First let me apologize for not responding more quickly to your questions. A combination of factors contributed to the delay.
Along with answering your questions, in the upcoming weeks I will use this blog to talk about programs and strategies we will be using to best police the Town of East Haven.
I look forward to reading your feedback regarding these programs and policies.
Answer to Readers' Questions
Q.) Chief, sorry about the return comment, but yes I do have one for you. Under whose authority is it to post speed limits within the town? I do believe that if a street/road is un-posted then the limit is 25 mph. Is that correct? I was led to believe that the responsibilities for such falls to the traffic authority, another name for the police commission. Who sets a speed limits if a lower speed on a certain street is requested to be reviewed for such posting? This question was posed to me by a friend and he was told by the PD when he called that it was under the jurisdiction of Zoning Enforcement. Can you provide correct info and a direction for such review and change of a street speed limit.
A.) The Board of Police Commissioners is the Traffic Authority for the Town of East Haven. As I understand the statute, they have the authority to establish speed limits on town roads. If a roadway is not posted then the speed limit is 25 mph.
Q: What ever became of the investigation into the stolen copper plumbing from several summer cottages at Morgan Point. It seems after the "storm" and the resulting damage and publicity, they were left vulnerable to theft as there were not enough police to patrol that area.
A: According to our records, two men were arrested for stealing copper from residences on Cosey Beach Avenue. Both were charged with Burglary 3rd, Criminal Trespass 2nd, Larceny 6th and Interfering with a Police Officer.
Both were found guilty, one of Larceny 6th and Criminal Trespass 1st and the other of Criminal Trespass 2nd.
I understand you are asking about the Morgan Point area, however, both areas were heavily damaged by the hurricane. Many people went down to both areas after the storm and some obviously were there to take advantage of the situation. These two individuals were caught in the area of Cosey Beach Avenue.
If you are inquiring about a particular case and the information is available, please contact the records room at 203-468-3833.
Q: Chief Larrabee, Do you as police chief have command of the Animal Control Officers in town? If not, would you know who they report to? I ask because there was a recent incident involving a friend of mine and a roaming pitbull and we both want to get some followup information. Unfortunately, the ACO's have been less than helpful, since it is their actions that we are questioning. Thank you.
A: The Animal Control Officers fall under the control of the Assistant Director of Administration and Management, Frank Gentilesco. However for day to day operational control they report to the office of the Police Chief.
Please have your friend direct their complaint to my office.
Q: What is the current manpower situation in regard to:
- Pending retirements, resignations or suspensions.
- Number of staff out on either workers' compensation or nonwork related short or long term disability and anticipated outcomes (# of staff expected to return to work, retire or otherwise).
- Number of officers expected to be hired and timeframes for expected hiring.
- Estimated cost of overtime over the next three months or until the department of fully staffed.
A: As of July 1, 2012, we will have 48 officers on the payroll including the Chief of Police, 2 recruit officers who will attending the police academy in July and the 4 officers on paid administrative leave.
The Board of Police Commissioners last month. These are experienced police officers who should be working on their own within two weeks. One of the officers is fluent in Spanish.
The two recruit officers will be in the police academy starting mid- July and will be unavailable for full duty for approximately twelve months.
We have an authorized total strength of 53 including the Chief of Police. Barring any unexpected events, we will have 48 officers starting July 1, 2012.
1 Chief of Police
1 Deputy Chief of Police
1 Police Captain
3 Police Lieutenants
7 Police Sergeants
3 Police Detectives
32 Police Officers
I expect overtime to remain at current levels until after Labor Day. After the traditional vacation season, I anticipate a drop in overtime usage. In the current fiscal year budget, some of the overtime costs will be offset by unused salaries.