Category Archives: Police
Be Prepared For Hurricane Irene
The National Weather Service predicts that Hurricane Irene will hit the Northeast this weekend with the worst of the storm coming on Sunday. Below are some helpful links to make sure your family is prepared.
The National Hurricane Center suggest families be prepared by developing a plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing your home and your pet. For more details click here.
The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security suggests people should do the following to keep safe before a hurricane:
- Have a plan for your family including children, loved ones with special needs and pets. Ready.gov has information on how to plan for an emergency.
- Have an emergency kit ready at all times. Your kit should include food, water, first aid supplies, battery-powered radio, flashlight, and other emergency supplies. You can learn more about building an emergency supply kit on Ready.gov.
- Learn the evacuation routes and where the designated shelters will be in your area in case you have to evacuate. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.
- Check with your insurance company about the National Flood Insurance Program as homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding during a hurricane. Take photos of your home and its contents. For more information on preparing your home and making sure you have the right insurance coverage for a disaster, visit the Connecticut Department of Insurance.
- Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8″ marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Make sure your gas tank is full of gas in case you have to evacuate.
The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security suggests people should do the following to keep safe during a hurricane:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Homeowners with private wells should save as much water as possible since their well will not work if the power is out. Fill the bathtub with water to be used for toilet flushing during a loss of power. If your well is flooded or damaged by the hurricane, assume that it is contaminated and do not use it until it has been flushed, disinfected and tested for bacteria.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Be sure your cell phone is charged. Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.
- Moor your boat if time permits.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
First Selectman, Chairman of Police Commission Respond To Police Union Complaints
On Tuesday, August 2, 2011 Bethel Buzz published an article (click here to read) containing excerpts from the police commission meeting minutes, as well as excerpts from a letter the Police Union sent to First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker regarding their desire to remove of Police Commission Chairman Nick Ellis from his post. At the time of publishing the article Nick Ellis could not be reached for comment. Below is his response, along with First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker’s response, to the complaint filed by the Police Union and Detective George Bryce’s comments.
First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker’s Response
“I am extremely disappointed that Det. Bryce has elected to target me, personally, as First Selectman in his complaint against Mr. Ellis.”
“As I explained to Det. Bryce previously, the Board of Selectmen has NO LEGAL AUTHORITY to remove an elected official from office. In order to do this, specific language must be included in the town charter that describes the procedures to be followed and definitions of the misbehavior that would constitute “cause for removal.” Bethel ‘s charter currently contains none of this language.”
“Despite my request, the sexual harassment complaint referenced in Det. Bryce’s letter has never been forwarded to me or to the HR office. Even when legal as described above, disciplinary actions cannot be taken based upon “hearsay” information.”
“I personally do not condone any actions by a town official that cast a negative light on our town and community. But the simple fact is that until the town changes its charter, complaints like this are strictly between the elected official and the voters.”
Nick Ellis’ Response
“The stag pictures [Det. Bryce referred to in his letter] were from 2 years ago and was political payback [from Bob Burke]. The Bethel Police sent it right to the state police. The detectives talked to everyone involved and just recently they closed the case. These were unfounded allegations.”
“Chief Finch did not bury this complaint. Matt Knickerbocker did not bury this complaint. Being in union executive committee doesn’t give him [Det. Bryce] the right to try to pick who’s on the commission and pick who the chairman is. The union doesn’t have a say unless they live in Bethel and then they can vote for who they want.”
“This is why good people don’t run for politics. There were no behavioral issues [found in the investigation] they just don’t like some of the decisions I made. If I was breaking the law where is all the paperwork? Two years later they’re trying to dig up all this? Is that the best they have?”
Bethel Safety Organizations Partners With Target For “National Night Out”
~ By Wendy Mitchell
Bethel police, fire and emergency preparedness organizations partnered with Target for their 28th Annual “National Night Out.” Local families came out Tuesday evening to learn about safety and watch demonstrations from Bethel police and firemen.
Bethel Target Store Manager Ian Yorty said: “I’m excited about the great turnout this year. It’s a great day to host a positive event for the community and we are glad to host the event so the community can recognize the partnership we have with fire and law enforcement in our area.”
The event is part of a national event that began in 1984 as a way to educate the public and raise awareness about crime and drug prevention. According to their website, National Night Out is designed to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Nick Ellis Reinstated as Chairman of Police Commission, Police Union Files Complaint
On June 17 it was reported that Nick Ellis stepped down as chairman of the police commission on June 15. (See News Times article) but did remain on the panel. Chris McCollam has been serving as the elected chairman since June 15.
According to the minutes of the June 15, 2011 police commission meeting, Sgt. Detective James Wright requested a formal investigation on the chairman of the police commission Nick Ellis which led to his temporary removal, as reported by the News Times.
