Warren First Constable Gene Bifano told town officials Tuesday that he had recently completed a five-day course at the Vermont Police Academy where he said there is an ongoing effort to "professionalize" local law enforcement outfits.
Bifano, along with Warren Second Constable Jeff Campbell, discussed
current law enforcement needs in addition and their responses to recent
criminal incidents at the October 12 select board meeting.
The five-day course at the Vermont Police Academy will be required for all constables in July 2012, following a two-year extension of the state law that mandates all part-time law enforcement officers complete 186 hours of training.
Currently, constables still have power of enforcement.
Bifano said he was the only constable in his class that included competency testing and criminal and DMV law testing.
"The course was really impressive. All the instructors were topnotch. The intent was to professionalize us," he said.
In addition, Bifano said, he and Campbell attended a constable's meeting and are looking to adopt a police policy manual based on Vermont law, which he said is "incredibly different" than other states.
Bifano said that improving e-911 signage is important for law enforcement and ambulances to respond to incidents; he discussed the possibility of distributing an informational pamphlet about the state law and town ordinance about proper e-911 signage and where to display the numbers on homes.
Campbell said the e-911 law was passed in the late 1990s so people should be aware of the ordinance. When responding to fire department calls, Campbell said, members of the Warren Fire Department often have to shine a spotlight to see the 911 address clearly.
Town officials said they were in favor of distributing a piece of paper telling residents where to place the e-911 lettering and why it is required and necessary for emergency responses.
Discussion then turned to an ongoing littering issue at the intersection of Plunkton Road and the Brook Road. Bifano told select board members that there is a fine for dumping, but enforcement is unclear.
Select board member Anson Montgomery said, "People call it the free corner."
"I want to know who's throwing the KFC out of the window on the Brook Road. You're driving a long way from KFC to litter on the Brook Road."
Campbell said the town should consider getting "No Dumping" signage for what Bifano called the "Warren WalMart."
If caught leaving furniture and garbage behind, Campbell said, "you can lose your driver's license, your hunting license, it's the law."
Select board chair Andy Cunningham said, "When people throw not-so-good stuff there, they should feel guilty every time they drive by."
In addition to responding to a few domestic assault reports, Bifano said he and Campbell have been helping out on walk and bike to school Fridays and committed to helping with the Halloween road closures in Warren Village.
The constables have also purchased new radios with the help of a federal gran