WARNING: Please remember that this website is unofficial and only represents the observations of About Town...
DEMOCRATS/M "Body cams" for Weston in Police Budget? Tip: read this and think about budget implications for small towns.
M.O.R.E. COMMISSION PLAN OF ACTION FOR REGIONALISM OF
MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS: Did the now almost-gone M.O.R.E. non-Commission ever create any efficiency? Governor Lamont is trying via A.C.I.R. shake up.
Public Safety news:
Global Facilities Committee meeting as it related to public safety complex...
might provide aerial photos that could up date mapping in-between full flights for the
18-town region in the future. In downtowns, for example. Is
this the next step in the toolbox of planning tools - after REMOTE SENSING?
Weston Police Commission reports from About Town.
BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS
Tuesday March 3, 2020 at 7pm
Town Hall MEETING ROOM
POLICE COMMISSION IN TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM
With reassessment challenges being heard in the Commission Room this
evening, the Lachat Town Farm Commission had to meet in the Town Hall
Annex ("The Portables").
- Discussion of how the 2021 budget was received at the Finance Board for those who had not been there (above left).
- Discussion (R) of IT changes coming soon as Schools no longer able to assist with Police IT (budget cut)
- Preparation for Rte 57 work that ultimately closes the road for 14
days this July and ensuing traffic infiltration into residential
- Report of upcoming meeting on Monday March 9 for Police, EMS, Fire
Dept with construction manager as work is to commence on Town Hall/Fire
- Interesting map (which we cut to fit on our scanner) of traffic accidents 2015-2018 in Weston distributed.
BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS
Tuesday Feb. 4, 2020 at 7pm
Town Hall Commission Room
The meeting came to order with Chair. Gralnick announcing the positive
result of the Special Town Meeting the evening before for the Public
Safety improvements for Police and Fire Department-EMS.
The subject of overtime is always one that the Commission is forever
trying to resolve. It was suggested that the improvements in
reporting methods used can always be better understood and
communicated. With more than one measure of the expenditures, it
is not always clear what the actual expenses have been month to month
(overtime unpredictable, MUNIS data lagging the actual timing).
Report on projects upcoming: Rte 57 bridge at Broad Street - total
road closing for more than two weeks expected in July. Signage,
flashing and otherwise in the works.
VALLEY FORGE ROAD repair finished, still some delay getting guard rails installed.
Speeding stops to increase w/tickets.
BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS
Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 7pm
Town Hall Commission Room
Budget 2020-2021 as proposed and presented to the First Selectman...
Chief summarized - total increase of $210k of which $169k is personnel (officers) resulting from new contract for policemen.
ELECTIONS FOR 2020: Gralnick, 4th from left, Chair., DiPasqualle 3rd from left, Vice-Chair.) Checking monthly budget expenditures.
How will Police Budget fare?
Report of "shock" as had been observed at Board of Ed with Superintendent's proposed budget up by 5.5%
- Public Safety Facility- EMS at Historic District Commission Wednesday...
- WestCOG Study of regional dispatch due in a couple of months - 5 towns involved.
- Mentioned by various Commissioners- what would be the best way to
explain the budget? For example, is there a PPP involved in the
- How much of overtime goes for "Mile of Safety" and we thought we heard "40%" which may have given some pause.
- POLICY UPDATE on pursuit policy Weston Police Commission recently adpted - https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/act/pa/pdf/2019PA-00090-R00SB-00380-PA.pdf
BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS
Tuesday December 3, 2019, 7pm
Town Hall Commission Room
WE ARE BACK TO OUR VERY FIRST WAY TO REPORT ACTIONS: Click here for "annotated" agenda
Commission covered a lot of stuff in under 90 minutes - well run
meeting! Newest Commissioner called in from London.
VERY INTERESTING FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS: New Town Plan "Downtown Plan" Pedestrian sidewalks at stake???
This was an excellent debate regarding wording of resolution in support of Selectmen position:
- Crosswalk on Route 57 installed on State Highway by the State of CT (I think I heard said that CT is saying they didn't do it to their own standard);
- Prior to the crosswalk, both traffic lights (Norfield Road as well as School Road) existed.
- Commissioners concerned because downtown plan in new Town Plan calls for more than one pedestrian crossing...
Interesting agenda Wednesday at 7pm, Commission Room...
Commissioners review the upcoming School Safety program for the community but who in the community knew about it?
- A less than one hour meeting (plus extra time for Executive Session - which we of course do not attend).
We always learn stuff during the open sessions. For example, did
you know that there is a beginning of a series of meetings surrounding
the issue of school safety starting...tomorrow (am and pm
And that the suggested changes for Valley Forge road bed on the table
tomorrow at the Selectmen? Discussion of upgrading policies to
reflect current procedures (things are changing all over the place).
POLICE COMMISSION MEETING
- Chief's Report covers the waterfront:
- From monthly report on overtime (about the same) to...
- Assembling cones and other road protection and warning signs in advance of Town road paving;
- Response to citizen complaint (solved with "pizza boxes" to control speeding).
- Potential dangerous situation (s) if Town road work not properly reviewed by, for example, school transportation provider.
- Contract rider for employee;
WESTON POLICE COMMISSION MEETING
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 7pm
Commission Room at Town Hall
POLICE COMMISSION GETS POWERPOINT PRESENTATION FROM CT DOT ON BROAD STREET/RTE.57 BRIDGE
- Pretty much a regular type of meeting - discussion of how the
traffic will be rerouted during construction - which will take place
- Then Chief's report which takes in budget status,
overtime, and status of events dealt with - all Commissioners
present. Policies adopted (i.e. statutory changes).
- Lastly, prior to executive session, status of renovation to Police
facilities in Town Hall briefly noted since nothing is going to happen
until $$ numbers come in.
We inquired about "active shooter training" in executive
session and were told that they always include this...nothing special...
WESTON POLICE COMMISSION MEETING
Tuesday August 6, 2019 at 7pm in the Daugherty Commission Room in Town Hall - AGENDA
ABOVE IS A GRAPHIC VERSION OF MEETING NOTES.
- It is nice to know that the Police Commission doesn't take off in August!
- Report that the MUNIS system has improved reporting - but it could get better (not our fault - the software is antique).
- And if you listened carefully to the Chief's report,
he announced that the architect and engineers had visited Town Hall and
its basement and will be preparing working drawings and get an estimate
together for a Special Town Meeting in the Fall.
POLICE COMMISSION RUNS LIKE A SWISS WATCH.
August 6. 2019 meeting was full of information - excellent report
by Chief including...critique of antique software - a warning that this isn't pefect! (Alrho' much better than paper method.)
Previously, we observed sporadically here.
POLICE INFORMATION, GLOBAL
P.S.A.P. COMMISSION MEETS QUARTERLY
We watched online. Gave us a leg up on the status of "Enhanced 9-1-1" around the State of CT.
Chair. of the Enhanced 9-1-1 Commission
A familiar face to CT planners...Town Manager of Coventry.
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DRILL:
Police Dept. CT inspection: https://www.ctpost.com/local/ctpost/article/Report-flags-towns-for-racial-profiling-traffic-14044330.php#photo-17751406
Down the line in Old Lyme and East Lyme, police department merger proposed: http://www.theday.com/local-news/20171208/old-lyme-police-union-raises-concerns-over-potential-east-lyme-merger
CT-N covered this oral argument and press conference. What role did the Police Department in Newtown play?
Ambulance chasing attorneys on the alert!!! Will this be a slam dunk on appeal? Which way, ultimately?
Appeal of lower court dismissal being heard - we assume it will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court...
Read the full story here: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/sandy_hook_families_attorney_says_gun_markers_courtship_with_gunman_began_l/
argued that under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)
passed by Congress in 2005 his client is exempt from the negligent
entrustment the plaintiffs claim" is the gun maker's
argument; "Justice Richard Palmer asked whether Koskoff was asking the court to broaden its definition of negligent entrustment" ho ho ho.
And in a statement after the arguments, attorney for plaintiffs (not
shown) indicates the main focus is on providing insight into how guns
are marketed - citing the kinds of protection or "warnings" such as
those on other consumer products - those labels that if read, as I do,
give one pause....
E M E R G E N C Y F U N D I N
G F O R T H O S E N
E C E S S A R Y I T E M S
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES! WILL TOWN OF WESTON CREATE A "GO FUND ME PAGE" FOR THE EDUCATION BUDGET?
- How fast did the downward spiral take to overcome the dreams of individual towns for control?
- Will we now be able to move forward with regionalizing various functions of public safety?
- Two Members of the Police Commission (not shown in artwork at right) in
the audience for vote by Selectmen to move forward with Public Safety
building.at the end of 2016.
