Board Meeting Minutes: September 20, 2012
Members in Attendance:
Paul V. Ciochetti
Comm. Emeritus Harold Osgood
Meeting called to order at 7:12PM
Minutes from the June 2012 meeting were approved.
Chairman’s Report: Jill Marcus. No report due to her absence.
President’s Report: Peter Torrano.
Peter explained to the group why he was starting the meeting later than usual. Commissioner George Kain was running late, so he invited Commissioner Mike Santora to speak. Mike expressed many of his concerns to the group, some of which relates to education. Mike had also spoken to George prior to the meeting in regard to possibly having the Commissioners become certified. Mike felt very strongly about having procedures in place so as to avoid possible lawsuits should a commissioner say the wrong thing when dealing with police matters brought before their commissions. Mike stressed training commissioners in such areas as understanding the State Statutes, Federal Law (notably for Americans with Disabilities Act), hiring practices, etc. The bottom line: he just wants to minimize liability to the towns which have boards of police commissioners.
Mike stated that George had asked him to head up a committee to set up certification training.
Peter asked Mike to formulate a proposal and submit it to George. Near the end of Mike’s talk, George arrived. Mike concluded with what he had to say, and left the meeting with the understanding he would be working with George in regard to education.
EDUCATION and SCHOLARSHIPS
George’s focus during the meeting pertained to the scholarships. However prior to moving along to the scholarships, he touched upon the many points raised by Mike. George feels that the commissioners need to be separate from police officers and that there is a possibility that with legislation, the commissioners could become certified in some manner. He and Mike will explore this issue under the auspices of the Education Committee.
And moving on to the Scholarships! George said that he and the Education Committee met in June and put together some concerns in regard to the scholarships. Pat Morris did some research and determined that there are 16 institutes in Connecticut that offer a degree in Criminal Justice. Six of the institutes are four-year programs. All inclusive, this would be problematic to deal with so many schools. George suggested having the scholarships be limited to the four-year schools. There would be a lot of applications to consider and who will read all of the applications and essays? Also, he stated that we have to be mindful of how the financial aid process works. In answer to the amount of the scholarships, Peter stated that there would be three $1000 scholarships.
The scholarships would give the PCAC good visibility. George stated that the process needs to be fair, and that we need to have firm criteria in place. After discussion, it was decided to have the Criminal Justice departments of the schools do the initial screening and advise the applicants what to write their essays about. The schools would then review, and submit to the Education Committee the names of the people they have chosen. The Education Committee will then review the 9 applications. The Committee will choose 3 people and submit their names, and applications, to the Board in April 2013.
The scholarships will be given to Juniors and Seniors who have chosen Criminal Justice as their major degree. The top 3 students from each of the 3 schools will be recommended to the Education Committee. Their GPA needs to be 3.2 or better. For the first time around, 3 schools out of the 6 will be randomly chosen. Then for the following year, the other 3 schools will be next in line. Having the schools choose the candidates will make life easier for the PCAC. This way, the PCAC will only have to deal with 9 candidates.
No “online” schools are eligible, only public and private schools (having a 4-year degree program in Criminal Justice).
Due to how the financial aid and awards programs work, to inject this scholarship now would present a problem. So, it will be a case of TAKING applications next semester for the semester of September 2013. The applications will be reviewed during the months of January through April of 2013; and at the last dinner meeting (May); the PCAC will announce the names of the 3 people that will be awarded the scholarships in September of 2013.
Relating to the previous paragraph, Tom Heavren felt that the scholarship announcement should not be done during the Ruger awards dinner; that the winners of the scholarships be revealed at a different meeting. After some discussion, it was agreed upon to have the announcement and presentation done at the 3 Chiefs dinner in May.
Pete will notify the 3 Chiefs who received awards this past May and request that they present the scholarships to the students next May.
These scholarships will elevate the organization in a positive way.
Discussion then went back to what Mike had to say. George said that there is some element in truth in what Mike had to say. There is a learning curve to being a Police Commissioner. What we learn and how we learn it, is important. Different towns do things in different ways. Some issues worthy for training: 1st and 4th amendment rights, videotaping of arrests, use of less than lethal force, auto license plate reading, etc. The Education Committee (including Mike) will work further in regard to training.
Pete stated that a manual created in 1998 was given to Commissioner Einhorn for review and it never was officially put into place. Because of when it was written, it needs updating due to the changes in State Statutes over the years. Pete asked George if he would review this manual so that the Education Committee can revise it in order to bring it up to date. George and the Committee will work on this per Pete’s request.
Commissioner Kenneth Stanco was accepted as an Active member.
Leslie Gasper (from Ruger) was accepted as an Associate member.
Pete stated that he went to Hartford, where he met with the Chairman of the State Marshal Commission, Peter Martin, Esq. He would like to have the Marshals get involved with PCAC as members. He would also like to have the Chairman be a guest speaker at one of our dinner business meetings.
Dan Delancy told Chris Cozzi that he has an officer to recommend and to be possibly honored at the October business dinner meeting.
Marvin Gelfand stated that the PCAC is solvent and reported the balance in the treasury.
John Landolfi and Peter went to Grassy Hill Country Club to finalize things for upcoming dinners. The meals will now consist of a combination of roast beef and chicken. They also offer vegetarian and gluten free dinner choices. A contract will be drawn up for the October dinner.
The Holiday Party will be December 5th, and gifts will be given to those who attend.
Dan Delancy volunteered to be on Events committee. There are no other members yet.
Bob Shanley wants to serve on this committee. The committee is still looking for more volunteers. Tom would like to see an attorney be a part of this committee. Dan O’Connor volunteered to sit on the committee.
Tom has been working on the delinquent list. The list he had at the time of the meeting was not current and Marvin said that an up-to-date list would be distributed next day. Tom showed 106 people as not having paid their dues and Kathie mentioned that some paid after Tom was given the list. She felt that the number of delinquent people was somewhere in the 80’s.
Frank Cipriano would like to nominate the Watertown Chief, John Gavallas, for the 3 Chiefs Award. Pete asked him to fill out the paperwork and submit to the Board.
Tom mentioned that the Police Memorial will be doing their sales patterned after what the PCAC is doing with Triple Stitch.
Having no further business to come before the board, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn. All voted in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Kathie A. Powell
Below, for your convenience, is the schedule of events agreed upon at the June 2012 meeting.
10/24/2012 - Dinner Business Meeting
11/15/2012 - TENTATIVE Board Meeting
** NO BOARD MEETING IN DECEMBER **
12/05/2012 - Holiday Party (consensus is to have it at Grassy Hill)
01/24/2013 - Board Meeting. We need to choose the 3 Chiefs at this meeting for the ad book
02/21/2013 - TENTATIVE Board Meeting
03/21/2013 - Board Meeting
03/27/2013 - Dinner Business Meeting
04/18/2013 - Board Meeting
05/23/2013 - Board Meeting
05/29/2013 - Dinner Business Meeting
June 2013 - To be decided *
*As Scarlet O’Hara would say in regard to what to do in June 2013, “I’ll worry about it tomorrow”.