Darien board to talk about police coverage

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Saturday, September 19, 2009
— The subject of an April police referendum could be on the Darien Village Board’s table Monday night.

Meanwhile, it is not clear how the board will resolve things with fired Police Chief Steve DeVoy.

An item on Monday’s agenda calls for approval to request a quote from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office for providing 24-hour police protection in the village.

Dennison said board members Kurt Zipp and Cheryl Kaufenberg asked to place the item on Monday’s agenda. The Gazette was unable to reach Zipp on Friday night. Kaufenberg declined to comment.

In a non-binding April referendum, residents voted 203-152 against reducing the village police department.

The ballot read: Should the village of Darien reduce 24-hour coverage by village of Darien Police, therefore reducing the village of Darien budget and tax levy?

Public safety makes up 47 percent of the village’s annual budget, according to a referendum document Administrator Marc Dennison provided to the Gazette. Police protection makes up 90 percent of the public safety budget, according to the document.

The village budgeted $540,000 for police protection in 2009, Dennison previously told the Gazette.

The referendum question was intended as a planning tool as the board looked to cut costs in the village, Zipp said in April.

The intent was not to eliminate the police department or even eliminate 24-hour per day police protection, Zipp said. The intent was to gauge how “passionate” residents were that village officers provide police services, Zipp said in April.

Also on Monday’s agenda:

-- Village engineer Brandon Foss will talk about the sewer-televising project. Engineers have taken video footage of parts of the village sewers to help village officials plan for reconstruction or repairs.

-- Board members will give Dennison suggestions to update the village employee manual.

Not on the agenda:

-- The board met Thursday in closed session to get advice from legal counsel about the legal issues “related to the disciplinary proceedings against” DeVoy.

DeVoy was suspended with pay in December and fired in March. But he still is getting paid pending a hearing that would make the firing official.

The board did not take action in open session Thursday, attorney Mark Hazelbaker said.

On Thursday night, Hazelbaker said a resolution generated in the closed-session meeting could be on Monday’s agenda.

But the resolution did not get to Dennison on Friday in time to be put on the agenda, Dennison said.

Last updated: 11:20 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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