East Haven Also Not Ready To Embrace State Police Gun Range: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/east_haven_also_not_ready_to_embrace_state_police_gun_range/
STATE POLICE GUN RANGE LOCATION PROTESTED: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/another_community_protests_state_police_gun_range_location/
PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX NEWS - EVERYBODY'S DOING IT - NEW FACILITY IN BETHEL HAS REGIONAL SPACE, ACCORDING TO FIRST SELECTMAN
Report from Selectmen September 8, 2016
LATEST PLAN SHOWING REGIONAL DISPATCH: http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/ProposedPDwithRegionalDispatch.pdf
WITHOUT REGIONAL DISPATCH: http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/ProposedPDwoutRegDispatch.pdf
We note that the newspaper has reported on various staff changes either
having taken place or going to take place - all of which might have been
affected by imminent restructuring of facilities...???
"MY COUSIN VINNIE" GOOD REFERENCE POINT. Thank you CT-N for
showing this live - and although we will watch it in order as "replay"
when we get a chance
WITNESS IDENTIFICATION STUDY
Held at Yale, we watched a lecture about what we would call "forensics" = a scientific study.
- DNA exoneration relativity.
- "Blind testing" and "double-blind line up."
- This is something that "single blind" medical study: Patient doesn't know placebo or not.
- Confidence not necessarily correct I.D. - eyewitness report should be scientifically measured.
How lineup protocol works - from "Dragnet" to the present day
- Burden of proof.
- Adjustments: no more "take your time" and now a quick response recognized as better.
- "Show up card" shown in photo above left.
- Photo array - from Joe Friday TV show (video now, done sequentially - study done from UK)...
We did not watch past 11:40am and as it happens, we missed a lot,
including the part where a rape victim reported how truly unpleasant her
experience in court was...
NOTE: This Conference at Yale Law School was all
day and began with heavy hitters from CT Judicial Community including
W A T C H N O W
Link to the morning session: http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=13034
Afternoon session: http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=13031
WestCOG recognizes this in 2015 at Legislative Breakfast
New Haven declares public health emergency after more than 12 overdoses in 1 day
Published June 24. 2016 6:08AM
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Officials in New Haven have declared a public
health emergency following a string of overdoses linked to a batch of
heroin mixed with fentanyl...story in full: http://www.theday.com/statenortheast/20160624/new-haven-declares-public-health-emergency-after-more-than-12-overdoses-in-1-day
REGIONAL LOCK UP
CRIME LAB STORY
Link no longer worked, so we'll just note that Weston Police spearhead regional crime lab.
Is "buckling down" re: CT budget enforceable?
State Police launching crackdown on seat-belt use
By Jim Shay Published 9:52 am, Saturday, May 21, 2016
...With the Memorial Day weekend upon us, Connecticut’s law enforcement
agencies intend to promote safe driving and increase the protection of
“In real life you don’t get a second chance,” state police
said in announcing the enforcement campaign. Story in full: http://www.newstimes.com/policereports/article/State-Police-launching-crackdown-on-seat-belt-use-7907313.php
THE RECORD OF WHAT WAS SAID AT SUMMARY OF GLOBAL FACILITIES...
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DRILL:
IS THIS A MEETING TO PROPOSE SOMETHING THAT WON'T WORK, ALREADY REJECTED, OR IS IT WORKABLE?
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 7:30pm
SELECTMEN'S MEETING FEB. 25. 2016.
Previous plans drawn for Global Facilities Committee did not progress,
so an alternate was described to Selectmen Feb. 25, 2016 Board of Selectmen's Meeting. Upstairs and Downstairs - existing space and some in Town Hall not previously used for Police.
Architect provided preliminary cost estimates.
Police Commission, 2-2-16, Commission Room at Town Hall.
Interesting discussion of new idea for Police Station renovation
and accommodation in existing structures with revisiting ideas for
acquiring other historic buildings and creating a "Town Commons"
expeditiously and adding sidewalks in the cedntral part of town making
Temporary stop signs after study have made all the difference in
increasing safety for pedestrians on Old Mill Road. It was
suggested that Legislators from 18 towns can testify to the safety the
stop signs provide!
POLICE STATION NEWS AT POLICE COMMISSION: http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/PC_February_2_2016_Agenda.pdf
Board of Finance approves supplementary appropriation for $7000, Jan.
14, 2016. Police Commission ITEM #1 for Feb 2nd, 7pm meeting
report from First Selectman.
ARE THEY IN POLICE BUDGET IN WESTON?
"Body cams" for Weston in Police Budget? Tip: read this and think about budget implications for small towns. Legislature hears this complaint:
Cellphone Likely Won’t Tell 911 Operator Your Location
CTBYTHENUMBERS link to Governing article
"When you check movie times on your cellphone, search for a
hail a ride, the device automatically knows exactly where you are and
can suggest things nearby. So it’s understandable that many people
assume the same holds true when they call 911 for emergency
assistance..." is a quote from the original report in "Governing"
magazine from which
CTBYTHENUMBERS article: http://ctbythenumbers.info/2016/01/07/cellphone-likely-wont-tell-911-operator-your-location/
WHERE THE JOBS ARE FOR THE FUTURE (UNTIL THE MACHINES TAKE OVER)...
Interesting developments elsewhere:
BUREAUCRATIC CREEP - ONE WAY TO FIGHT TAKEOVER OF THE MACHINES: http://www.courant.com/community/berlin/hc-berlin-body-cameras-0102-20160101-story.html
CT Surveillance: http://www.courant.com/community/simsbury/hc-simsbury-iron-horse-blvd-security-improvements-20151214-story.html
Drone registry: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/12/14/drone-registry-faa/77275676/
EASTON REGIONAL POLICE ACTION 2008 SETTLED:
From The DAY: http://www.theday.com/state-news/20150923/victim-of-botched-connecticut-police-raid-gets-15m
Greenwich TIME in full: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Towns-settle-Easton-raid-case-6522610.php
Watercolor of upper part of town by M.S. Wirtenberg.
STATISTICS FROM CT MIRROR...
By 100 ticket-giving police entities, Weston ranks 18th lowest ticket
rate per officer. Speeding and cell phone laws most enforced here
plus Friday is our big ticket day.
ANALYSIS BY CT MIRROR OF TICKET STATISTICS IN CT, Oct. 2013 - Sept.
2014. includes State Police, private entities' police forces (i.e.
Yale) and town police departments. Data below:
O.K. So why is it that "open carry" (which means visible but in this context no referring to a shopping cart) in the supermarket is such a big deal?
Report: Hartford tops list of cities with most homicides in New England
Updated September 10, 2015 11:25 AM
HARTFORD - Hartford is at the top of the list in New England as the city with the most homicides.
Police say a 34-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday night in the city's 25th homicide.
There were 19 murders last year.
The Hartford Courant says the capitol city inched past Boston last week for most homicides this year in New England.
Boston is second with 23, Springfield is third with 14 and New Haven is fourth with 11.
Bridgeport so far this year has had 10 homicides and Stamford has had one.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE, IF IT DOES, TO CT POPULATION PROJECTION?
Jan. to Sept. 2015: A comparison including population totals found online - please note relative sizes of communities.
125,000 pop Hartford, 25 murders;
645,000 pop of Boston, MA, 23 murders;
14 murders for Springfield, pop 153,000
11 murders for New Haven, 130,000 pop.;
Bridgeport 10 murders, pop 147,000.
Stamford, 125,000 has had one murder.
NO MORE TRAINING UNDER THE DAM
Weston Police Training video.
More than 51,000 assault rifles registered in state
By Ken Dixon, Greenwich TIME
Updated 11:45 pm, Saturday, September 5, 2015
Someone in Connecticut owns 179 assault rifles, but if he’s your neighbor, you may never know.
Another state resident has 175 of the semi-automatic rifles that can
fire 30 rounds in 15 seconds, like the gun Adam Lanza used to kill 20
first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A third firearms enthusiast keeps nearly 544,000 high-capacity magazines.
In fact, according to a Hearst Connecticut Media investigation into
registration records, there were 51,763 assault weapons in private hands
statewide at the end of August — enough to equip an army. In addition,
40,491 residents filed paperwork showing they owned ammunition magazines
that hold more than 10 bullets...story in full: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/More-than-51-000-assault-rifles-registered-in-6487021.php
BOARD OF FIREARMS PERMIT EXAMINERS
AUGUST 1, 2019 not yet viewed...
JULY 11, 2019
Board of Firearms Examiners (Chair. below)
4 hr meeting - many appellants do not show up.
