Before Police Officer Luis Moura joined Darien Police, he was an officer in the Bridgeport Police Department, where one of his actions during New Year’s Eve celebrations earned him an award for bravery. Moura was awarded a “Courage of Connecticut Law Enforcement Plaque” by the AFSCME Council 4 union, which represents workers in Connecticut, for having “displayed tremendous bravery” in dealing with four people firing guns as they celebrated New Year’s Eve. Moura and another officer, David Uliano, were part of a Police Department “New Year’s Eve Shots Fired Detail” for the 2014-2015 holiday, working overnight Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.
Applications for kids to join the Darien Police Department-Depot Youth Center Citizen Police Academy will be accepted starting Wednesday, Dec. 7. The five-week program is run by the department’s Youth Division Detective Mark Cappelli in conjunction with The Depot Youth Center to give students a better understanding of police officers’ duties, responsibilities and training requirements. Officers from different departments participate, allowing students an opportunity to become acquainted with them in a friendly, interactive environment. Traffic enforcement, accident investigation, criminal justice, Internet safety, forensics, crime scene investigation, and a presentation with S.W.A.T. will be covered.
After nearly a decade patrolling the waters off Darien’s shores and sometimes rescuing boaters, Darien Police Department is selling its 26-foot, 2007 Glacier Bay 2690 patrol boat to the highest bidder. The boat, built in 2006 by Glacier Bay Inc. in Monroe, Wash. and a mainstay of the department’s Marine Unit, was replaced last month with a new boat, so now the town is selling the “express cruising catamaran” to get back a bit of the money put into it. The vessel is sold “as is” with no warranty. It has twin Evinrude gas engines with 175 horsepower and a trailer is included.
Four Darien police officers have been commended by the Police Commission for their actions in two recent incidents — one involving a female who appeared to be intent on hurting herself; the other, a man found unconscious in a swimming pool. Commendations went to Officers Edwin Vigil, Greg Benedetto, Kevan Taggart and Sgt. Alison Hudyma. The following descriptions of their actions came from a police spokesman and from the minutes of the Sept. 19 meeting of the Darien Police Commission:
The first incident (unrelated to the second), took place on Aug.
The Darien Police Marine Division placed a new vessel in service this month.
After approximately a year of waiting for it to be built to custom specifications in Bremerton, Wa., the 27-foot Safeboat Full Cabin Defender arrived in Darien on Oct. 4. ______________
— an announcement from Darien Police
Powered by twin Evinrude 300 hp motors, the boat has an aluminum hull and a foam collar allowing for “close up” operational work. Thanks to The Darien Foundation for Technology & Community, the boat is equipped with several electronic components that will ensure the safety of the officers while performing their duties and allowing a more efficient response to emergencies on the water. Some of the boat’s features include:
Roof mounted and stabilized FLIR (forward looking infrared)
Down Vision and Side Scan Sonar
Remote control search lights
High powered flood and LED exterior lighting
Air conditioned cabin
Chart plotter, GPS, and radar systems
Sirius XM Marine Weather Receiver
Commercial Grade VHF Radios
MDT (Mobile Data Terminal)
Rear Deck Video Camera
The Safeboat replaces a 10 year old 27’ Glacier Bay dual hull vessel that served the Marine Division well and now will be put up for sale. Due to growing maintenance costs, general wear and tear, and a demand for year round responses to emergencies, the decision was made in 2015 to pursue a new make and design so that the Marine Division can better accommodate the boating public in our area.
Darien Police Department has four new probationary officers, sworn in Monday night in front of their families and backed by good wishes from Police Chief Duane Lovello and town officials. The department’s newest sworn officers will attend police academy training in Milford for 25 or 26 weeks, starting Oct. 3, Lovello said. “They’ll come back here for 12 weeks of field training,” Lovello said. “Then we turn them loose” on the town, he joked.
Darien Police Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson, Ph.D., is one of 11 law enforcement professionals nationwide to be selected for participation in the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program.
— an announcement (slightly edited) from Darien Police Department
In a notification letter, Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Director of the NIJ, said Johnson’s selection was in “recognition of Sgt. Johnson’s ability to effectively infuse research into policy development within the Darien Police Department …”
The LEADS program carries a goal of “identifying and developing the next generation of law enforcement leadership, and encouraging the use of evidence-based research to advance criminal justice throughout the nation.”
Johnson will travel to San Diego, California in October to participate in round-table discussions including the International Association of Police Chiefs Research and Advisory Committee and the NIJ’s research track “What Works and What Matters in Policing.” “This is not only an extraordinary honor for Sgt. Johnson and the Darien Police Department but also a tremendous opportunity for Sgt. Johnson to bring back to Darien recommendations and new ideas in furtherance of excellence,” Darien Police Chief Duane Lovello said.
