Darien police said a Barringer Road resident told them on Nov. 22 that she was called by someone claiming to be town police Lt. TJ Whyte, who told her there was an active warrant for her arrest for failing to appear in court — but when she challenged that statement, the caller hung up. The caller wasn’t Whyte. Soon after the woman’s report, police issued an announcement telling the public that calls to area residents were being made by thieves purporting to be Darien police officers or officers of other departments in the area. The purpose is to get the victim to pay “bond fees” with gift cards, voucher cards or money transfers to the thieves.
The Darien Police Department would like to warn area residents about a sophisticated phone scam that is targeting victims not only in Darien, but in neighboring towns. — an announcement from Darien Police Department
Potential victims have recently received phone calls from suspects identifying themselves using actual names of Darien police officers. In the most recent version of this scam, the suspect informs the victim that they have missed a court appearance and must purchase gift/voucher cards or conduct wire transfers in order to pay “bond” fees. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are often threatened with arrest and the caller may become hostile and insulting. Residents should also be warned that these scams can be so complex, that the suspects have set up legitimate sounding voicemail greeting messages in the event you hang up and call back.
The first time a property sends out a false fire alarm or burglar alarm, the town fines the alarm owner $100, and in the future, the second fine should be $150 and all future fines within a year of the first alarm should be $250. That’s the Board of Selectmen’s recommendation, decided in a 4-0 vote Monday night, to the Representative Town Meeting. The proposal would increase the second and third fines. Currently, they all stand at $100. Selectmen hope the change in the town fire alarm ordinance will discourage more false alarms, especially from those properties where false alarms have been occurring again and again.
With Police Commission Chairman Paul Johnson deciding to retire from his seat on that board, probably in September, the Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 on Thursday night to name Kevin Cunningham, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, as his replacement. Sharad Samy had been recommended by the Democratic Town Committee this spring, after both Samy and Cunningham were interviewed by the committee, Chairman David Bayne said. At the selectmen’s meeting, Cunningham, also a Democrat, was supported by the three Republicans and Samy by the two Democrats. Selectmen met in executive session for about 50 minutes before going into open session, where First Selectman Jayme Stevenson explained the circumstances of the replacement and the board voted, all in about minutes. Stevenson said the board wrestled with the decision with perhaps more deliberation than on any appointment the selectmen have endorsed since she’s been a member.
Members of the Board of Selectmen recently discussed whether or not to increase the fines for false alarms as one way to reduce the number of times the loud horns blast downtown to call volunteer firefighters. Reducing the number of false alarms would also help the volunteers by reducing their wasted time, selectmen said at a board meeting. No specific proposal has been drawn up, but the subject is expected to come up again at a future meeting, after more information has been gathered. “There seems to be a fair number of false alarms and a number of significant repeat offenders,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. “So I think we might be able to make some good change if we readjust our fee schedule.”
A comparison of Darien Police Department website’s CrimeMapping.com feature and the department’s weekly news release about police reports showed a few inconsistencies this week. A department spokesman said some inaccuracies or missing information cropped up in both communication channels. As of 3:20 p.m, Wednesday, the CrimeMapping feature showed four locations of incidents in town, with two incidents reported at each of two different locations. In addition to the ones described below, there was one domestic incident reported on Pear Tree Road. Some incidents reported on the website just didn’t happen in nearly the way they are shown there.
Darien Police Capt. Don Anderson and Lt. Robert Shreders recently attended the FBI National Academy Training Conference from July 20 to 23 in Phoenix. This Conference, open to command level law enforcement officials who have attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, is recognized as the premier executive law enforcement annual training conference in the country. Attendees are afforded training and instruction from highly regarded “best practice” experts in the law enforcement and public safety fields from both the United States and abroad. Among the topics covered in the 40 to 50 available training sessions were:
Responding to/planning for active shooter incidents, including lessons learned from recent incidents across the country. Officer wellness and employee retention.
I, Rhea Bhat, am part of the Darien chapter of (SADD) Student Against Destructive Decisions, with a focus on distracted driving. I took up this initiative after becoming a victim of distracted driving. My goal is to continuously strive to raise awareness about distracted driving within our community. I am currently running a campaign against distracted driving with a focus on my peer group who are the most vulnerable as they come from the technology age where cell phones are an extension of the person. They are newly entering the world of driving.
Darien Police Chief Ray Osborne, a 35-year veteran of the Darien Police Department, has announced he will retire later this year on Sept. 1. Osborne notified the Darien Police Commission and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson earlier this week. — an announcement from Darien Police Department
Osborne began his career with Darien PD in 1983 after starting his career with the Easton Police Department in 1981. He was appointed to the Detective Division in December 1996. He was promoted to sergeant in September 2000, lieutenant in September 2008 and captain in July 2016. Upon the retirement of Chief Duane Lovello, the Darien Police Commission named Osborne the tenth chief of police, and he was sworn into office on Feb.
The Darien Police Department is a proud supporter of Autism Awareness Month. Throughout the month of April, we will be joining hundreds of other agencies across the country in displaying a special Autism Awareness magnet on our police vehicles as part of the “Autism Patch Challenge.”
— an announcement from Darien Police Department
The Autism Patch Challenge began in 2017, and originated in New Rochelle, New York by New Rochelle Police Detective Chris Greco in honor of his son, Christopher, who is non-verbal. Greco has created a charitable foundation, “Christopher’s Voice,” which provides various support options for families with autism, and focuses on emergency responders. Spearheaded by Officer Rich Flood, the Darien Police Department will now be participating in the Autism Patch Challenge as well. Officer Flood has coordinated this effort and saw to it that the police car magnets and uniform shoulder patches were designed and created. With the financial assistance of the Darien Police Association, the magnets and patches have been manufactured and will be soon seen prominently displayed on our vehicles. Research shows that persons with autism and other developmental disabilities are approximately seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than the general population.
Darien police will be conducting a training exercise at Darien High School for the next three Monday nights, from 6 to 10 p.m.
“Be advised that this is a training exercise only and is NOT based on any current or active threat to the town of Darien or the school system,” DHS principal Ellen Dunn said in a message emailed Friday afternoon to DHS staff and parents. Dunn added, “The training will be confined to the first and second floors of the B Wing section of the high school.” Here’s the full text of the email:
DHS staff and families,
The Darien Police Department will be conducting scenario based training at the high school during three Monday nights in March. The training will revolve around responding to an active threat inside of the school. Be advised that this is a training exercise only and is NOT based on any current or active threat to the town of Darien or the school system.