FIRST ITEM FROM WILTON - GOES AGAINST POLICE
SECOND ITEM FROM BRIDGEPORT GOES IN FAVOR OF FOLICE
DES lawyer representing Commissioner
Several of his cases were no-shows...
We stopped watching after a couple of hours...
NO QUORUM AUG. 9, 2018
Commission of Firearms Examiners no quorum because Governor has not
appointed replacement, and one member who said they would be there could
not make it.
"Issuing Authority" 4-1
Bethany v. First Selectman (???) - Town doesn't show...lots of others go
"nole" too. And not pictured, a case where 40 or more years ago
there had been a restraining order issued that the applicant had
Groton case from Electric Boat - will get taken care of. we think. Minutes approved, adjourn.
Cheshire denial of permit reinstatement. Previous denied. Family violence. Denial and rejection.
Second item - compare how cases are race related.
One includes discussion about NYS matter in the past, now married to
same woman. Appeal denied because did because not file backup in
A fish bit me excuse accepted.
Third item from Meriden - appellant didn't list all convictions. 1986-88
in military.- dishonorable discharge from Navy. Application
contradicts itself. 3-2 in favor of appellant.
LSD - Deputy Chief vouches for applicant on appeal. Mother who called P.D. on LSD now vouches for her son years later.
Second Chance Society indeed.
WONDERING ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS...
FIREARMS EXAMINERS SEPT. 7, 2017
First case - took drugs out of medicine chest. Schizophrenic perhaps request to reinstate gun permit. No
letters from psychiatrist. Battling depression -
P.T.S.D. Case of using medication not his own that produced
delusions - unanimous NO at this time. "Land mine" used as comparison.
OOPS - Move to another town and your record is clean???
Will new town of residence's police force go back and look up
previous town of residence's rejection of gun permit? New
Fairfield doesn't show (r).
INTERESTING USE OF OLD, VERY OLD, PUBLIC DATA
We think we heard 7 yrs previous...drugs taken made him do it (second hand from another officer). Flight twice. "I'm going to kill that bitch" then tasered. Reason? 150 Vicodin, Prednisone, Oxyodone.
We'll watch the remainder of these hearings at a later date.
June 22, 2017 meeting of Firearms Permit Examiners...had to wait for a quorum.
New rules - everyone is to be identified as "applicant." By the
way, some items on the agenda had been "solved" prior to hearing date.
MORE THAN FOUR HOURS.
We don't think k-9 officer found anything. Text messages
wife/husband. Did not see text messages. Risk warrent.
Taken to hospital although not willingly.
Pretty sad stuff. (We watched the first half hour.)
Local police grant or deny permits in CT
NOT MUCH GOING ON HERE, THE FIREARMS PERMIT BOARD, TODAY
Hearing on review of 2014 decision reflects new consciousness,
perhaps, of Orlando? Or just Connecticut's sensitivity especially
in the context of the Presidential Election...
"OPEN CARRY" ISSUE - STATE'S ATTORNEY SPEAKS: http://www.thewestonforum.com/59378/states-attorney-confirms-open-carry-is-legal-in-connecticut/
PISTOL PERMITS APPEAL - 8-13-15
This is part of the Thursday session of this State of CT Board
(8-13-15). The first case came down against the appellant - he
lost his pistol permit (but not his long gun rights, we think, unless
that too will be denied in the future by the local police). The
second case the police from New Haven did not show up to contest.
Third was the case of a Yankee fan and Corvette driver. The facts
in this case: Retired, decorated police officer, in 2013, driving
while intoxicated (6 lite beers worth) has intersection accident (bad
vertical curvature) at intersection. Two officers show up, called
by other driver (?).
Officer who testifies two years later has his accident
report...BUT...since the appellant had gone thru D.U.I. re-training, the
record was supposed to be expunged. Which goes to show you how
well trained the police are regarding the niceties of basic rights...
AS OF AUGUST 2019 WE ATTEND ALL PUBLIC SESSIONS
LINK TO ANOTHER POLICE COMMISSION MEETING WE ATTENDED
Photo left and center from Finance Board 7-12-18. Murals in Commission Room by Charles Daugherty (1 of 4)
B E T T E R T H A N W A T C H I N G T V
7PM - 8:15PM then Executive Session. TUES. August 7, 2018. POLICE COMMISSION, TOWN HALL COMMISSION ROOM
FULL P.C. AGENDA 8-7-18
OUR SPECIFIC INTEREST
CHIEF'S REPORT - STREET-CLOSING: Reminder that Valley Forge Road
proposed closing would require traffic rerouting, placement of cones,
.sawhorses. Questions have not been resolved.
NOTE: We assume that the above noted potential problems have been solved since the P.C. meeting. On
August 14th the FORUM posted a press release saying Valley Forge Road
would be closed to traffic September 1, 2018 from 7:30am to 12 noon
(event for bikes, walking and boards - no cars); parking at the
northern end of the closed road in Morehouse Farm Park (then must the
Town post a police presence to stop traffic on a state highway if
necessary? Fire Police?) for protection for anyone driving to the
event...we wonder about provision for residents to enter or exit Valley
Forge Road in these hours. "No Thru Traffic" signs needed at
various spots to warn motorists?
We learned a lot!
August 7 meeting begins with pledge (at left via cell phone camera)...the "master plan" presented (r) - Architect Humes.
First of all, the Commission functions with subcommittees to address specific types of needs the department has - for example,
- "Budget" subcommmittee is in charge of bringing data spreadsheats
up to a level where comparisons can be made in cross-tabulations as well
as "drilling down" to provide control of spending.
- 2nd S.R.O. for Middle School should be in place by the next or coming school year.
- Piece by piece improvements to service and facilities:
- Now 24/7 access to police via (we think) Police Station access
from Town Hall parking lot. Entry area inside present Police
building across from Library now secured with grant $$.
- EMS improvement to sleeping quarters - new second floor behind Fire Department.
- POLICE/FIRE/EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION PLAN not dead - being done in phases (our observation only and also not intended as criticism)
- Court now allows property to be released (remember that one?) from arrests @4 years ago. Consigned to Auction house for 50-50 split (I assume these items had not been identified or claimed).
- Stop sign at North Avenue and Lyons Plains to be introduced as requested by the public.
- Wells Hill Road complaint - rerouted traffic from the Merritt coming through Weston.
- Stolen cars discussion. Apparently street gangs like to
steal fancy cars to drive around to do other crimes as well as drive by
shootings. Waterbury criminals (the older people directing the
young kids stealing the cars) caught when they stole a Weston car from a
women - she had left her identifying equipment on and so the trip was
recorded - from the point where the car was stolen to...the condo in
Waterbury. Plus they found 8 other Weston cars there!
- Other: Signs to be posted - 2 on Godfrey, one on Tubbs
Spring - to alert drivers to the possibility that pedestrians might be
Executive Session began at @8:15pm.
Police Commission meeting we hope to attend Tuesday, December 6 at 7pm in Commission Room: http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/PCDecember62016Agenda.pdf
September 6, 2016, Commission Room
Very interesting meeting, covered lots of topics.
New School Superintendent discusses how the S.R.O. was doing so far. On another topic, questions on PC budget. Also... permission to apply to use capital funds for software re: alarm system and ordinance.
NEWEST POLICE OFFICER
We were there for item on The Tree...which was discussed by Town
Engineer and Tree Warden - discussion not report. More study
needed before posting. An example of how The Tree was previously "posted."
Police Commission discussing the expansion project for public services.
Town Hall Commission Room
Tues., March 1, 2016
This was a case of a repeat performance by the architect to further elicit opinions of all public service complex entities.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPLEX COME AGAIN
And they came and spoke and had convinced the First Selectman their
point was right about location for their facility no being thrown under
the...whichever large vehicle might be located under the portico.
CHIEF TAKES A STAND
See report below - same presentation altho' ideas had been absorbed by
architect; early mid-March deadline to get buy-in by Police
Commission (Chief says it was OK with him).
NEW MEMBER SWORN IN - QUITE A COMPLEX OATH - POLICE ARE DIFFERENT!
September 1, 2015
POLICE COMMISSION SEPT. 1, 2015 at 7pm, Commission Room...http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/PC_Sept_1_2015_Agenda.pdf
Agenda included Executive Session - we are attending to find out
what "went down" if any decisions are made related to Selectmen's
participation. And the answer: 2 hours behind closed doors,
and afterward, vote to hire S.R.O. ("School Resource Office").
The air-conditioning inside Town Hall was a welcome relief as we waited
for the end of the Executive Session. It was a busy night - the
Lachat Town Farm Commission was meeting in the large meeting room and the
Library Board was meeting in...the Library!
