This data/summary was prepared by Darien Police Chief Donald B. Anderson and published by DarienCTNews by Blaine Hurty on 2/7/2022.
Notable Police Incidents in Q4 2021:
- On October 21, officers were dispatched on the report of suicidal 22 y/o male who was armed with a large kitchen knife. The male was extremely upset, telling the officers that he wasn't “going anywhere" and to "do what you have to do." Several times during the incident the male subject took a step towards officers with the knife in his hand. Officers on scene maintained a safe distance and continued conversing with the male. After approximately ten minutes, officers were able to successfully de-escalate the situation: the male subject dropped the knife and agreed to treatment. The subject was later transported to Norwalk hospital for a medical evaluation.
- On October 24, while conducting a crime prevention detail, an officer observed a vehicle traveling east on the Post Road at a high rate of speed. Upon stopping the vehicle, the Officer learned the license plate belonged on a different vehicle. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle had been reported stolen from Hartford, CT in September. The operator was subsequently arrested for Larceny, as well as various motor vehicle charges.
- On September 11, 2020, DPD investigated a burglary that occurred at a local gas station. Through investigatory means, members of the Detective Division identified a Bridgeport, CT resident as a suspect in the incident. An arrest warrant was applied for and granted, on September 27, 2021. The warrant was served on the subject on October 19.
- In June, officers were dispatched to a McLaren Road residence for a stolen motor vehicle. The vehicle was later recovered on I-95 and processed for DNA by DPD detectives. A Norwalk resident was identified as a suspect and he was arrested by warrant on November 11.
- In November, the Department received a number of reports where residents had their outgoing mail stolen and checks cashed. The original checks had been altered into much larger amounts than the original checks and then withdrawn out of the victims’ bank accounts. The Detective Division is still actively investigating these incidents with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspectors.
- In July, officers took a Larceny report from a Noroton Avenue resident, who was moving to a new residence in Norwalk. The victim reported two days after the move he noticed his watch was missing from his jewelry box. Darien officers checked recent pawnshop records which revealed the missing watch was sold to a pawnshop by a Bridgeport resident. Investigation revealed that the male subject worked for the moving company hired by the resident. An arrest warrant was approved for and the suspect was arrested on November 23.
- On November 8, Officers responded to a Pembroke Road address on the report of a backpack leaf blower being stolen from a local contractor. On 11/6/2021, a similar incident occurred on Deerfield Road. Darien detectives identified the stolen leaf blowers in local pawnshops, with video surveillance showing the suspect, a Norwalk resident, conducting both transactions. An arrest warrant was prepared for the suspect, and he was arrested on November 22.
- On December 18, Officers responded to (2) commercial burglaries, with the locations being near each other. Detectives processed both scenes and the investigations are ongoing.
- On December 24, at approximately 12:33 pm, Officers responded to Peoples United Bank located at 25 Old Kings Hwy N. on an activate hold up alarm. Officers determined that the scene was secure, and no other suspects were inside the bank. Investigation revealed at approximately 12:30 pm a white male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black mask, neon orange hat and cargo pants entered the bank through the front door. The suspect jumped over the counter without saying anything or passing a note. The suspect began opening and closing drawers and then immediately left the bank, with $6,336.00 in stolen cash. Darien Detectives were on scene for processing. A strong suspect was quickly identified, the investigation is currently progressing, and an arrest likely soon.
Traffic Violation Enforcement:
- Traffic Stops: 276 (Previous Qtr: 284)
- DWI Arrests: 16 (5)
- Summons Arrests: 16 (20)
- Infractions: 97 (144)
- Domestic Violence Arrests: 6 (9)
- Domestic (non-arrest) Incidents: 10 (9)
Key Issues Going Forward Quarter In Review:
- Retirements and resignations will continue to affect departmental operations and assignments for the foreseeable future. Promotional testing will commence in the next quarter due to the retirements of ranking staff members. Field Services Sergeant Mark Cirillo retired January 1, 2022 after 28 years of service. Administrative Services Captain Robert Shreders will also be taking a well-deserved retirement on February 1, 2022 after almost 32 years of service. The Police Commission will now be tasked with overseeing the extremely important process of selecting candidates after promotional testing is completed.
- COVID-19 continues to now affect staffing levels in both sworn and civilian ranks. The current CDC guidance with a reduced quarantine period should reduce the staffing issues somewhat. The department is weighing contingency staffing plans and schedules that can be rolled out fairly quickly to ensure adequate field services staffing level across all shifts.
- Youth Detective Mark Cappelli will be assigned to Middlesex Middle School during the winter and early spring months as a temporary SRO in the absence of SRO Stuart Schwengerer who is out with an injury.
- The department looks forward to a successful completion and approval of the FY 23 Police Department budget.
Quarter In Review:
- During October, officers wore pink Darien Police Department uniform shoulder patches in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- On October 6, officers took part in the annual Cops & Kids’ Adventures Empower team-building event in Windsor, CT with local youths.
- Officer Timothy Budd successfully completed his one year probationary period.
- On October 16, the department oversaw the security and traffic flow at the DHS Homecoming football game and Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival. Both events ran without significant issue.
- Department administration members and members of DPW met with HVAC vendor Automated Logic to rectify ongoing issues with the Headquarters’ facility HVAC system.
- In November and December, the department teamed with local agencies to combat motor vehicle thefts and motor vehicle break-ins. Officers conducted high visibility patrols and other deterrence and public relations efforts.
- On November 13, officers assisted the Cops & Kids’ program in their collection of household goods for the Darien Department of Human Services supply closet for the needy and less fortunate.
- In December, the department hosted and completed a “mock assessment” of its State Tier II Accreditation files. The department successfully passed this mock assessment and will be applying for re-accreditation in March 2022.
- In late December, the department’s payroll/scheduling software (UKG’s “Workforce TeleStaff”) sustained a global ransomware attack. At the time of this report, Workforce TeleStaff is still not accessible and the department has had to make alternate arrangements for payroll/scheduling purposes.
- On December 27, Officer Kristen Hunt was sworn in as Darien’s 50th officer. Officer Hunt, a Milford resident, was previously a member of the Manchester Police Department. Officer Hunt will enter Field Training in January 2022, with the goal of joining the Patrol Division upon her successful completion.
- Municipal Animal Control Officer Stahl returned to full duty during the quarter. The department was also advised that Animal Control Officers working under the authority of a police agency (as our MACO does) are now subject to all provisions of the recent Police Accountability Bill, including mandatory drug testing, mental health wellness checks and the wearing of a body camera. The department has ensured compliance with this mandate under the Police Accountability Bill.