Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Helen Kowalsky McCoy Dies at Age 83

Helen Kowalsky McCoy of Westport, a longtime employee with her late brothers of the well-known Westport construction firm Kowalsky Brothers, has died at the age of 83.

McCoy, wife of the late Robert A. McCoy, Sr., died Monday in Norwalk Hospital, family members said.

Born in Westport, McCoy was the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary Cherub Kowalsky and had been a lifelong town resident.

Prior to retiring, she was the office manager for Kowalsky Brothers for 40 years. A graduate of Staples High School, she was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 and an avid gardener.

In addition to her husband Mrs. McCoy was also predeceased by three brothers, Paul, Joseph and John Kowalsky and one sister, Joan Gallo.

Survivors include a son, Robert A. McCoy, Jr., of Fairfield, three daughters, Carole MacIntyre of Weston, Susan Kokoska of Newtown, and Robin Burns of Sugar Run, Pa.; a brother, Edward J. Kowalsky of Westport, and a sister, Nan Petraskos of Boca Raton, Fla.

She is also survived by five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Friends may attend the funeral Friday at 9:20 a.m from the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, and 10 a.m. at St. Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road, for a Mass of Christian Burial.

Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms. The family will receive friends in the funeral home Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Farrell Appoints Alfred Fiore as New Police Chief

Making what she described as a very difficult decision,Ӕ First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell today appointed Alfred R. Fiore, a 25-year veteran of the Westport Police Department, as the towns new police chief.
The 47-year-old Fiore, who has been one of three deputy chiefs since last March, replaces William J. Chiarenzelli, 59, who announced his retirement last month after a 38-year career in the department. He will take over Jan. 1.
ғThis was a very difficult decision to make, Farrell told a mid-day news conference in the classroom of police headquarters as a dozen or so police, firefighters, and town officials looked on.
Chiarenzelli was not among them, nor was one of the other deputy chiefs, David Heinmiller—both were busy elsewhere on town business. Only Deputy Chief Donald Brown was there to see Fiore announced for the job the three top deputies had coveted.


Westport’s new police chief, Alfred Fiore: “I was a Boy Scout and they say ԑbe prepared and I am.” Thom Burrows for WestportNow.com

Farrell said she informed Fiore and the others Monday of her decision. She said she had authorized a $3,000 cash bonus for Brown and Heinmiller in recognition of their service to the town as deputy chiefs.
ғOn the one hand, we are blessed in this town because we have such professional police personnel that we (have) absolutely no need to go outside the department, Farrell said.
ԓThe difficulty was that was have an embarrassment of riches as the saying goes as you know, we had three incredibly qualified, dedicated professionals as deputy chiefs.֔
Calling it a tough process but a very thorough process, the towns chief executive said she had worked closely with all three candidates for 10 years, first on the Board of Finance and then as First Selectwoman.
ғI could make a case for all three, she said. ԓThey are incredible individuals.
In the end, however, it was Fiore who stood out, Farrell said. He had gained the respect of fellow officers, town department heads, elected officials, as well as members of the FBI and state police, she said.
ԓOne of the things I have found most impressive about Al is his dedication to leadership and his philosophy about leadership, Farrell added.
She noted that Fiore, who grew up in Shelton, had long been a Westport resident and joked that ԓhe is also taking a big risk with this job because he is also a resident of this town.
In brief remarks, Fiore thanked Farrell for the confidence she had shown in him. “I was a Boy Scout and they say ԑbe prepared and I am,Ҕ he said with a broad grin.
Fiore, who received a B.S. in criminal justice from the University of New Haven, said the two other deputy chiefs were longtime friends and great police officers.Ӕ
I look forward to continued support from them and everyone else within the department,Ӕ he said.
Fiore said there was much to do in the department and that things have changed in policing over the years, especially over the last few years since Sept. 11.Ӕ
As his wife Kim, a sales director for Salomon Brothers Asset Mangement, looked on, Fiore pledged to do his best. “I ask you to bear with me, work with me, and support me, ” he said.
“And you know, each and every one of you, that I will support you 100 percent. My heart and soul is in this town, and in this police department.”

New Westport Police Chief to be Named Today

Westport First Selectman Diane Goss Farrell scheduled a mid-day news conference today to announce a successor to retiring Police Chief William J. Chiarenzelli.

Deputy Police Chief Alfred R. Fiore, 47, appeared to be the leading candidate over fellow Deputy Chiefs Donald Brown and David Heinmiller, according to several Town Hall sources.

But Farrell was still talking to the candidates and other officials as late as Monday, the sources said, and her final choice was not known.

Farrell had said last week that she planned to appoint the successor to Chiarenzelli before the Christmas holidays and there was speculation she might use Wednesdays citizensҒ brown bag lunch for the occasion.

Chiarenzelli announced Nov. 26 that he would retire Jan. 1 after a 38-year career with the department.

Last week, the Police Pension Board approved a $89,810 annual disability benefit for Chiarenzelli.