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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Westport Police Chief Proclaims Towns

Westport Police Chief Proclaims Towns Security Readiness Westport Police Chief William Chiarenzelli Tuesday night proclaimed Westport the best prepared community in Connecticut for any terrorist threat and said it was entirely due to local taxpayers, not federal homeland security dollars. ғIf the town of Westport had waited for federal dollars to help us with homeland security, wed still be waiting,Ҕ he told the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) during a discussion about the towns emergency preparedness.
Police Chief William Chiarenzelli addresses the Representative Town Meeting Tuesday night. The photo is from the town’s cable television broadcast. WestportNow.com photo
ғAnd I cut to the chase here, the often outspoken chief said at the RTM’s monthly session, which was televised on the townԒs cable channel. IӒm not going to play any games. Im very disappointed in the cash flow weҒve received (from Washington). Chiarenzelli said it was only because the town bodies had authorized purchase of protective hazardous materials suits and other equipment that Westport was better prepared for any eventuality following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. ԓBecause of your good hearts and the Board of Finance, were the first and only community thatҒs gone across the board with preparation and we are the best prepared in the entire state of Connecticut, he said. The RTM on Jan. 15, 2002, unanimously approved a $40,303 request to purchase biohazard protective equipment. Chiarenzelli said federal tax dollars were in the pipeline and that he expected the assistance would eventually arrive and mainly be directed at promoting regional preparedness. The police official, along with Deputy Chiefs David Heinmiller and Donald Brown, as well as Fire Chief Denis McCarthy, appeared before the legislative body mainly to review the communityԒs response to the Aug. 14 blackout. They all said Westports emergency personnel responded quickly and efficiently during the incident and regarded it as good practice for more destructive events such as ice storms or hurricanes. McCarthy acknowledged that there is room for improvement in communicating with the public during emergencies. He said particular attention will be paid to activating the Staples High School FM radio station in a timely manner to better inform town residents. EditorҒs note: The editor of WestportNow also serves as the moderator of the RTM.

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Posted 09/03/03 at 04:06 AM  Permalink



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