They, the Library folks, had had a special 3pm meeting earlier in the
day to prepare and prep the Board members for the evening meeting, I
would assume. They certainly do do good work and employ all the
best techniques to carry out the public interest and the full
involvement of present and potential Library Board members!
We left the Police Commission meeting during the Chief's report, and
note that the Chief had a written report of some length that appeared to
me to be in the spirit of keeping budgetary hold of their finances,
noting that at this time, prior to any bad weather (to be polite - my
words!) and with officers now off medical limitations, the Police budget
looks under estimated outlook...
JULY 7, 2015
Police Commission to review remaining candidates for opening, then
after discussion, come out of Executive Session and we assume, vote.
All seven (7) members of the Police Commission were present for business (one not pictured here).
Also to be discussed in or after Executive Session, we think, is response to
claims re: lack of transparency. Proposal for quarterly
budget review for Boards of Selectmen and Finance proposed.
However, further discussion revealed that although Finance Department
understands, there is nothing to clearly indicate the delayed flow of
reimbursements from State of CT or grants from other entities in the
Town of Weston finance department documents.
About Weston did not stay to hear the results - it was 7:30pm when
Executive Session began, approx. Estimate for emerging from
Executive Session @11pm.
"Justice delayed is justice denied?"
CT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION TO PERHAPS SUGGEST CHANGES TO REGS
FOR EXAMPLE, WITHDRAWAL OF COMPLAINT THE MORNING OF THE HEARING COSTLY PLUS WHO ELSE CAN'T GET A HEARING AS A RESULT?
REFERENCE TO CUTS TO WATCHDOGS
What a difference one year makes! Executive Director now reports
that OPM has overstepped its bounds with budget cuts. Suggests
next month they should decide whether to ask for Attornney General's
CT F.O.I. Commission very interesting - mention by Executive Director of Legislative changes this Session...
MANY COMPLAINTS TO F.O.I. COMMISSION WITHDRAWN AFTER HEARING REPORT BUT BEFORE COMMISSION DECISION.
First few discussed: Police Commission, Department of Corrections; then...
Next few: C.E.A. v. Pullman & Comley:
"Mootness" Judge Blue quote. "Never mind" Emily
Littella. Wording strengthened. Next for the same thing came
Hartford Courant v. same parties.
Next were schools:
Windsor Public Schools: "Henceforth..." language requested.
The problem was in how the agendas were written. HIRE A LAWYER
might be a lesson from this?
Waterford: Executive Session devious. Administrative
decision on medical coverage. Retired administrators not allowed
in. Att'y for Board of Ed says there are two ways to have legal
advice for Board of Education in F.O.I. statute - one to get advice
before (our words) and one after being sued.
Wallingford Police Chief. Withdrawn matters: NOTE: The
Commission head of staff made note of a continuing complaint, which we
LATEST A.P. REPORT: http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BODY_CAMERAS_COSTS_INOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-09-10-11-58-50
NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT - FROM CTNEWSJUNKIE
May 2, 2016
Did you know Hamden has a Police Chief named "Hydra?"
Mythical creature "hydra" has eight arms (not only the "long arm" of the
law, but eight of them) or is that a giant squid?
Yale research says FOI requests will increase requiring increasing staffing and storage.
"...Hamden Chief Tom Hydra said his department, which has nearly 100
officers wearing body cameras, hasn’t added any additional staff because
of cameras. But he said he understands why New Haven wants more.
“'We’ve not added staff, but we should at some point in the future, not
only for FOI, but to preserve that record,'” he said. Hydra said
Hamden’s program needs someone who can go through the hours of daily
footage that those cameras are capturing and preserve what’s necessary
for evidence and basic record keeping..."
Story in full: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/foi_body_cam/
Low interest in cameras by Connecticut police
By DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press
Aug 5, 3:14 PM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Few Connecticut police departments are showing
interest in a new state program that encourages them to begin using body
cameras as a way to increase communities' trust in law enforcement and
improve police accountability.
Only 12 of the more than 100 law enforcement agencies in the state have
contacted the state Office of Policy and Management about receiving
reimbursement for body camera costs under the $15 million program, the
office told The Associated Press...
Story in full (NOTE: Redding one of the towns to be interested in
bodycams - they are presently being sued on this matter):
Did it pass in the Implementer? YUP -in any event it was the bureaucracy - of what you had to do if you use body cams that turned off some!
PASSES THE SENATE: No more nice guys - remember, you are being video'd and recorded: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/lcoamd/2015LCO09140-R00-AMD.htm
For example, some language...no such thing as grant money for free!
(c) (1) On and after July 1, 2016,
each sworn member of (A) the Division of State Police within the
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, (B) the special
police forces established pursuant to section 10a-156b of the general
statutes, (C) any municipal police department for a municipality that is
a recipient of grant-in-aid as reimbursement for body-worn recording
equipment pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of subdivision (1) of
subsection (b) of section 7 of this act or subdivision (2) of said
subsection (b), and (D) any municipal police department for any other
municipality that is a recipient of grant-in-aid as reimbursement for
body-worn recording equipment pursuant to subparagraph (B) of
subdivision (1) of said subsection (b) if such sworn member is supplied
with such body-worn recording equipment, shall use body-worn recording
equipment while interacting with the public in such sworn member's law
enforcement capacity, except as provided in subsection (g) and (j) of
this section. (OUR NOTE: These subsections relate to gaining
evident from witnesses and similar acts that promote solving crimes.)
Senate OKs use of body cams for cops
Ken Dixon, CT POST
Published 8:20 am, Tuesday, June 2, 2015
HARTFORD --The Senate early Tuesday morning approved legislation that
would make the use of body cameras in local police departments an option
for which the state would pay.
The bill, which next heads to the House, was a bipartisan compromise
that includes a requirement that in police homicides involving
allegations of excessive force, state prosecution from outside the
judicial jurisdiction of the event would investigate...The legislative was a collaboration of Republican and Democratic leaders
as well as the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. The bill would also
encourage the recruitment of minorities to local police departments.
Please search the CT POST archives for the remainder of this story.
WILL THIS AFFECT ANY OTHER REGIONALIZATION?
Emergency Services Commissioner Reverses Dispatch Consolidation
by Elizabeth Regan | May 19, 2015 5:30am
What has been described as an expensive, disastrous effort to consolidate state police dispatch operations has come to an end.
Responding to a chorus of complaints from citizens, police, and
lawmakers about increased response times and spiraling public
confidence, Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora
Schriro on Monday announced plans to put dispatch operations back to the
way they were before the consolidation that began under her
Schriro said she is returning all state police call-taking and dispatch functions to their original, regional barracks.
...State Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, has testified before the Public
Safety Committee about children in Windham who locked themselves in a
bathroom during a 2014 home invasion and had to wait 1.5 hours before a
trooper arrived at the scene...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/emergency_services_commissioner_reverses_dispatch_consolidation/
Obama to Limit Military-Style Equipment for Police Forces
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
MAY 18, 2015
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday will ban the federal provision of
some types of military-style equipment to local police departments and
sharply restrict the availability of others, administration officials
The ban is part of Mr. Obama’s push to ease tensions between law
enforcement and minority communities in reaction to the crises in
Baltimore; Ferguson, Mo.; and other cities.
He is taking the action after a task force he created in January decided
that police departments should be barred from using federal funds to
acquire items that include tracked armored vehicles, the highest-caliber
firearms and ammunition, and camouflage uniforms. The ban is part of a
series of steps the president has made to try to build trust between law
enforcement organizations and the citizens they are charged with
Mr. Obama planned to promote the effort on Monday during a visit to
Camden, N.J. The city, racked by poverty and crime, has become a
national model for better relations between the police and citizens
after replacing its beleaguered police force with a county-run system
that prioritizes community ties...story in full:
FIND THIS IN CT MIRROR GRAPHICS/TABLES SECTION
MORE THAN TWICE AS MANY POLICE PER 1000 IN WESTPORT
Number of Officers in Weston and around the state: Murders, rapes
and crimes "0" for Weston in all categories. Wilton, New Canaan
and Darien, too.
LESS IS MORE?
Fostering regional compacts...now definitely moving forward in the off-session this summer...
Plans for regional dispatch in Montville on hold
By Greg Smith
Published April 24. 2015 7:53PM
Updated April 24. 2015 9:36PM
Montville — Unionization of emergency dispatchers in Colchester has
delayed plans for establishment of a regional dispatch center in
The non-union employees at Colchester Emergency Communications, known by
the call letters KX, last month voted to join UE Local 222, Connecticut
Independent Labor Union/Connecticut Independent Police Union. The union
also represents employees at a regional dispatch center in Tolland
The move came as plans were falling into place for the nonprofit KX to
move from their headquarters at the state police barracks in Colchester
into more updated accommodations at the Montville Public Safety
Montville had already signed a five-year contract with KX and secured a
$250,000 state grant to facilitate the move, which was expected to
become reality by July.
