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Police Commission Discusses Emergency Communications Committee Findings

The North Branford Police Commission resumed its monthly meetings and focused on the topic of CMED and regionalization.

The North Branford Police Commission resumed its monthly meetings on Sept. 10 with its biggest focus being the findings of the Emergency Communications Committee (ECC), which is chaired by North Branford Town Council member Mike Doody.

Several commissioners voiced frustration with the EOC with the biggest concern being that "all of the information brought to my attention is wrong," according to the Police Commission's Vice Chairman Dave Palumbo. Interim Town Manager Bonnie Therrien and Vin Caprio, the Town Council liaison to the Police Commission, were also present.

The ECC began researching the through CMED several months ago with little progress made as Palumbo, who is a member of the ECC, said there hasn't been a meeting in three to four months.

Commissioner John Landolfi said that the Commission's meeting with Joan Hilliard, head of Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement 
Communications Teleprocessing
(COLLECT), it showed that "we're not getting information and that a certain Councilman had been saying he'd been speaking with her and he wasn't."

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Palumbo agreed that after talking with Hilliard, things didn't seem to match up and that he is "concerned that the facts and figures we've gotten are not correct."

Caprio then questioned whether Hilliard, who has also met with the Town Council, has met with the ECC to which Palumbo said she hasn't. 

"No matter what business you're in, when you do something like this, you have to get advice from the experts in the field and if the ECC hasn't done that...," Caprio trailed off shrugging his shoulders.

Palumbo also pointed out that there are several issues with the North Branford Police Department building itself, which would need attention before CMED could be put in place.

Therrien agreed, saying she had toured the NBPD and that "there's no way CMED could proceed here because the police department is a dump," adding that "I need to get you and the Town Council a lot of facts before you can move forward."

The commissioners thanked Therrien for her research on the subject with Palumbo saying she has "done more in the past two months than we did in the previous seven."

Police Chief Matthew Canelli, who also contacted every police chief throughout the state to see where and how CMED was being used, said "This does not seem to be catching on throughout the state of Connecticut. CMED is not the way I’d advise the commissioners to proceed." 

The Commission agreed as it voted unanimously to not proceed with CMED.

"We need to do our homework because whoever was doing the homework–or said they were–didn’t," said Caprio. "We’re wasting our time and the taxpayers’ money–it has to end. We'll all be together to hash it out at the special meeting."

A special Town Council meeting was called for tonight, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. to discuss the issues. Hilliard will attend and Fire Chief Seward, Police Chief Canelli, the Board of Fire Commissioners and the Police Commissioners have all been invited. (Agenda attached as PDF).

Editor's note: This story was edited at 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 11 as the Emergency Communications Committee was mistakenly originally called the Emergency Operations Committee.

Ron Onofrio September 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Ok, I'll just answer if you're "just asking...." The condition of the Police Department has nothing to do with the individuals you mentioned. It has everything to do with the Town administrators never even taking the time to take a look at how dilapidated and outdated the building has been for many, many years. Requests have been made over and over again by police personnel to have funding made available to bring the building up to current needs. However, these requests have fallen on deaf ears. I give the current Town Manager a lot of credit for making the comment she did. It's obvious that she has no irons in the fire and can be totally unbiased. I would recommend that the members of the Town Council take a tour of the Police Department then go to the area police departments and see how a town actually provides an environment sufficient and up to date for the officers who are protecting the people of the town. So, Betty Boop, I am so glad you "just asked....:
George September 12, 2012 at 05:32 AM
The condition of the PD has nothing to do with the regionalization of the dispatch center. The town was in line to received grant money to update and regionalize the comminication system. Now that is lost as the money is going to Hamden.
Ron Onofrio September 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM
George, you're right about the regionalization not being the cause of the poor condition of the PD. The problem is, trying to put CMED into the PD is like trying to put 10 pounds of sand into an out of date, broken 5 pound bag.
Jenn McCulloch September 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
There will be a tour of the police department and public works tonight.... http://northbranford.patch.com/articles/special-meeting-tour-of-public-works-and-north-branford-police-department
PDFF418 November 12, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Well as always things go round and round until something happens that forces the towns hand. I can see its only a matter of time before it happens then the threat of legal action will force the town to do the right thing. Its always reactive here as its been the practice and not proactive as it should be , especially in the area of public safety. Some things never change, look what we had to do to get PARAMEDIC coverage in OUR town....Really people..if its you that needs these services!

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