The Darien Police Commission has named a new chairman and a new secretary.

Kim Huffard is now the new chairman, replacing Paul Johnson, who retired from the commission; and Tom Joyce is the new secretary, replacing Huffard.

The two positions were approved by a unanimous vote at the Oct. 9 Darien Police Commission special meeting.

Fairfield County Police Pipes and Drums

The commission made a unanimous vote to donate $250 to the Fairfield County Police Pipes and Drums

This organization is set up through the Darien Police Department honor guard. According to Darien Police Chief Chief Don Anderson, it operates as a nonprofit charity.

“They operate on donations only. They do solemn ceremonies like department and military funerals,” Anderson said. “They also do more positive events.”

The Darien Police Commission controls the Darien Police Department Gift Fund. There has been no money expended out of this fund since 2012. The commission doesn’t know the exact amount that’s in this fund.

“There’s ample funds there,” said Anderson, and requested the commission make a $250 donation from this fund to the Fairfield County Police Pipes and Drums, for its involvement in the recent swearing-in ceremony for Anderson becoming police chief.

Detective Bureau Sergeant

Sgt. James Palmieri is being moved into the detective bureau sergeant’s position, from his current position of detective.

The position is now open due to Sgt. Saverio Boccuzzi’s retirement.

He was the sole sergeant who expressed interest in the detective bureau position, which became available as a result of another officer retiring.

This is a two-year appointment.

“I think Palmieri will be a fine candidate there for the next two years, and I’m sure that in a two-year time, additional candidates will be ready to go in there as well,” Johnson said.

Purchase of rifle for emergency response training

There was a unanimous vote to authorize $5,500 out of the false alarm account for the purchase of the new Accuracy International rifle for the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team.

This team is also comprised of officers from the Trumbull, Westport, Wilton, Monroe and Easton police departments. It was established to deal with situations which require equipment, techniques, and training that is beyond the normal responsibilities for most police officers.

In the recent completion of a sergeant's training on this team, it was observed that “the weapon system that he’s currently assigned is not only outdated, but fairly inadequate to serve in place for the purpose for the things to accomplish in that position,” Capt. Jeremiah P. Marron said.

“The rifle that has been assigned to him [a Remington 700] is over 25 years old, and it consistently and recently has displayed inaccuracies,” he added.

“The reliability is gone,” Capt. Robert Shreders said. “If he was on a call out, it would be unacceptable.”

In addition, there is no maintenance record kept for it.

According to Marron, every single round that is fired out of this type of a weapon needs to be recorded and documented.

“Cleaning, maintenance, any type of repair records — we just don’t have that for this particular weapon,” he said.

The average rounds for this weapon is about 10,000 and “we’re more than confident to be able to say that over 10,000 rounds have been through this weapon in over 25 years,” he added.

“A lot of the [$5,500] cost is due to the optic system on it,” Marron said. “The optics of the rifle are used more than anything else.”

Sidewalk extension

The commission made a unanimous vote in favor extending a sidewalk and installing two crosswalks in town.

The Department of Public Works would like to extend the sidewalk on Locust Hill Road on the south side of the road between old Kings Highway South, just east of Delafield Island Road.

The department would like to add two crosswalks — one at the intersection of Locust Hill Road and Old Kings Highway South and the second on Old Kings Highway South, parallel with I-95.

“This has been a long-term project to get an additional sidewalk there,” Anderson said. “It’s finally coming to fruition.”

Medical treatment for police dog

Police dog K-9 Argo suffered a freak injury during his downtime. His medical bills were $3,662 and came out of the commission’s false alarm fund.

K-9 Argo was impaled by a sharp branch through his right hind leg. He required emergency transport to the veterinary hospital where he had to undergo emergency surgery.

There was no permanent damage, and just stitches were required.

He was scheduled to have a root canal due to damage from a canine tooth.

When he was put under anesthesia for that procedure, the vet observed he had several abscessed teeth that needed to be removed, which they did.

The impaling surgery was $563. The dental cost for three root canals and three extractions was $3,099, according to the commission. He is 100 percent back in service.

Watch the full meeting on Darien TV79.