But KX dispatchers expressed a concern of the unknown and wanted to
ensure they maintained rights and privileges, "and were not just subject
to whatever was agreed to between Montville and (the KX Board of
Directors)," said union representative Mike Lewis.
"With the union they have the opportunity to negotiate their concerns
with the merger and how it will impact them," Lewis said. "I don't
anticipate any problems, and I don't think it will be controversial..."
Story in full: http://www.theday.com/policefirecourts/20150424/plans-for-regional-dispatch-in-montville-on-hold
Story in full: http://www.theday.com/local/20150310/town-budgets-would-feel-pinch-if-forced-to-bear--full-expense-of-resident-troopers
REGIONAL SAVINGS DEPT.
Towns Consider Regional Police Departments
by Hugh McQuaid | Mar 4, 2015 8:01am
Small towns slated to pay more for resident state troopers under Gov.
Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed budget may abandon the trooper program and
create regional police departments, Harwinton First Selectman Michael
Criss told lawmakers Tuesday.
The governor’s budget assumes about $4.6 million in savings from
eliminating the state’s share of funding for the resident state trooper
program. Currently, the state pays about 30 percent of the costs
associated with resident state troopers. The town where the trooper is
stationed pays the remaining 70 percent.
During a hearing of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security
Committee, Criss predicted those saving would not materialize because
towns would find alternatives to using resident troopers. He said
Harwinton is considering creating a regional department between the town
and nearby Burlington...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/towns_consider_regional_police_departments/
Never say never?
Above is a segment from a longer story.
Story in full here: http://ctmirror.org/state-to-review-ct-police-use-of-military-equipment/
Explanation to be given?
Board of Selectmen "Solarize CT" program approved January 16, 2014.
At Z.B.A. on June 28, 2016 at 7:30pm, Commission Room:
Public Hearing #1:
The first item at this meeting unanimous support for Zoning Enforcement
Officer who claimed that no variance had been granted to build solar
array within setback.
Public Hearing #2:
Not a non-conforming lot in terms of total size (it is more than 2
acres). But building constructed before zoning so the current setback requirements make it non-conforming now!
The last step in this story? A "Negative Easement"
turns into a "positive" result? Yes.
- Second story created
with dormers within the setback increasing usable living space but not
intruding further on the map.
- Had this been a non-conforming lot
in size, would Z.B.A. felt the same way?
- Additional work to create
a new entryway not approved by Z.B.A. - discussion of regulations, and
what may be done without public hearing process then discussed.
NOTE: Information on the subject of non-conformity is not official and exclusive to this website
YEAR END 2015 REVIEW STORY
Aquarion settles shooting range lawsuit with neighbors
By Patricia Gay on October 14, 2015
The Aquarion Water Co. has reached an agreement with its neighbors, Ian
and Mari Lewis, agreeing to limit its operation of a gun range at the
Story in full: http://www.thewestonforum.com/54804/aquarion-settles-shooting-range-lawsuit-with-neighbors/
Land Use terminology warning re: "Negative Easement"
Lewises and Aquarion settled the case on Sept. 22 by entering into a
reciprocal negative easement agreement recorded in Book 574 at Page 407
of the Weston land records. Under the terms of the agreement,
Aquarion agrees to restrict the use of the shooting range to Aquarion
employees who are members of the Aquarion police force..."
Cease & Desist Appeal Public Hearing Nov.
25, 2014, Commission Room; ZBA discussion after Public Hearing
closed; and the Decision.
ZBA Chairman (l) and Town Attorney (r); new testimony given
by those not having spoken at the opening session in October.
Aquarion presents Nov. 25th directly.
THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS ("ZBA") FUNCTIONS AS COURT OF LAST RESORT ON ZONING MATTERS PRIOR TO LEGAL ACTION (THE NEXT STEP).
Tues. Nov. 25, 2014: ZBA votes 4-1 on: Shooting range below
Samuel Senior Dam - decision of code enforcement officer to not issue
cease & desist NOT overturned.
The second night of Public Hearing concludes, with arguments from attorney on zoning, several neighbors supporting a compromise and others supporting a shooting range for the police.
After an hour or so Public Hearing closed and ZBA discussed for perhaps
another hour (or less) the various issues brought up...we note
that no motion was on the table at this point. There were six ZBA
members/alternates present - only five of whom could vote.
Although the arguments for not sustaining the Code Enforcement
Officer's action did not carry the day, it was a spirited debate!
Cease & Desist Appeal Public Hearing Oct. 28, 2014, Commission Room
ZBA questions Code Enforcement Officer
Who explains that there was nothing to "cease and desist" from in July 2014.
FORUM reports October 29, 2014 on this first, online
LINK TO FORUM:
Story here: http://www.thewestonforum.com/22673/weston-zba-defers-action-on-aquarion-shooting-range/
POLICE TRAINING THE UNDERLYING TOPIC AT ZBA CEASE AND DESIST APPEAL; FORUM FOLLOWS UP WITH STORY DEC. 23, 2014
Chief Troxell spoke near the end of this part of
the Public Hearing (it was presentation by lawyer for applicants,
rebuttal the first night).
The chief pointed out that an agreement from 1993 made it
possible for the police department to practice under the dam; as
part of regional cooperation, we allow this privilege to other
departments. Shooting practice from 8:30am to 3pm so no children
at risk. Internet video posted in 2009 to show how prepared Weston
Police Department is to deal with emergencies.
WHERE IT WAS HAPPENING OCT. 28, 2014!
Full house at ZBA for appeal of Cease & Desist decision. We
counted 21 members of the public...more questions than answers, ZBA
hearing asked to be "left open" for further comments. Police Chief
makes excellent plea, Aquarion (r) speaks to its willingness to forge
new agreements but adds that they are exempt from zoning...and after the
long meeting, ZBA notes many points raised for which there will be need
of exploration...to be continued at November 25th ZBA meeting.
WHAT'S NEXT? Big drone (center) not used for planning purposes, we think. So how big is the Public Safety Complex?
How about use of drones for municipal purposes - how-to use drones for planning.
Now that the election is over, will the administration seek to regionalize the police? Weston did a survey of other places and the space allocations in their
police stations - any sharing possibilities? Not.
Will State of CT mandate regional dispatch?
Newtown considers regional emergency dispatch
Article published Sep 9, 2014
Newtown (AP) — Two volunteers researching whether to establish regional
emergency dispatch for Newtown have found it can increase public safety
and save money...
The Police Commission and many emergency responders, including the
town's 10 dispatchers, oppose regionalized emergency dispatch. They say
it sacrifices autonomy and community familiarity that could slow
Newtown's dispatch center was recognized for its professionalism and
performance during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on Dec.
First Selectman Pat Llodra says state lawmakers are pushing for more consolidation among municipalities.
Please search the New London DAY archives for the remainder of this story.
NYPOST video of Police funeral in, Brooklyn?
How does any of this relate to CT?
Camden Turns Around With New Police Force
By KATE ZERNIKE
AUG. 31, 2014
CAMDEN, N.J. — In the summer of 2012, the year this city broke its own
record for homicides, there were 21 people murdered here. This summer,
there were six.
Just as remarkably, with shootings down 43 percent in two years, and
violent crime down 22 percent, Osvaldo Fernandez now lets his sons walk
to school alone. Nancy Torres abandoned plans to move to Florida. And
parents from Center City Philadelphia are bringing their children here —
notoriously one of the nation’s poorest, most crime-ridden cities — to
play in a Little League that has grown to 500 players from 150 in its
first season three years ago.
Please search the NYTIMES archives for the remainder of this story.
Police Department facility vote story
According to our review of the news on Google, from Town reports,
the Police Department building committee is back to renovating existing
space and addition: http://www.bethel-ct.gov/filestorage/1190/83/10494/10616/2015-01-29m_sp_mtg.pdf .
Llodra: Claims against Newtown sergeant, dispatcher “shocking” and “insulting”
Posted on May 19, 2015 | By Nelson Oliveira
NEWTOWN — Days after the town’s Board of Police Commissioners broke its
silence on the drug trafficking allegations against two members of the
police department, First Selectman Pat Llodra released her own statement
condemning the reported actions.
Llodra said the claims against former Sgt. Steven Santucci and civilian
dispatcher Jason Chickos are “very concerning” but do not represent a
pattern within the department.
A federal grand jury this month indicted the two men, along with six
others, on charges of distributing steroids and prescription drugs.
Santucci and Chickos are also believed to have conducted drug deals
inside the police department, according to court records.
