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BETHEL PATCH: Police commission vote to end DARE program

Friday, October 22, 2010
Time: 8:03 PM

To the disapproval of some in the Bethel community, this week the police commission voted in favor of ending the DARE program.

Bethel Patch:
Eleven year old Lauren Messert sat in the front row of the Police Commission meeting last night, petition in hand, awaiting her turn to speak up for the cause she has fought for during the last month. Beside her sat her friend Maya and her father Robert Messert. Lauren collected 685 signatures which she presented during the public comments portion of the evening.


Police Commissioner Nick Ellis said that Chief Jeffery Finch "has the right to change, eliminate or do whatever with the program but he felt it was important to get the pulse from the Superintendent, the First Selectman, and principals of the schools" before the DARE program ended. Ellis added that the Chief "went above and beyond" what he had to do.

Finch read a letter he had written that stated other wealthy communities were cutting the out-dated program and that proved this decision wasn't based on money. Finch said he discussed the decision with the Police Captain, the Police Commission, Superintendent Dr. Gary Chesley and First Selectman Matthew Knickerbockers who all agreed that the program was outdated and it was time to move on to something new.


DeLuca presented the Police Commission with two e-mails from two principals, which were not read to the public, that stated administrators supported the program.

Concern was raised that perhaps the Commission was not presented with all the information before making the decision which led member Bill Ochs to make a motion to table the decision until they had more time to read through and discuss the materials. The motion was seconded by McCollam, however the three other Commission members voted no.

Finch said that the First Selectman discussed with him research that showed the program was not effective.

Ellis said he was excited about helping kids on the middle school level and to stat some fresh, new programs which the principal embraces.

Chief Finch closed his letter by saying, "Let's try something new. Let's return to some traditional values of being a youth officer rather than simply lecturing about bad behavior and bad choices."

There seemed to be a debate regarding the effectiveness/usefulness of the program that requires research...more later.

posted by ctblogger at 8:03 PM | Permalink|


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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.



Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint

Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

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