Local police departments have been sharing resources during emergencies for years, said New Canaan Police Chief Edward Nadriczny. The New Canaan Police Department is joining forces with the Darien and Stamford departments to extend the scope of circumstances under which the three organizations can work together.

"This one is more specific," Nadriczny said. "[Darien Police] Chief Lovello suggested it some time ago; we thought it was a good idea. We've done some work together, and probably will work together in the future.

"We just wanted to have some guidelines in place where it was clear what authority the officers have and who's going to take care of paying them," he said.

The new agreement would allow the three towns to pool their resources for joint operations such as DWI checkpoints, accident investigations and traffic enforcement, Lovello said.

"I think it's going to be a benefit to all the communities involved, and I think it also allows us to position ourselves better for grant funding and things of that nature," Lovello said. "Doing things cooperatively tends to get more attention."

Other than the potential for more grant funding, the new agreement will not have much of a financial impact, both police chiefs said. Though there could be certain instances when New Canaan and Darien could benefit from partnering with Stamford, which has a larger force and more equipment, according to Nadriczny.

"Obviously there are some savings here, because we're a small department, and we could never afford a full-blown bomb unit. Stamford has that, and equipment we might not have, and if they're willing to share that, we would certainly take advantage of that," Nadriczny said.

According to the text of the Non-Emergency Interagency Agreement, "[e]ach participating municipality agrees that it shall be responsible for all costs, whether monetary or in the form of goods or services, it incurs as a result of participation in this compact."

The costs can include, but are not limited to: payroll; replacement or repair cost of equipment lost, destroyed, damaged, or made unavailable; fuel and maintenance cost for vehicles; training costs; workers' compensation claims; awards for death, disability or injury to employees; survivors' benefits; heart and hypertension claims; and costs arising from agreement, contracts or obligations the municipality entered into prior to entering into the compact, the document states.

"It's a great concept," Nadriczny said.

"I think it's going to benefit all our towns," said First Selectman Jeb Walker. "That kind of cooperation, unfortunately, is necessary from time to time for back-up ... and we already have a good working relationship with the Darien and Stamford Police, and this just enhances that."

The agreement was signed by former Stamford mayor Dannel Malloy in October. It was also unanimously passed by Darien's Board of Selectman in November; it will be voted on by Darien's Representative Town Meeting next month. According to Walker, it has been approved by New Canaan's Town Council and signed by him.