“It is bad enough that these two employees may have been involved in
trafficking illegal substances,” Llodra wrote in an emailed statement
over the weekend. “It is further shocking and insulting to think that
transactions may have been executed right within our police
facility...story in full: http://blog.ctnews.com/newsbeat/2015/05/19/llodra-claims-against-newtown-sergeant-dispatcher-shocking-and-insulting/
Imaginary sketch of military drone, now appears to be what they actually look like!
On the drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil fields: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49703143
Quick research: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/10.1162/ISEC_a_00257
Latest news...looks like our visionary graphic!
Hah! Drone meets its match in Alaska! But not exactly in Canada: https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2017/10/16/commercial-jet-collides-with-drone-in-quebec-a-first-in-north-america/
Lawmaker Hopes This Is The Year Connecticut Regulates Drone Use
by Jack Kramer | Mar 15, 2016 12:07pm
The state cannot afford to delay taking action on regulating the
weaponized use of drones, according to Rep. Mary Mushinsky,
D-Wallingford...see full and long story here: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lawmaker_hopes_this_is_the_year_connecticut_regulates_drone_use/
One of the bills referred to history: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2016&bill_num=148
Program Review & Investigation - REPORT out of Committee: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/JFR/s/2016SB-00148-R00PRI-JFR.htm
SO WAS THIS GUY SURPRISED WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED?
Connecticut Audubon Society bans drones in all its sanctuaries
By HAN Network
February 2, 2016 i
The Connecticut Audubon Society announced that it has banned the use of
drones at all 19 of its sanctuaries because of concerns that they are
likely to disturb wildlife and cause an annoyance to visitors...full
Drone Regulations Should Focus on Safety and Privacy
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
JAN. 9, 2016
Though it would have been inconceivable just a few years ago, among
the most popular gifts this past holiday season was the drone...http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/opinion/sunday/drone-regulations-should-focus-on-safety-and-privacy.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region®ion=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region
Greenwich fliers, real estate companies, sending drones into the sky
By Paul Schott
Updated 12:37 am, Monday, January 4, 2016
Points to note, quoted from the Greenwich TIME article:
Very informative artical!
- "...The debate in Greenwich and elsewhere centers on how to
sensibly use and regulate the drones, which are expected to become even
more prevalent in the near future. New federal rules attempt to clarify
how the aircraft should be used by spelling out the expectations for
drone operators. But drawing up plans for the skyways is not
straightforward when officials and aerial hobbyists differ on basic
questions — such as whether an object weighing a few ounces should be
allowed to buzz around a park.
- "...As part of a new regulation that started Dec. 21,
drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds now have to be registered with
the federal government."
Is it a bird, or is it a plane or is it...a drone? No, it is a
creature from the Amazon, as opposed to a Googleplex:
Amazon reveals a new prototype of one of its delivery drones
Matt McFarland, The Washington Post
Posted: 12/19/15, 4:22 PM EST | Updated: 52 secs ago
Almost exactly two years after announcing its plans to deliver packages
with a drone, Amazon revealed a new prototype of one of its delivery
drones. Amazon’s prototype is an octocopter — meaning it has eight
propellers and can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. But
the design also includes wings and a “pusher motor” so that it can
transition from helicopter takeoffs to the energy-efficient flight of a
plane at altitude. A pure octocopter wouldn’t be capable of a range of
15 miles, like this prototype...story in full: http://www.nhregister.com/business/20151219/amazon-reveals-a-new-prototype-of-one-of-its-delivery-drones
CHANNEL 12 REMINDS US:
STRATFORD - New regulations for drone owners go into effect today.
The FAA is now requiring people to register all small, unmanned
aircraft weighing more than half a pound. Drone owners can
register on the FAA website.
FAA begins drone registry Dec. 21
Bart Jansen, USA TODAY 3:44 p.m. EST December 14, 2015
Nearly all owners of remote-controlled aircraft across the country
will have to register hundreds of thousands of drones with the Federal
Aviation Administration starting Dec. 21 (2015)...story in full: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/12/14/drone-registry-faa/77275676/
FAA task force wants even smaller drones registered
Cecilia Kang, The New York Times
November 23, 2015
Drones, those remote-controlled flying machines, are expected to top many wish lists this holiday season.
Now those who open those gifts will most likely need to tell the federal government.
On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration, scurrying to prepare for
hundreds of thousands of more drones flying into the air, released a
list of recommendations for how to better monitor recreational use of
the machines. Under the proposal, most drone owners would have to
register the machines with the federal government, which would place the
information in a national database, the first such requirements...story
Most drone users will have to register their aircraft, FAA officials announce
BY Adam Edelman, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, October 19, 2015, 4:46 PM
The federal government wants to identify your flying objects.
Most users will have to register their drones with the federal
government, officials said Monday, in a move designed to curtail the
growing number of close calls caused by the popular unmanned
aircraft...story in full:
No one injured as it was an early round - hit the "cheap seats".
NYPD: Teacher arrested for allegedly flying drone at US Open
Channel 12 - The Associated Press
Updated September 4, 2015 2:30 PM
NEW YORK - (AP) -- A New York City teacher was arrested early Friday for
allegedly crashing a drone into an empty section of seats at the U.S.
Open, police said.
Daniel Verley, 26, faces charges of reckless endangerment and operating a
drone in a New York City public park outside of prescribed area.
A police department spokesman said Verley was a teacher at the Academy
of Innovative Technology in Brooklyn. Calls for comment to the school
and the Department of Education were not immediately returned Friday.
It wasn't immediately clear if Verley had an attorney who could comment on the charges on his behalf.
The drone buzzed over the court in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday
night before crashing into the seats. U.S. Tennis Association spokesman
Chris Widmaier said no one was injured...story in full: http://connecticut.news12.com/sports/nypd-teacher-arrested-for-allegedly-flying-drone-at-us-open-1.10807692
WHAT'S THE PROTOCOL FOR USE BY WVFD?
Weston Volunteer Fire Department gets a drone
By Gregory Menti on September 2, 2015
Story here: http://www.thewestonforum.com/53338/weston-volunteer-fire-department-gets-a-drone/
Top secret Clinton emails include drone talk
By BRADLEY KLAPPER and KEN DILANIAN, Associated Press
Published August 14. 2015 6:15AM
Washington — The two emails on Hillary Rodham Clinton's private server
that an auditor deemed "top secret" include a discussion of a news
article detailing a U.S. drone operation and a separate conversation
that could point back to highly classified material in an improper
manner or merely reflect information collected independently, U.S.
officials who have reviewed the correspondence told The Associated
The sourcing of the information could have significant political
implications as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up. Clinton, the
front-runner for the Democratic nomination, agreed this week to turn
over to the FBI the private server she used as secretary of state, and
Republicans in Congress have seized on the involvement of federal law
enforcement as a sign that she was either negligent with the nation's
secrets or worse...
The State Department advised employees not to use personal email
accounts for work, but it wasn't prohibited. But Clinton's senior
advisers at the State Department would have been briefed upon basic
protocol for handling classified information and retaining government
records. In Clinton's time, most officials saved their emails onto a
separate file or printed them out when leaving office. Only recently has
the department begun automatically archiving the records of dozens of
senior officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry.
In the emails, Clinton's advisers appear cognizant of secrecy protections.
In a series of August 2009 emails, Clinton aide Huma Abedin told Clinton
that the U.S. point-man for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, and another
official wanted "to do a secure" conversation to discuss Afghan
elections. Clinton said she could talk after she received a fax of a
classified Holbrooke memo, also on a secure line. Later, Abedin wrote:
"He can talk now. We can send secure fax now. And then connect call."
But other times, the line was blurred. Among Clinton's exchanges now
censored as classified by the State Department was a brief exchange in
October 2009 with Jeffrey Feltman, then the top U.S. diplomat for the
Middle East. Both Clinton and Feltman's emails about an "Egyptian
proposal" for a reconciliation ceremony with Hamas are marked B-1.4,
classified for national security reasons, and completely blacked out
from the email release.
A longer email the same day from Clinton to former Sen. George Mitchell,
then Mideast peace envoy, is also censored. Mitchell responds tersely
and carefully that "the Egyptian document has been received and is being
translated. We'll review it tonight and tomorrow morning, will consult
with the Pals (Palestinians) through our Consul General, and then I'll
talk with Gen. S again. We'll keep you advised..."
Story in full: http://www.theday.com/nationworld/20150814/top-secret-clinton-emails-include-drone-talk
Lawmakers: Time Ran Out on Bill That Would Have Made Armed Drones Illegal
by Elizabeth Regan | Jul 24, 2015 12:00pm
As four gunshots and the whir of helicopter
rotors reverberate across the Internet, Connecticut law remains silent
on the issue of weaponized drones.
