Civilian Police Review Board

The Town Council was wise in separating the Charter revision questions into two separate questions on the November 2, 2010 ballot. It would be a shame if a controversial revision question resulted in the others being turned down or worse if the controversial question was approved because it was carried by the others.

The controversial question being posed is for the creation of a Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) –
Question # 3 Shall the Town of Wolcott Charter be amended as provided in the Charter Revisions Commission’s Final Report dated August 31, 2010 to add section 408A entitled “Civilian Police Review Board”.

Quite often when there is a problem the next step is an over reaction. The pendulum swings from too far on one side to too far the other way. Such is the case with the recent problems in the police department.

The true problem lies with the fact that the former Police Chief was given a lifetime contract. Who would possibly grant a lifetime contract? Well, we know who did it and that regime is gone.

The issue with a lifetime contract (with built in raises) is that there is zero accountability. Without accountability, the recipient of that lifetime contract can do whatever he pleases, or as little as possible if he so chooses. There is no direct way to manage his behavior.

All management efforts are ineffective since there are no consequences. The current version of the charter already states “The Chief of Police shall be responsible to the Mayor” so instituting a CPRB is redundant.

This proposed charter change will inject another layer of bureaucracy at a time when most organizations are trying to flatten the tiers of management.

The members of the commission will be civilians, with no knowledge of police procedures.

There are or should be other alternatives for any aggrieved people, both officers and civilians. I urge you to vote “No” on question number 3.

Roy Balkus
14 Central Ave


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