Parking Authority to buy body cameras
After a series of recent incidents in which police intervention was required at the Parking Bureau, Supervisor Karen Miller and Human Resource Officer Cheryl Jones decided to take action to protect parking officers.
“The Parking Department has had some issues that have involved the police department where some of our officers have been approached in a way they were not comfortable, called for protection and ended up in the individuals being arrested,” Jones said.
On June 18, police were called to the area of 87 Main Street to break up an argument between a Parking Authority officer and a Norwalk man who had been given a ticket. A police report from early May details a “threatening incident” that occurred between a New Canaan man and an officer in the Parking Authority Office. In both cases the men were charged with second degree breach of peace.
Because of these incidents and more, Miller and Jones sought the advice of Chief of Police Leon Krolikowski, who, according to Jones, thought the next step was body cameras.
“I think at this point is warranted with what we’ve seen the parking department go through,” Jones said.
According to Miller, the cameras used by parking officers will be the same as the cameras used by the police department. Jones added that a policy and set of procedures will need to be developed to instruct officers when and how to use the cameras. Parts of existing police policy will be incorporated in the Parking Bureau’s plan, Jones said.
“I think that given the incidents that we’ve had, also the fact that we deal with sizable amount of money, it makes sense,” Miller told the Board of Selectman. “I don’t see a downside.
“It’s sad,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said of the recent acts of aggression toward Parking Authority officers. “They’re just trying to do their job.”
Money for the cameras is available within the Parking Bureau’s current budget.