The following items were discussed at a special meeting of the Weston Police Commission on Thursday, Jan. 10. Members of Boy Scout Troop 788 were in attendance as part of their work on their communications merit badge.
Space needs study
The commission approved by a sense of the meeting, rather than a formal vote, the Board of Selectmen’s proposal to hire Jacunski Humes Architects of Berlin to do a space needs assessment study for the Weston Police Department and Weston Communications Center.
The study is being done to determine what to do with the existing police and communications facilities, which First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said were “substandard.” The space study will analyze whether the space can be renovated or if a new facility should be built.
Brian Humes, principal architect, said the study will be done in phases: needs assessment, site evaluation, and cost analysis. His firm will analyze the square footage and size of the facility and parking area, as well as camera surveillance needs, landscaping, and vehicle refueling.
A starting date for the study has not yet been set, pending a final agreement with the town.
Weston police Chief John Chief Troxell said the department’s overtime expenditures were up in December because of extra patrols being assigned to the Weston schools after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14. Officers were sent daily to all four Weston schools as an added security measure.
Overtime was also expended to expand the hours for one patrol officer on School Road (aka The Mile of Safety).
Chief Troxell said Colleen Palmer, superintendent of schools, wants two police officers on the school grounds for the remainder of the school year. He said the superintendent would like to ask for a supplemental appropriation in conjunction with the Police Commission to cover the costs for the two additional officers.
There was no formal vote on the issue, but the general consensus was to work with the school board and ask for a supplemental appropriation for two officers for the remainder of the school year, and also to ask for reimbursement of police overtime costs stemming from Dec. 14.
Election of officers
The commission elected new officers for 2013.
Rick Phillips, current chairman, could not be re-elected because the commission’s rules limit the chairman’s term to eight years, which is how long Mr. Phillips has served. The commissioners and Chief Troxell thanked Mr. Phillips for his hard work and years of service as chairman.
The commission has seven members, four Republicans and three Democrats. At the outset of voting for a new chairman, Commissioner Susan Moch (D) made a motion to vote by secret ballot. The vote was defeated, with only Ms. Moch and Commissioner Beth Gralnick (D) voting in favor of the secret ballot, so the vote was held in public.
Jess DiPasquale (R) nominated Bill Brady (R) for chairman, and Ms. Moch nominated Ms. Gralnick (the commission’s current vice chairman). The vote was 4-3 in favor of Mr. Brady and went along party lines. Mr. Brady, Mr. DiPasquale, Peter Ottomano (R), and Mr. Philips (R) voted in favor of Mr. Brady, and Ms. Moch, Ms. Gralnick, and Jeff Eglash (D) voted for Ms. Gralnick.
Mr. DiPasquale nominated Ms. Gralnick for vice chairman and she was unanimously re-elected.
Citizen of the Year
The Weston Police Commission is sending a letter to various community organizations seeking nominations for the 2013 Citizen of the Year.