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.