Janesville51.7°

No change to Darien police services

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ANN MARIE AMES
April 13, 2010
— In a special board meeting Monday, the Darien Village Board did not make any changes to the village’s police department.

Board members indicated they would keep studying the issue and decide as quickly as possible whether to contract for coverage from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office or keep the police department intact.


The board did vote to appoint Public Works Director Greg Epping the interim village administrator. The change will take place April 30 when current Administrator Marc Dennison leaves office.


Dennison resigned in March to take a job out of state.


The discussion on how much responsibility to give Epping resulted in arguments among board members and audience members.


Board President Evelyn Etten made a motion to split the responsibility of administering the police department and give it to part-time officer Greg Strohm. The vote failed in a tie.


Strohm is a lieutenant in the City of Delavan Police Department and also works part-time in the Town of Delavan Police Department.


Dennison has been the administrator in charge of the police department since August. The village has been without a police chief since December 2008.


The board put Dennison in charge of scheduling officers in an attempt to limit overtime pay. Per the department’s police union contract, full-time officers are given first choice of shifts and part-time officers are offered whatever shifts are left.


That has left the village paying overtime to some officers.


At the time, then police committee Chairman John Evans said Dennison would be able to make scheduling changes around that rule. On Monday, however, village attorney Brad Lochowicz disagreed.


“Whoever is doing the scheduling, they would have to follow that union contract,” Lochowicz said.


The board on Monday asked Sheriff David Graves detailed questions about his plan to provide full-time patrol services in the village. Start-up costs for the program would be $496,820, Graves has said.


The plan would include five deputies dedicated to patrolling the village around the clock.


The board in February requested the plan from Graves as board members study how to replace Chief Steve DeVoy.


Newly appointed board member Ken Truckey was absent from Monday night’s meeting.


The board on April 1 voted 4-2 to appoint Truckey to temporarily fill board member Craig McCue’s seat. McCue has not been at a board meeting since he suffered a stroke last summer.


Truckey took the oath of office April 2.


The board’s regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the Darien Village Hall, 24 N. Wisconsin St., Darien.



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