(Editor's Note: Each month, East Haven Patch readers post their questions for East Haven Interim Police Chief Brent Larrabee. The following are his answers to this month's four selected questions.)
Q: Chief..what happened to hiring civilian dispatchers to free up more officers for patrol? It was reported that the town had the right to do this. Are you still planning to do this?
A: Yes, we are planning to hire police dispatchers. We made a conscious decision to hire police officers first. Because we have limited resources we are unable to process the dispatcher candidates simultaneously with the police officer candidates. We have two promotional tests coming soon, lieutenant and sergeant, and two detective promotions. These promotions will create additional funded patrol officer vacancies which we will fill. After those officers are hired, we will proceed with the hiring process for civilian dispatchers. I expect that process to start on or near the first of the year. The civilian dispatcher positions are unfunded in this fiscal year’s budget.
Q: It seems that we have an increase in teenage violence and vandalism occurring in the area of east haven south of main street and west of hemingway recently. What is the police force doing to crack down on these youths? There was a large fight that occurred last night that is worrying many residents about the safety of our neighborhood. What if they start to use weapons? Increased police patrols in this neighborhood may be necessary.
A: I recognize that time has passed since you submitted this question. However a search of our records does not reveal any information regarding your inquiry. If you have more information, please call my office at 203-468-3214.
It may simply be coincidental, but we have been concentrating more enforcement efforts in the center of town because of complaints unrelated to yours. Hopefully, that will serve as a deterrent to any further incidents.
Q: Hello Chief, Is there anything that can be done to reduce speed and the noise level of motorcycles going through our neighborhoods? I live in the vicinity of Bradley and Laurel. The police presence around the beach area at night is much appreciated, as we enjoy going down to the beach for a walk in the early evening.
A: We have increased our number of traffic stops significantly in recent months. Officers are doing a good job with traffic enforcement; unfortunately we cannot get to every part of town every day. I will instruct the Captain of Patrol to give Bradley and Laurel extra attention. Noise detection and noise reduction are not easy to police, despite what you may have heard. In order to issue a noise infraction, you must use a noise meter which is a fairly sophisticated measuring device. We have one officer trained in the use of the meter and he is also a certified instructor. We were only able to deploy the meter once so far and on that day it rained. This is a priority of Mayor Maturo and we will try to deploy the meter more often. Other surrounding cities and towns have dedicated traffic units which enable them to use noise meters more often.
Q: chief have you formally applied for job and if not why?
A: Yes, I have applied. I am told I am one of 82 candidates.