According to the minutes of the July 28, 2011 police commission meeting, Ellis said: “Commissioner Ellis stated he was “intimidated” and “insulted” by the mob atmosphere created by the Police Union at this meeting and stated further that he did not nor does he intend to resign.”
The President of the Bethel Police Union Detective George Bryce said the union is filing a complaint against Ellis regarding his “inappropriate behavior” and that is why they called for his resignation.
In a July 19, 2011 letter to the First Selectman, the Police Union stated their “growing concern throughout the Bethel Police Department over the actions and behavior of Commissioner Nick Ellis.”
The letter stated: “Commissioner Ellis has repeatedly engaged in conduct that is outside his scope of his official capacity as police commissioner and has behaved in a manner that could have serious ramifications on the operations of the Bethel Police Department.”
The letter continued: “Commissioner Ellis has created a hostile work environment that is tantamount to sexual harassment.” The harassment accusation stems from accusations from the Police Union that Ellis allegedly showed a female police employee black and white photos of himself engaging in inappropriate activities with strippers at a party.
The letter stated: “At least one of the female employees reduced her discontent with his actions to writing and submitted it to the police administration who has still failed to act on the complaint or notify the First Selectman’s office.”
First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker told Bethel Buzz in a phone interview last week: “If the police officer was offended by the photos Ellis showed her, she would have field a complaint. There was no official complaint filed in Human Resources with Phyllis Kansky.”
According to Detective Bryce the chain of command goes up within their ranks and that it is the responsibility of the chief of police to make the town aware of the complaint.
Detective Bryce said the First Selectman was made aware of the complaint and has not done anything about it.
“The First Selectman has been made aware of a complaint. What has he done about it? Who is holding elected officials accountable for their behavior? There needs to be checks and balances,” Bryce said.
Bryce said the town’s non-action regarding the alleged inappropriate activities Ellis engaged in is sending people the wrong message.
“So if you’re an elected official all bets are off? How can you have a chairman creating an embarrassing , hostile work environment and it is just tolerated?”
The First Selectman had no further comment on the accusations.
While Chief of Police Jeffrey Finch had no comment on the union’s complaint, he did state that as of July 28, 2011 Nick Ellis is officially reinstated as the chairman of the police commission.
“The Town Attorney [Martin Lawlor] was there [at the meeting] and he reviewed the minutes from the last meeting, along with personal conversations, and said that Ellis did officially relinquish his seat, but he did not do so in the proper fashion,” Finch said.
Police Commissioner Nick Ellis could not be reached for comment as of this posting, but was quoted in the meeting minutes as saying, “Though admittedly “not polished,” Commissioner Ellis stated his belief that he is doing things for the “right reasons.””
Detective Bryce said: “What bothers me is that politics is taking priority over doing what’s right. It is very clear to me that the First Selectman is taking a hands-off approach and it is clear that is what the motivation that’s being this.”
For Immediate Release-
National Association of Town Watch Partners with Target for Sponsorship of the 27th Annual National Night Out.
Bethel, CT— Target is participating as a sponsor of the 27th Annual National Night Out (NNO) event on August 2, 2011, marking the seventh year of its partnership with the National Association of Town Watch. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 8:30 p.m.
Target will offer support to the community by bringing them together with their law enforcement and emergency services.
Bethel Police Department will be there with their K9 unit and SWAT gear. Other local services will also be there along with face painting and free food.
This sponsorship is part of the ongoing support Target provides to local communities throughout the country. Since 1946, Target has given 5% of its income to the communities it serves. Today, that equals more than $3 million to support education, the arts, social services, and volunteerism.
Target also has a proud history of partnership with local law enforcement agencies. Through its Target & BLUE program, Target supports local law enforcement by sharing information, technology and expertise while focusing on safety and security issues that affect guests, team members and communities.
In 2010, more than 36 million people across the nation participated in NNO by attending their neighborhood block party.
“We are committed to being good community partners,” said Joshua Toetenel, SR. Target Protection Special, Target #1528.
“That means getting involved with local organizations and offering our support.”
About the National Association of Town Watch
The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) is a nonprofit, crime prevention organization
that works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Since 1981, NATW has been dedicated to the development, growth and maintenance of organized crime and drug prevention programs nationwide. NATW’s network has grown to include over 6,000 crime, drug and violence prevention organizations. More information on NATW and its mission can be found at http://www.NationalNightOut.org.
Target Corporation’s retail segment includes large general merchandise and food discount stores and Target.com, a fully integrated online business. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. The company currently operates 1,740 Target stores in 49 states. Target Corporation news releases are available at http://www.target.com.