The New Canaan Town Council recently approved two Non-Emergency Interagency agreements allowing for mutual aid between the the New Canaan Police Department and neighboring departments during non-emergency situations.
New Canaan Chief of Police Edward Nadriczny said during the Dec. 12 Town Council meeting that the police department is covered under the Connecticut General Statutes "when there is an emergency such as Hurricane Sandy, a plane crash or a train wreck" and there is a need to send officers to other municipalities.
However he said "in the past several years we have been interested in working with individual departments on a regional basis in non-emergency situations to do traffic check points… " and other routine traffic enforcement activities, thus allowing for the sharing of resources.
The first of the two agreements approved unanimously by the Council is a new one allowing the department to utilize the expertise of Darien and Wilton police in investigating fatal car accidents.
"We had two fatal accidents last year and we had assistance from both Darien and Wilton, so we want to formalize that," Chief Nadriczny said.
The second agreement with Stamford, Darien and Greenwich is an update to an existing agreement allowing police in those towns to conduct cross-border traffic enforcement.
Chief Nadriczny said it was important to have the existing agreement updated with the names of the new first selectmen in town, as some traffic tickets recently issued cross-border were voided in court due to the lack of proper signatures.
When Town Council member Kenneth Campbell asked Nadriczny to explain the difference is between the two agreements, Nadriczny said "there is actually no difference, in terms of the actual language," but the intent of each agreement is different.
"Once they [the other departments] sign the agreements, we can work with them in any manner we like, in a non emergency situation," Nadriczny said, pointing out that the language of each agreement is very broad and mainly intended to idemnify towns. "What the agreement is doing is spelling out is, if we provide resources, where ever, they will be responsible for them, and if they provide resources to us, we are responsible for them, if they get hurt..."
Both agreements include opt out clauses allowing each department to cancel the within 30 days at any time.
Town Council member Roger Williams asked how the other towns were selected as partners. Nadriczny said the agreement with Darien, Wilton and Greenwich is pre-existing.
"Because we signed on originally with Greenwich and because we are on Stamford and Darien's border, that's the way it fell," he said, adding that "It has to do with the manner in which you are able to work with the other departments — for example Darien and Wilton are very like departments, and we work well together, so we though it was a no brainer [to team on the fatal accident investigation team]."
When asked if there would be any additional costs to the town associated with the partnerships, Nadriczny said the fatal accident investigation team could result in some overtime providing New Canaan officers are called into action.
Nadriczny said the sharing of police resources is comparable to when fire departments respond to each other's towns via mutual aid.