Janesville72°

Darien to consider its plans for patrols

Print Print
ANN MARIE AMES
March 14, 2010
— The last time the village board agenda was this full, the meeting lasted more than four hours, Darien Village Board President Evelyn Etten said.

The board Monday night could take action on the future of police patrols in the village, among other things.


The Darien Police Committee on Wednesday unanimously voted against recommending Walworth County Sheriff David Graves’ proposal to provide patrol services in the village.


When village and county services are compared apples to apples, village police would cost $50,000 less than the county, Etten said.


“We can still keep our police department and run it more cost effectively,” Etten said.


Graves’ proposal didn’t include crossing guards, the department’s phone system and a part-time police clerk position, she said. Those items add up to $29,000, she said.


At the board’s request, Graves in February presented a plan to provide full-time patrol services in the village. The start-up cost for the program would be $496,820, Graves said.


At a special board meeting in December, the village board voted to seek information from Graves. At the time, Etten said the vote was meant to seek management of the village department. The board intends village officers to keep working in the village, she said then.


That vote was the board’s first step to replace Police Chief Steve DeVoy. DeVoy was suspended with pay Dec. 1, 2008. In March 2009, the board voted to fire him, but a hearing was pending to uphold or reject that decision.


A settlement came days before the hearing. The village will pay DeVoy $30,000 plus paid leave for six months on top of the 11 months he was paid while suspended and $35,000 for accrued holiday, vacation and sick time.


DeVoy will resign in May, according to the settlement agreement.


Village board members said they were hesitant to hire a new police chief. Etten told the Gazette it would be possible to hire a consultant to temporarily manage the department while the board seeks a new chief.


“An outside service would be a better solution than having Mr. Dennison or the board or (Sgt. Mike) Maltese making that decision,” Etten said.


The board also could vote on board member Craig McCue’s status. McCue has been absent since August when he had a stroke. He has told Etten and the Gazette he plans to stay on the board.


IF YOU GO


What: Regular meeting of the Darien Village Board


When: 7 p.m. Monday


Where: Darien Village Hall, 24 N. Wisconsin St.


Details: The board could talk about and vote on the police committee’s recommendation to keep a village police department rather than contract with the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office for patrol services.



Print Print