A Clinton teen unleashed an international media firestorm after he
posted a YouTube video of a “flying gun” that shot four rounds from atop
a drone hovering in a wooded area. The video has since garnered 2.7
million views. The gun is a semi-automatic handgun affixed to a
homemade multi-rotor helicopter, according to the video posting.
The Associated Press reported that the Federal Aviation Administration
is investigating whether 18-year-old Austin Haughwout broke a rule
prohibiting the careless or reckless operation of a model
aircraft. In February, the FAA released regulations for commercial
drones but did not address recreational use...
This issue follows
on request for study from a previous Session; we followed this issue
and report now the Federal Government has issued regulations for
P.R.I. approved December 11, 2014 report: http://www.cga.ct.gov/pri/docs/2014/Drone%20Use%20Regulation%20Staff%20Findings%20and%20Proposed%20Recs%20vmeeting.pdf
Story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lawmakers_time_ran_out_on_bill_that_would_have_made_armed_drones_illegal/
Our previous research below, on surveillance, FAA action, Emergency
Services use, NTSB, Pentagon, and our favorite, impact on urban
CCSU Professor To 18-Year-Old: Making Gun-Firing Drone A 'Terrible Idea'
July 22, 2015, 10:07am
CLINTON — An 18-year-old Clinton man might be in trouble with federal
aviation officials after posting a video online that shows shots being
fired from a drone that had been jury-rigged with a handgun. The
Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that it was investigating
whether Austin Haughwout violated its regulations, which prohibit the
careless or reckless operation of a model aircraft...story in
How's that again?
FAA, police investigating gun-firing drone in Connecticut
Jul 17, 8:33 PM EDT
CLINTON, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut authorities say a video showing a
drone firing a handgun in the woods has prompted investigations by
police and the Federal Aviation Administration. Clinton police say
the 14-second YouTube video was posted by 18-year-old town resident
Austin Haughwout...story in full:
Surveillance not a drone in this case...
Norwich surveillance cameras lead to arrests in fraud, gun cases
By Greg Smith, The DAY
Published June 18. 2015 7:11PM
Updated June 19. 2015 10:18AM
Norwich — When police and emergency medical responders arrived at the
scene of an accident involving three vehicles Thursday morning, they
found a man sitting at the rear of a car clutching his leg — an apparent
But a routine investigation of the accident, aided by a city
surveillance camera, revealed the man actually had positioned himself on
the ground near the vehicle after the accident occurred, police say.
The man was arrested shortly after his release from the hospital.
Thursday's accident was just one of several recent examples of how the
city's 16 strategically placed cameras, along with the emergency
dispatchers behind the monitors, have provided crucial aid in police
investigations, said Norwich Police Capt. Christopher Ferace...
Ferace said it is impossible to actually monitor all of the cameras at
all times but they can tilt and pan to watch a live event and are
especially useful in looking at past events. The cameras were paid for
through Community Development Block Grants.
New London police had proposed a similar system of cameras, but the
estimated $300,000 cost was rejected by the City Council last
year. Deputy Police Chief Peter Reichard said there is an existing
system of cameras along the port and waterfront areas, along with some
on Bank Street.
“However, they are old technology and in need of upgrades to make them more effective,” Reichard said.
Reichard, a proponent of the installation of more cameras, said “the
incident in Norwich and others across the nation show what can be
accomplished public safety wise through the use of camera systems.”
Story in full: http://www.theday.com/policefirecourts/20150618/norwich-surveillance-cameras-lead-to-arrests-in-fraud-gun-cases
FAA Green Lights Drone Use For Connecticut Businesses
MARIE K. SHANAHAN Special to The Courant
8:24 a.m. EDT, May 17, 2015
More drones will soon be humming overhead in Connecticut....
Commercial drone use is regulated by the FAA, but recreational use is
not. Anyone can buy and fly a drone as a hobbyist. No license or
training is required. But hobbyists have attracted unwanted attention after flying UAVs in public spaces.
...How They'll Be Used
The Travelers Cos. is moving quickly to integrate drones into its operations.
The company says drones will allow it to more efficiently and safely
assess property damage, more rapidly adjust claims, and improve safety
not only for its own employees, but for vendors and customers too.
Patrick C. Gee, Travelers senior vice president for personal insurance
claim, said the company will "immediately expand our UAV Research and
Development to include broad-based flight testing." The FAA approval
"will also allow for selective use [of UAVs] at customer roof
inspections," he said in an email.
"Travelers has licensed pilots on staff that are participating in our
current UAV Research and Development," Gee said. "We intend to train our
qualified employees to operate the UAVs."
Travelers is the fourth major U.S. insurance company to earn FAA
permission to deploy drones "in support of its catastrophic response
strategy," according to the company's FAA petition. State Farm, AIG and
USAA were cleared for UAV use earlier this year.
Joshua Vilches, the C.E.T. Aviation entrepreneur who on May 5 won FAA
approval for his company to fly drones, said he plans to create an "eyes
in the sky" consulting business. Vilches said C.E.T. Aviation will
offer clients UAV filming services, photography, and aerial data
collection, such as mapping and thermal imaging.
...Waiting For FAA Approval
Drones can only be used commercially with expressed permission from the
FAA, determined on a case-by-case basis. Businesses must petition the
FAA for what's called a "Section 333 exemption." Turnaround time for
approvals is averaging three months.
The FAA has been criticized for being too slow to adopt regulations or
ease restrictions for commercial drone use. But the UAV petitioners from
Connecticut who were interviewed agree that some UAV flight standards
are necessary to protect public safety and privacy....
From Hobbyist To Entrepreneur
Vilches, 34, was a teenager when he bought his first model,
remote-controlled aircraft. The first time he flew it, he crashed it.
But the experience sparked an interest in flight that eventually led him
to a degree in aviation technology and a career in corporate aviation
"Maintaining multimillion-dollar private jets and helicopters for
Fortune 500 companies and for high net worth individuals proved to be
very challenging and fun," said Vilches. But the industry was volatile,
he said, and in his 17-year career he was laid off three times.
"Flight departments are one of the first to get restructured when a
large company downsizes," Vilches said. "Being a witness to all the new
UAV technology that was coming down the pipeline, it seemed to be the
perfect opportunity to get back to my radio controlled roots and see if I
can use this technology to create a viable business."
Vilches, who is also a licensed pilot with 17 years of recreational
flying experience, predicts UAVs will create more jobs as demand
increases for low-cost aerial services.
"The UAV market will take a small bite out of the very expensive
full-sized aircraft they are replicating," he said. "Smaller companies,
farmers, law enforcement agencies, environmental and engineering firms
with lower operating budgets can now have the means to use UAVs to
enhance their businesses or operations."
Most UAVs are all electric and produce zero emissions, so they are more nimble and environmentally friendly, too, Vilches said.
Vilches said he didn't think drones would proliferate in the skies as quickly as mobile phones have multiplied in our pockets.
"It takes quite a bit of skill to operate UAVs to produce professional results," he said.
Still, he added, Connecticut should prepare now for the technology by
educating state officials, law enforcement and the public about drones.
"UAVs are growing in popularity and will eventually become easier and
easier to operate, so that's why the public needs to become educated in
the technology, the difference between commercial and non-commercial UAV
operations and respond to regulations that are being proposed today,"
"UAV technology is here to stay."
Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.
Region's hazard team adds drone's eye in the sky to tools
Genevieve Reilly, Westport NEWS
Published 7:39 am, Saturday, May 16, 2015
Emergency personnel in Fairfield County have launched a new tool in their arsenal -- an unmanned drone.
Members of the Fairfield County Hazardous Incident Response Team, based
in Westport, got a demonstration and started training in using the drone
Friday at Fairfield's Fire Training Center.
"It's such an exciting tool, to use technology like this is really going
to revolutionize the information we're getting," Fairfield Deputy Fire
Chief Kyran Dunn said...
Please search the Westport NEWS archives for the remainder of this story.
DRONES IN THE NEWS
Definition of public airspace
Sen. William Tong, D-Stamford, “We don’t want the legality decided by the FAA.” Not just a problem on our "side of the pond"...
Connecticut lawmakers mull warrant requirements for drone use by authorities
New Haven REGISTER
By Mary E. O’Leary
Posted: 02/25/15, 8:04 PM EST |
HARTFORD >> Lawmakers heard praise for the proposed use of drones
by law enforcement in Connecticut, as long as they operate under the
same Fourth Amendment rules that require a warrant for surveillance of
Attorney Tejas Bhatt of the Connecticut office of chief public defender,
Wednesday said the proposal before the legislature would allow police
to spy on the public without court approval, using the standard of
“reasonable and articulable suspicion that an offense has been or is
He said he is certain this lower level standard would be overturned by the courts as unconstitutional.
