A new emergency operations center (EOC) is being built as part of the Darien Police Department's renovation, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said at Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting.

Stevenson said she met with Deputy Fire Marshal Marc McEwan and representatives from the police department and Connecticut Light & Power on May 25 to outline, in greater detail, Darien's emergency preparedness protocol going forward.

"Now the protocol will be that we will always initiate the opening of an EOC," Stevenson said. "CL&P has a large initiative underway to be much more responsive to municipalities and, to that end, they've hired some new positions. One of them is an emergency preparedness coordinator."

Stevenson said the coordinator, a CL&P representative, was stationed in Stamford in the past, but will be in the new operations center during future town-wide emergencies.

McEwan, who is also the director of the Office of Emergency Management, said the current gathering place during emergencies is in the town hall. The new operations center won't be much different from the old center, he said.

Police Capt. Frederick Komm said the center will be a gathering place for various town services during a town emergency.

"The EOC is designed for us to come together -- the selectman's office, fire department, emergency medical services, utilities," he said. "So we're all in one operations center."

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"Communication facilitates coordination," he said, adding the police department is gathering volunteers to staff the center.

"We've had a good response with that, and we're going to be training officers in the operations of the EOC," he said. "But you have to know how to use all the components."

The room will be equipped with extra phone lines, computers, maps and computer mapping systems, Komm added, "so it's just something that's here at the police department because we have the resources here."

McEwan agreed with the centralized location.

"Really, it's just a place where your upper management can meet face to face," McEwan said. "It's a room where everyone can do their job."

Stevenson said she will have a more carefully defined outline of the operations center as it becomes organized.

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