At the September meeting of the North Branford Police Commission, Chief Matthew Canelli brought up the condition of the North Branford Police Department's SWAT vehicle, noting that the 1988 vehicle needed $4,500 in repairs. Because of the condition of the vehicle, Lieutenant David D'Ancicco noted it might not be worth fixing.
The NBPD chose not to fix the vehicle and instead opted for purchasing a 2012 V-Nose 16-foot dual axle enclosed trailer to house and transport vital equipment used by the four North Branford Police SWAT officers. The SWAT team also includes officers from North Haven and East Haven.
"We're really excited and the SWAT team is really excited," said Canelli. "We were able to purchase this at absolutely no cost to the taxpayers and it's something we don't have to take care of mechanically."
The NBPD used $4,095 to purchase the trailer from a company in Poughkeepsie, New York. The money came from the drug forfeiture fund, which had roughly $13,000 in it with for part of the for information on the Northford home invasion.
"We get 75 percent of cash seized or 75 percent of the money received from an item that's sold at auction," explained Canelli, noting the remaining 25 percent goes to the state.
Grant Money to Outfit Trailer, Update Equipment
The next step is outfitting the trailer with shelves or cabinets to hold the SWAT officers' gear. Canelli said that D'Ancicco was in the midst of submitting paperwork for a grant offered by the State of Connecticut.
According to Canelli, the grant was made possible thanks to legislators lobbying after a new law was passed that all felony arrest interviews must be recorded as of Feb. 1, 2014. The grant, which totals $26,000, will not only update the NBPD with the necessary equipment but help the department upgrade equipment as well.
Canelli said they opted for the "more advanced" recording system, which allows for one initial camera but with the option of adding three others should the department expand. The camera equipment will cost about $19,000.
The grant allows for other upgrades as well and the department will be upgrading its 11-year-old weapons. Canelli said that for about $5,000 – and trading in the old weapons – the NBPD will receive 30 new Glocks complete with lights and level three holsters. This includes 25 service weapons and five administrative weapons.
The remaining funds from the grant will be used to outfit the trailer with cabinets or shelves, which members of the SWAT team are currently researching.
"We're able to do all of this at no cost to the town thanks to this grant," said Canelli.