The 13 other states that regulate law enforcement’s use of drones all
require a warrant in the case of private property and
individuals...David McGuire, staff attorney for the ACLU-CT, said
lawmakers could make those exceptions absolutely clear by amending the
But to leave in the “reasonable and articulable suspicion” standard would make Connecticut “clearly an outlier.”
McGuire said this is the last opportunity to regulate drones before the
Federal Aviation Administration does so in November. Both McGuire
and Bhatt said the capability of drones, as opposed to planes and
helicopters, is much more invasive. They can be equipped with
heat-sensing devices, night-vision cameras, facial recognition
technology and license-plate readers and are cheap to operate.
Unlike helicopters, they can get very close to private property.
State Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, said he did not want to handicap law
enforcement and he wished that it wasn’t as time consuming as it is now
to get a court search warrant...story in full: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150225/connecticut-lawmakers-mull-warrant-requirements-for-drone-use-by-authorities
Man who crashed drone into White House turns self in
By Jamie Schram, Bob Fredericks and NYPost Wires
January 26, 2015 | 3:56pm
A man contacted authorities Monday to admit he was responsible for the
drone that crashed earlier on the White House grounds, sparking a
security scare and temporary lockdown of the building and grounds. A
government official said the man told the Secret Service that he was
using the drone recreationally and didn’t mean to fly it over the White
House. The official said the operator of the drone is a Washington
resident and that he’s cooperating with investigators...story in full: http://nypost.com/2015/01/26/man-who-crashed-drone-into-white-house-turns-self-in/
SEEN FIRST AT NYTIMES
Story in full: http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/01/cnn-strikes-drone-deal-with-faa-200930.html?hp=b2_l1
Obama-led drone strikes kill innocents 90% of the time: report
By Andrew Blake - The Washington Times
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Drone strikes conducted by the United States during a
5-month-long campaign in Afghanistan caused the deaths of unintended
targets nearly nine out of ten times, leaked intelligence documents
suggest...story in full: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/15/90-of-people-killed-by-us-drone-strikes-in-afghani/
Pentagon seeks speedy ‘autonomous’ drones for urban operations
By Douglas Ernst - The Washington Times -
Thursday, January 1, 2015
The Pentagon is developing lightweight autonomous drones with the flight
capabilities of small birds and insects that can zoom through tight
spaces at high speeds. The Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency’s (DARPA) new Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program hopes to
put troops in possession of drones that can fly up to 20 meters per
second in tight urban environments....DARPA will hold a Proposers Day
webcast on the program on Jan. 6 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. Companies
that hope to take part in the program must submit their proposals by
Feb. 5. For story in full: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/1/pentagon-seeks-speedy-autonomous-drones-urban-oper/
Will WestCOG get one?
Aerial videography business lifts off for Oak Harbor brothers
by RON NEWBERRY, Whidbey News-Times
Dec 27, 2014 at 5:00AM
...“We are basically a flying camera,” Paul Skinner said.
Getting their business off the ground didn’t come without careful
research, an understanding of legalities and attention to rules.
The Skinners needed to navigate through the gray legal areas regarding
drone usage and the stigmas attached to the devices themselves.
“The term ‘drone’ has gotten a different kind of popularity over the
past year,” Paul said. “We drop the word when necessary. Some people
have strong opinions about the word drone. They think of military spying
and that sort of stuff.”
Flying unmanned aircraft for recreational use is allowed by the Federal
Aviation Administration as long as it follows prescribed weight (less
than 55 pounds) and safety rules. However, the FAA doesn’t endorse
commercial usage and has been ordered by Congress to issue national
rules legalizing drones for such purposes by September of 2015.
The rules are expected to be revealed early in the year as the FAA
projects 10,000 such devices in the U.S. skies by 2017. The
Skinners, whose father is a prominent Oak Harbor attorney, believe their
business model to be unique and compliant.
“We are not charging for the service of flying,” Paul said. “We’re charging for content.”
“We charge for our video and photo-editing services,” Justin said.
“We prefer the word cinematography. Video can pertain to home video of a
family celebrating a birthday. Cinematography is geared more toward
professional video production...”
Well-versed in privacy and safety rules, they know not to send their drone buzzing higher than the FAA’s allowable limit of 400 feet to avoid other aircraft,
even though it is capable of heights five times that number. They also
must respect a two-mile, no-fly zone around Whidbey Island Naval Air
Station, as well as people’s privacy.
“UAV use on a personal level is completely legal as long as you’re
respecting the privacy of people’s property or boundaries,” Paul said.
“Just like you’re not going to stand in somebody’s backyard with a
“Some people say they’re used for spying. That’s like saying that’s what cameras are for.”
Story in full: http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/286902021.html
OUR QUICK SUMMARY:
The Bi-partisan Program Review and Investigation Committee report
notes that its reach is only to Drone use by State and Local
government, and the Federal Government is in charge of regulating
private use of drones. Recommendation by About Weston: Purchase blinds.
Story in full here: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/committee_approves_drone_recommendations/
Making commercial and recreational drones safe
By Editorial Board December 14 at 6:21 PM
THE POTENTIAL for unmanned aircraft — also known as drones — to make
life easier is tantalizing, eliciting images of tiny package-delivery
devices zipping around town so UPS trucks wouldn’t have to. On the other
hand, as The Post’s Craig Whitlock reported, the Federal Aviation
Administration has received 25 reports of drones nearly striking manned
aircraft in the past six months, often near airport runways. So should
the government crack down or loosen up? In fact, it should do both.
...Meanwhile, the FAA should also find better ways to keep drones out of
sensitive airspace. It is already tracking down operators responsible
for breaking the government’s fairly simple restrictions, and it takes
pride in its efforts to educate hobbyists about the rules. It could do
more of both. Yet the most effective new enforcement tool might also
have to come with Congress’s blessing. Some manufacturers are already
building systems into their recreational drones that prevent them from
breaching the FAA’s 400-foot ceiling or getting too close to airports.
Lawmakers should give the FAA the authority to mandate that these
restrictions are written into recreational drones’ firmware — and if
Congress doesn’t act, the industry should do so voluntarily.
Editorial in full:
IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, TOO...
Story in full: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20141214/NEWS07/141219541
Story from Channel 12 in full here:
Planning drones smaller, we think. Police use for traffic control, as we see it.
How Drones May Reshape The Future Of Urban Planning
13th September 2014
Drones have changed the way we view our cities, offering the possibility
of witnessing our neighborhoods and parks from above. In just a few
years since their introduction to the public, they have allowed us to
peer above the Eiffel Tower, fly above Portland’s Willamette River, and
get a bird’s eye view of the London’s Big Ben.
But with increase in drone use, many have raised privacy issues over the
devices. Is there a medium for drone use that we can all learn to live
with? The answer could be drone zones.
The future of drone use in our cities could lie with urban planners.
Zoning for drones could become a new tactic used to specify areas where
drones could be used.
Mitchell Sipus, an urban designer says creating drone zones in urban
planning can be beneficial with the right rules. “It’s not really that
different than regular automobile traffic. Back in the day, cars were
invented, people who could afford them started driving like crazy,
getting drunk, driving off the road, driving into trees, causing all
sorts of chaos, he tells Popular Science. “But clearly there were a lot
more benefits to having automobiles than sticking to the old horse and
Please search the Web at URL above for the remainder of this story.
Drones may give big lift to agriculture if FAA permits
By CHAD GARLAND Los Angeles Times
Article published Sep 20, 2014
When Steve Morris began building unmanned aerial systems in the late
1990s, he envisioned flying them over fields and collecting data that
would be useful to farmers.
But after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, drones became largely
associated with military strikes and surveillance operations. Morris
said the technology became the subject of contentious political debates
and public paranoia.
"The entire dream evaporated at that point," said Morris, founder and
president of MLB Co. in Santa Clara, Calif. "In an alternate universe
where (drones) rose to prominence through helping the economy, creating
businesses and jobs, people would have a different view of them."
More than a decade later, attention is refocusing on development of
drones for commercial purposes. Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc. and Walt
Disney Co. are grabbing headlines with plans to develop drones for
deliveries, mapping and entertainment.
But the big boom in unmanned aircraft may come from what's known as
precision agriculture - using high-tech systems to help farmers increase
yields and cut costs...Please search the LATIMES archives for the remainder of this story.
* Union issues and collective bargaining agreements, the place to resolve differences? And in pictures we've seen, the police outside church faced forward, electronically speaking.