The Police Commission’s plans to hire a person to fill vacancy for a police patrol officer position have been delayed, with that hiring now expected to occur in January. The person would fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Steven Santucci. Police officials had expected to hire a person this month, but those plans fell through, Police Chief Michael Kehoe told Police Commission members last week.
Trinity Episcopal Church hosted a conversation on racial equality and racial justice on October 11. The speaker was Bishop John L. Selders Jr, the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ in Hartford, and a leader of the Moral Monday CT movement. At the end of the evening Bishop Selders suggested that those in attendance who truly want to make a difference “start local,” and stand in front of the church showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as a first step to opening up conversation and dialogue with the wider Newtown community. On Monday, October 12, members of Trinity did just that.
To promote open communications with members of the public, the Police Commission has scheduled a special meeting for later this month at which the only topic on the agenda will be “open public dialogue.” That session is slated for 7 pm on Monday, October 26, in the lower level conference room at Town Hall South.
In an ongoing, phased traffic safety review of town roads, the Police Commission, in its role as the local traffic authority, has endorsed speed limits for 18 local residential roads and is seeking state Department of Transportation approval for those speed limits on both sides of the affected streets.
In response to complaints about the hazards posed by motorists who park along Oakview Road, the Police Commission on October 6 approved having police post No Parking signs along that 3,000-foot-long north-south street. The narrow, curving, hilly road links Wasserman Way to Berkshire Road. Police Sergeant Aaron Bahamonde, who heads the police traffic unit, said he expects that a series of No Parking signs will be posted along Oakview Road within a month.
After deliberation, the Legislative Council, during its meeting on Wednesday, October 7, approved a $17,540 special appropriation from the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund for the purchase of a box truck to be used by the Newtown High School Marching Band. The truck will be used to transport equipment for the group. First Selectman Pat Llodra explained she was contacted months ago to see if the NHS Marching Band & Guard Parent Board purchased a vehicle whether the town could insure it and perform maintenance, with the Parent Board covering maintenance costs. The undesignated account was created with donations to the town, following the events of 12/14, that did not specify a certain cause, like technology or security. The special appropriation approved this week will use the remaining funds in that account.
Newtown Congregational Church is extending an invitation to all residents to join them for a special program on Tuesday, October 20. Warren Hardy, Jr, and September Chatfield will be the guest speakers for “Actions Speaker Louder Than Words: Violence Can Be Changed Into Nice Love.” The evening will look at gun violence and how words can be turned into action.
A former Newtown emergency services dispatcher is expected to plead guilty to a federal drug charge at a change-of-plea hearing scheduled for US District Court on October 19. The legal action stems from the man’s participation in a drug trafficking ring, which was allegedly headed by a former Newtown police sergeant. Thomas Carson, spokesman for US Attorney Deirdre Daly, said October 9 that former dispatcher Jason Chickos, 46, of Bridgeport is expected to change his plea in court before Judge Donna Martinez.