, 2013

 1.         CALL TO ORDER

The 2,259th meeting of the Darien Police Commission was held on the above mentioned date at Police Headquarters.  Commissioner Johnson, Commissioner Huffard, Chief Lovello, Capt. Pavia, Sgt. Hudyma, School Resource Officer James Palmieri and Jan Lesko (Commission Secretary) were in attendance.  Commissioner Harrel joined the meeting at 5:00 PM via telephone but did not vote on any motion.  The meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM.

2.         APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Commissioner Huffard motioned to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held on April 3, 2013, seconded by Commissioner Johnson.  All were in favor. The time was 5:03 PM.

3.         CORRESPONDENCE

An award nomination for Officer Gregory Benedetto was submitted by Sgt. Marron.  Having responded to a call for service and while waiting for the backup unit to arrive, a male subject walked towards Officer Benedetto and subsequently collapsed.  Officer Benedetto summoned an ambulance and retrieved the defibrillator from his patrol vehicle and was able to revive the subject who apparently had suffered a major heart attack.  The Police Commission acknowledged the excellent work of Officer Benedetto and endorsed the award nomination.

4.         DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY

Capt. Pavia reported there were 2 minor larcenies, 4 DWI arrests, 3 domestic violence arrests, and the theft of a chiller from a cleaning establishment.  The Detective Bureau made an arrest regarding previous thefts of copper gutters and leaf blowers.   A suspect reported running through yards in the vicinity of Rocaton Road carrying electronic equipment was apprehended. The suspect was found responsible for area burglaries occurring that day.   K9 Zulu located additional stolen goods that were hidden nearby.

An incident occurred on April 8th where two disheveled male subjects entered Middlesex Middle School claiming they were lost.  After leaving the school, they were in the parking lot attempting to sell drugs to students.  Both subjects were apprehended.  Attempts have been made to review this breach of security with the superintendent of schools and the principal of Middlesex Middle School.  Commissioner Johnson urged Chief Lovello to reach out to the chairman of the Board of Education to voice the Police Department’s concern regarding the lack of response concerning this incident.

Since the Boston Marathon tragedy, Darien police officers have been present at the Darien and Noroton Heights railroad platforms during both the morning and evening commuter hours.  They will continue to man the platforms through the end of the week.

School Resource Officer

School Resource Officer James Palmieri briefed the Commission on the status of the School Resource Program.  The program is going extremely well and both the students and faculty are comfortable with the officer’s presence in the school.  Officer Palmieri noted that bullying is one of the biggest issues he deals with.  A School Liaison Program has been instituted wherein Darien police

officers have been assigned to the elementary schools and also Pear Tree Point School and the Town’s nursery schools.  Officers visit the schools on a regular basis and are in the process of having the children become familiar with them and establishing working relationships with faculty and staff.

5.         OLD BUSINESS

Proposed Commercial Development – Old Kings Hwy. So. and Cross Street

A new application form was submitted to Planning & Zoning regarding a proposed development at 164 Old Kings Highway South.  Upon receipt of this latest document, Chief Lovello contacted Jeremy Ginsberg, Director of Planning & Zoning, and Fred Conze, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission, and reiterated the Police Commission’s opposition to this development.  On page 1, paragraph 3 of the applicant’s narrative, the following statement is made:  “As a result of the extensive discussions at various public hearings and meetings of the Commission, the traffic authority and the Zoning Board of Appeals, the applicant proposes the current plan (“Site Plan Revised 3-13-13, Revised 4-1-2013” copy attached).  Under this plan only the required handicapped parking space is accessed from Old Kings Highway South.  All other parking spaces and all commercial vehicle traffic will access the site from Cross Street.”

Commissioner Johnson stated for the record that the Darien Police Commission, as Legal Traffic Authority for the Town of Darien, DOES NOT support or approve any curb cuts on Cross Street.

6.         NEW BUSINESS

Darien Chamber of Commerce Sidewalk Sales Days

A request seeking permission to close Day Street to vehicular traffic from the Post Road to the Darien Rowayton Bank drive-thru window exit on Saturday, July 13, 2013 to accommodate the Annual Sidewalk Sales Days was received from the Darien Chamber of Commerce.  It is their intent to place and inflate an amusement toy at that location beginning at 7:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM.  Chief Lovello advised that the following requirements would need to be met for approval:

-     There must be sufficient protection between any “amusement toy” and the nearby construction.

-     Any sidewalk obstruction causing pedestrians to walk in the travel portion of any roadway will not be permitted.

-     Appropriate barricades and directional signage must be installed at Grove Street/Day Street and Darien Rowayton Bank to prevent vehicles from entering the closed portion of Day Street.

Commissioner Johnson motioned to approve the request from the Darien Chamber Commerce to close Day Street to vehicular traffic from the Post Road to the Darien Rowayton Bank drive-thru window exit on Saturday, July13, 2013 contingent upon the above listed requirements be adhered to, seconded by Commissioner Huffard.  All were in favor.  The time was 6:10 PM.

7.         ADJOURNMENT

There being no other business to be considered, Commissioner Johnson motioned to adjourn, seconded by Commissioner Huffard.   All were in favor.  The time was 6:12 PM.

Meetings

The meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, 2013 has been cancelled.

The next meeting of the Darien Police Commission will take place on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM at Police Headquarters.

Jan Lesko, Commission Secretary