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Police Union: Poor Condition of NBPD's Building A 'Monumental Problem'

North Branford Police Commission members are vowing to form a unified front with officers to put pressure on town council members to fund much-needed improvements to the department's headquarters.

Calling the building's current conditions a day-to-day safety concern for officers, the head of the North Branford Police union is urging town officials to find a way to fund improvements to the department's headquarters on Forest Road — and soon.

"We've got a monumental problem here," Anthony DeLuise, a patrol officer and president of the NBPD officers' union, told the Board of Police Commission at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. "I don't know if I am conveying here to you how important it is."

"If you don't make this building bigger and better, it won't be safe... is it going to take a tragedy," he said.

The building's poor condition returned to the forefront after Interim Town Manager Bonnie Therrien publicly stated during a special Town Council meeting last month that the department's headquarters "is a dump."

'We Had to Walk Through Feces'

As he addressed the commission on Tuesday, DeLuise noted that earlier this year the building's septic system failed, resulting in an overflow inside the building.

"We had to wake through feces to get our guns and bullet proof vests... that is unconscionable," he said. "No employee should have to do that."

DeLuise added that union officials had to contact the East Shore District Health Department to eventually get the problem resolved.

"We've already gone to the health department with this building so we don't have to walk through feces," he said, adding that the union's next step could be contacting the federal Ocuppational Health & Safety Administration.

"OHSA could come in here and say, 'You have to get out of this building, it's uninhabitable," DeLuise said.

'No More Important Issue'

In addition to septic issues, the union head also said the department's 911 room takes on water during heavy rains storms.

"I don't think that there is any more important issue," DeLuise said of the need of an addition and other improvements to the headquarters. "There should be no greater priority."

He added the officers themselves also wanted to part of any effort to get town officials to take action on the improvements.

"I ask that union leadership be part of this process with you to help," DeLouise said to the commissioners. "We need to do this in a unified front."

'Due Dillegence'

Responding to the officer's comments, police commission members vowed they would "push harder than ever" — joining together with the officers — to get the town council to take action on improvements.

"We can hopefully get through to the powers that be that something needs to be done," ‪Dave Palumbo, the commission's vice chairman,‬ said.

But Palumbo reminded DeLuise that it is town council members who ultimately hold the purse strings, and therefore, the switch to greenlighting any expansion project or other improvements to headquarters.

"I can't promise what is going to happen, but I can promise due diligence," he told DeLuise.

James Dwyer October 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM
After living in the Town of North Branford for over 35 years. I attended my first police commissioner's meeting last night. I listened to the police commissioner discuss the deplorable conditions at the North Branford Police Department building on Forest Rd. About 25 years ago, I was a Boy Scout leader. I took the scouts to visit this station then and it was great to see. However, it is in a very sad state right now. The back of the building needs an addition added on to keep our police cruisers undercover for the winter months. No wonder why we had to lease new vehicles this past year. The reason why I had to attend this meeting was to bring up the issue on the public safety of Rte 80 and Twin Lakes light. Since the new road construction started on Rte 80, there has been an increase of drivers running this streetlight going towards New Haven in the mornings. If you like, you can get a first hand look at our rundown police department building by calling the police department for a visit because it is a public building. Or you can call any town council member and voice your opinion on it.
Bob W October 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM
It seems the town of North Branford waits until a building (Schools, municipal building) deteriorates before the matter of repair comes up. Putting maintenance on the back burner costs the town bigger dollars. As the old commercial said pay me now or pay me later. The taxpayers will have to pay this one. Dollars are tough but that is the reason to repair when the issue comes up .
steve October 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Im just curious on why the town council would vote to put the EOC back there if its that bad... however regionalization would help fund upgrades with little or no tax payers money... seems like a "nobrainer", right?
steve October 10, 2012 at 01:01 PM
And create jobs and improve public saftey.
PDFF418 October 10, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Sorry, Edit : the TOWN is always behind the times.. Thanks.
Beverage Guy October 10, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Just my opinion, and some may disagree, but how about trying to get together and work together on this a little more. I honestly admittedly plead ignorance on the condition of the building, but to throw 'that the union's next step could be contacting the federal Ocuppational Health & Safety Administration' out there? What is the purpose? To spend foolish money on a fine and maybe more foolish money on a band-aid fix to make OSHA happy? That would be money wasted that could go toward building improvements. I am sorry, but I spent many years in a business where when the Union, or one of it's members were unhappy, they would call OSHA. It never helped solve the issue at hand and just added to the wedge between employer and employee.
Sola October 12, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Wow, Beverage Guy, we agree on something else!
Beverage Guy October 12, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Agreed Sola. One of the great thing sharing our opinions with each other is that we keep it civil and stick to the point, as it is not personal!
Sola October 12, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I'll go along with that. If you are from NB we may even know each other.
Beverage Guy October 12, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Possibly, or at lease have seen each other somewhere

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