Darien police announced Wednesday that its website now has a “Resources Toolbox” for families, friends and caregivers of people with various destructive behaviors, like drug-taking, bullying, suicide or dating violence. Here’s the announcement:
Too often, parents, spouses, friends, and caregivers find themselves confronted with issues they may be ill-equipped to deal with. While the opioid crisis is certainly among the most frightening – and certainly among the most dangerous – other issues, such as bullying, suicide, and dating violence, can leave persons looking for resources. We understand that persons may be hesitant to publicly reach out for assistance. To that end, the Darien Police Department has attached a ‘Resources Toolbox’ to our website. The Toolbox can be accessed by simply clicking on the ‘Services’ tab at the upper right of the homepage and selecting the ‘Resources Toolbox’ tab. Here you will find links to a host of resources that we hope can assist in navigating what can be treacherous terrain.
New police officers are adding a “Class of 2016” to the Darien Police Department, which just saw the departure of another police officer, another come off of probation after a year with the department and recent promotions after some senior officials retired. The department is also getting a new police dog and expects to have a new police boat in service this year. Many of those changes were reviewed at a recent meeting of the three-member Darien Police Commission, which has to approve most of the changes. In, Out
Police Officer Kathy Conlin, the second female officer hired in the department, has resigned from the force and will work as a constable for the Tokeneke Association, which hires former Darien officers to patrol its private roads. “Kathy was a really popular member of this department,” Chief Duane Lovello told the commission.
Darien’s town government website appears to be incapable of telling the public when a town government meeting has been cancelled. The meeting shown here did not take place. Darienite.com expends considerable time and effort to get to Police Commission meetings which are cancelled but not shown as cancelled on the town government website. Can that really be so hard to do?
Darien Police Department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts on Friday morning pointed to this video on Instagram of Police Officer Stuart Schwengerer rescuing a fawn that had become stuck on a driveway grate:
Notice that the officer is wearing gloves. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection suggests wearing gloves if someone needs to handle a fawn — it protects the animal and protects you. For the most part, the DEEP discourages people from touching a fawn unless — as in this case — it’s obviously in distress. Here’s what one DEEP Web page says about that:
Most fawns that are found are not orphaned! Does give birth to their fawns from May – end of June.
The Darien Board of Selectmen on Monday unanimously approved spending $87,000 for body cameras to be worn regularly by 48 town police officers after hearing that police-public relations have become more tense and the state may pay the full cost of the program’s first year. The proposal now goes before the Board of Finance and then the Representative Town Meeting (which doesn’t meet until September) before the town can purchase the cameras and the more expensive digital storage and retrieval system for the videos. “The heightened state of tension that now exists surrounding law enforcement has reached a level not seen in my 34 years as a police officer,” Police Chief Duane Lovello told the board in a prepared statement. “We have seen some horrible footage of police misconduct occurring from other parts of the country.” ____________
Police Chief’s Statement to Board of Selectmen in Support of Police Body Cameras (Aug.
Darien Police Chief Duane Lovello spoke to the Board of Selectmen on Monday to again ask for body cameras for police, and the board unanimously granted the request. Here’s Lovello’s prepared statement:
Good evening. Thank you for allowing me to come before you this evening to once again discuss funding for a body camera program for the Police Department. As you know, a request for funding for such a program in the approximate amount of $87,000 was submitted during budget presentations for the fiscal year which just started on July 1. That request was not funded. The thoughtful nature of the comments made by some members of the board in denying the request were not at all lost on me; among these were the evolving nature of the technology associated with body cameras and a general absence of complaints against the Darien Police Department that might otherwise highlight the need for the program.
A proposal for body cameras to be worn by Darien police officers is up for approval at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting. The resolution proposed for approval by the board states that “use of body cameras is considered to be a law enforcement best practice.” In a Power Point presentation to the Board of Selectmen, dated July 28, the Police Department pointed out that body cameras would help with police investigations, documenting witness statements and police actions, and the cameras would also help hold police accountable and provide evidence in civil suits against police. _____________
Selectmen Approve Police Body Cameras (Aug. 8)
Police Chief’s Statement to Board of Selectmen in Support of Police Body Cameras (Aug.
More details came out Monday about a recent Darien police traffic stop of a black man who was riding his bicycle to work in Tokeneke that is alleged to have been a case of racial profiling. The details have come from both police and the man who was stopped. The man, Matthew McGee of Bridgeport, spoke from the audience at Darien Library toward the end of a panel discussion on the general topic of race relations in America. McGee said the traffic stop was disturbing. He said police shouldn’t have suspected him of anything, and that he was minding his own business riding his bicycle to work.