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North Branford Police Commission Catches Up on Business

After a summer hiatus, the Police Commission had plenty to talk about at the Sept. 12 meeting.

There was a fair amount of housekeeping at the Sept. 12 North Branford Police Commissioners meeting as the commission hadn’t met since June. Chief Matthew Canelli said that “the morale has taken a complete 180 turn here. The men are doing great work out there as you can see by the number of arrests.”

During the month of August, there were 1,152 calls to service, 45 motor vehicle accidents with seven injuries, 105 motor vehicle citations, 41 written warnings, 79 alarms with 78 being false alarms and 39 criminal arrests.

Canelli also noted that the department’s drug arrests have been “sky high,” particularly noting a  that included $7,800 in cash, marijuana and paraphernalia.

The NBPD receives 70 percent of the cash into its drug forfeiture account, which now contains around $6,500 with $3,000 earmarked for part of the  in the , on which there are no new leads.

Days Off for the Chief

Canelli was given five comp days last year that were supposed to be used by May 31, 2011. Due to not meeting over the summer and other schedule conflicts, Canelli had only used a half of a comp days and asked for the remainder to be rolled into next year. He needed the commission to write a letter to extend the days.

He also said he never received his five comp days this year, which should have been granted in May. The commission approved both items, which adds the 9 ½ comp days to Canelli’s 25 vacation days.

NBPD and Hurricane Irene

Throughout , the NBPD had 10 officers on with each working his own sector of the town. While there were 374 ½ hours of overtime amounting to about $23,000 put in due to the storm, Canelli is hoping the town will get the majority of the money back through FEMA.

“I commend each man’s efforts during hurricane–they put in a tremendous amount of hours, they got wet, they didn’t get much sleep, they didn’t complain, and they did an excellent job,” said Canelli. “They stayed in a sector for their shift and it worked out tremendously. There was great cooperation with the fire department, public works and the .”

The chief sent a letter to the department for a “job well done during storm activity.” Commission Chair Dan Troiano also complimented the Department of Public Works, saying he noticed when traveling right after the storm that “Our roads were clear before any towns around us.”

Union Negotiations

Canelli then updated the commission on union negotiations, which started last month. He said he has been a part of negotiations for the past 28 years and now “I’m not invited to the meetings, according to the Town Manager.”

Canelli advised the commission to address any concerns with union negotiations in writing in order to get them to Town Hall. Canelli is worried that by not being at the meetings, the process will take longer than usual.

“Every time there’s an issue on items I wrote, they have to negotiate by phone and that’ll make it tough as a telephone dialog that will bog down union negotiations,” he said. “In the past, they’ve gone on for a couple months. There’s a continuity problem when your department head is not involved.”

Department Accomplishments

  • Officer Robert Deko was selected as Officer of the Month (July)
  • Officer Sean Anderson completed the taser course
  • Officer Ron Ferrucci was certified to use the Toximeter
  • Officer Anthony DeLuise was certified to use the Toximeter
  • Officer James Lovelace received a MADD Award
  • Officer Mauro Piroli received a MADD Award
  • Recreation Director Pam Gery wrote a letter thanking Sergeant Chris Manner and Officer Mario Bernardo for their demonstration at  
  • Det. Sgt. Ken McNamara is retiring as of Sept. 16

The commission also discussed the condition of the NBPD’s fleet of cars and viewed a demonstration by Officer Mauro Piroli with Chase, the police dog (stories to follow).

Tom Smith September 15, 2011 at 04:18 AM
Wow, that is a real troublesome statement to make by the chief that the morale has turned around 180 degrees. It must really be down then as I read in the paper they arrested one of their own officers and suspended a dispatcher. Maybe he is happy they did that and that is why he stated that it turned around 180 degrees. From the officers I see on the street they do not seem to happy but then the chief is in his own little world.
Betty Boop September 16, 2011 at 01:22 AM
Amazing! The Police Commission eliminates Deputy Chief Doody’s job, so why do they still need him to attend the meetings? I’ll bet its so they’ll know what to do….he was the only one who really held that place together anyway. BTY, just where is Matt going, out for pizza?
Jenn McCulloch September 16, 2011 at 04:45 PM
My apologies, Betty. I should have noted that this photo is from a previous meeting. Mr. Doody was not in attendance.
ejota September 18, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Two things. First, given the full-throated claim that morale has 'turned around 180 degrees', is there a chance that you might validate that claim (or at least get other points of view) by speaking to the men in the department? And second, what does the Town Manager have to say about the chief now not being invited to union negotiations after having participated for the last 28 years? Thank you.

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