Returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic was one of the larger topics at Darien Police Commission’s Special Meeting on Wednesday, May 27.

The police department will be bringing back its civilian staff on Monday, June 1.

“We have devised a plan to space [employees] out within the building to try to maintain distance but to have our essential work still completed,” said Police Chief Don Anderson at the meeting, which was held at Darien Town Hall and had some commission members participate virtually.

COVID-19 update

Beginning June 1, the department will be re-implementing its civilian fingerprinting for employment or pistol permit applications.

Also on June 1, the department will be resuming its prescription drug drop box service. This service will once again allow people to come into the lobby specifically just to drop off their prescriptions.

“The drop box is about 20 to 30 pounds at least a month,” Anderson said. “We have to empty it more than once a week. It’s used continually and perpetually.”

Since the prescription drop box program was first created, “it has been very, very steady,” Anderson said.

Prior to the pandemic, “not a day goes by that more than one person comes in to deposit,” he said.

He added that the only prohibition is no liquids. “You can’t put liquid medication in there even if it’s in a sealed container,” he said.

Anderson said the items in the drop box all have to be logged by weight, “and it’s a very strict protocol for disposal.”

The police department takes turns with other area departments going to the Wheelabrator waste management service in Bridgeport.

“They go in the incinerator and with a hard hat and a suit and you physically, personally put that stuff into the big hopper,” Anderson said.

Also, the Darien Police Marine Division is now currently operating on a full-time basis.

“We’re going to be probably extending some of our time on weekends past an eight hour day,” Anderson said. “I think it’s a prudent and wise expenditure of overtime funds because I think we’re going to have a heavy boating season.”

He reminded the boating public to obey all the boating regulations.

“Have all your safety equipment and avoid rafting up where social distance can’t be maintained,” he said. “Enjoy the water but try to keep it safe out there for everybody.”

Police said there have been no issues so far in regard to the reopening of outdoor dining in town.

To date, not one staff member has tested positive for Covid 19.

No parking zone at Park Lane and West Avenue intersection

Police unanimously approved a motion to install a no parking zone at Park Lane and West Avenue.

According to police, when driving south on Park Lane, — a private road — and one attempts to pull out onto West Avenue to take a left to go into town, when cars are parked on the corner, it’s hard to see traffic entering into Darien.

It creates a big state-line issue, police said.

The plan is to eliminate those two parking spaces and mark them as no parking from the fencing to the corner.

Police will place a no-parking sign at the end of the fencing there, and a few hash marks in the street, indicating no parking.

They would add another stop bar underneath the stop sign.

According to police, this would enable people to see a lot better the cars entering into Darien and make a left turn a lot more safely.

Anderson also recommended police put a regulation stop sign at that location.

“Even though, it’s a private road, it does intersect with the public road, which gives us the ability to put a proper stop sign there,” Anderson said.

Praise for police

Members of the community wrote letters of thanks to police during the pandemic.

Letters were sent in to the commission from a wide variety of individuals including a third grade student, a member of Fairfield Prep’s class of 20-21, Middlesex Condominium Association member, and the secretary of the Darien chapter of students against destructive decisions.

The next regular Darien Police Commission meeting is June 17.

Watch the Darien Police Commission meeting on Darien TV/79.