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Police Services Options Committee Minutes 05/23/2018
POLICE SERVICES OPTIONS COMMITTEE
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
May 23, 2018, 6:00 PM
Meeting Hall
Old Lyme Town Hall

Present: First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder; Beth Sullivan; Harvey Gemme; Matthew Ward; Angelo Faenza; Fred Callahan
Absent: Matthew Reed; Keith Coakley; Michael Miller; Andy Russell
Harvey Gemme was seated in the absence of Matthew Reed
  • Approval of minutes of April 24, 2018 meeting:  Fred Callahan noted that the minutes reflect that he was in attendance, but he was absent from the meeting. A motion was made by Angelo Faenza to accept the minutes as amended, second by Harvey Gemme. Motion approved. Matthew Ward and Fred Callahan abstained.
  • Guest: Chief Darren Stewart of the CT Police Chiefs Association
Bonnie introduced Chief Darren Stewart of the CPCA, and currently Chief of Stonington Police Dept. She explained the reason for the committee and that the Town of Old Lyme is currently a Resident Trooper Town, and is trying to determine if merging with East Lyme is a viable option. She continued to give the Chief an overview of what the committee has done so far. Darren Stewart gave a brief overview of his background, both with the State Police and with the Stonington Police Dept. He is also on the adjunct faculty of Salve Regina College University and UConn, teaching subjects in law enforcement, served on the LEC (Law Enforcement Council) as President, President of CT Police Chiefs Association, and Chair of the Community Support Committee, which helps communities like Old Lyme in holistic view of their law enforcement needs. He acknowledged that a merger is different from what they have usually consulted on, which is generally a move from a Resident Trooper program to an Independent Police Dept. There was robust discussion about the areas that would need to be reviewed before making a decision. The Chief discussed many of the questions posed by the committee, and gave much to think about in reviewing this opportunity. She also shared the comment that she hears within the community that East Lyme is a fairly new department and are not “old enough” to take on more. The Chief felt that it would be over a year before this merger could happen, likely two years, and felt that the East Lyme Police Dept. is doing well in the first year. Nancy Mesham had questions about the statistics and numbers, stating that the person doing the study should have access to the numbers. Are there numbers supporting the needs? Let’s ask the Resident Trooper to be part of the solution, and not drive a wedge too soon. John Mesham asked a question about where resources would go if there were an incident going on in one community, and the Chief agreed that all resources would likely be put on the emergency. He also explained that he has been in Troop F for years, as a trooper, as a Resident Trooper, as a Sargent, and feels that there has been consistency. John questioned why we have not yet had the CT State Police come to one of our meetings to speak about the issue.

  • Further Discussion on a. Needs; b. Options; c. Cost of services
This will be further discussed at a future meeting.

Public comment: Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal asked if the study for East Lyme is proprietary information, and the Chief said it was likely public information. He suggested we just request the report from First Selectman Nickerson of East Lyme. Selectwoman Nosal also shared that at the last meeting someone brought up the fact that our two communities are very different – one more a bedroom community, and one with more commercial activity, and asked if that would be perceived as a shortcoming to the idea of one department serving two communities. The Chief said that the police would have to deal with both communities as one community, not separate communities, ultimately everyone being dealt with fairly. She also shared the comment that she hears within the community that East Lyme is a fairly new department and are not “old enough” to take on more. The Chief felt that it would be over a year before this merger could happen, likely two years, and felt that the East Lyme Police Dept. is doing well in the first year. Nancy Mesham had questions about the statistics and numbers, stating that the person doing the study should have access to the numbers. Are there numbers supporting the needs? Let’s ask the Resident Trooper to be part of the solution, and not drive a wedge too soon. John Mesham asked a question about where resources would go if there were an incident going on in one community, and the Chief agreed that all resources would likely be put on the emergency. He also explained that he has been in Troop F for years, as a trooper, as a Resident Trooper, as a Sargent, and feels that there has been consistency. John questioned why we have not yet had the CT State Police come to one of our meetings to speak about the issue.

  • Adjournment: A motion was made by Harvey Gemme, second by Beth Sullivan, to adjourn at  8:16 PM. Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Bonnie Reemsnyder


 
 
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