Police Commission Must Not Turn its Back on Sworn Duty
BY LETTER TO THE EDITOR OCTOBER 26, 2021
To the Editor:
In all the high drama some are bringing to the issue of the citizen complaint mailed to me and that I have retained, I ask that people not lose sight of why I made that decision. It is not because I want to create controversy. It is certainly not because I take pleasure from some family’s troubles. It is simply because I take seriously my obligation as a member of the Old Saybrook Police Commission to provide civilian oversight for our Police Department.
The document in question is a civilian complaint against the department we oversee. Pursuant to our by-laws, we refer that complaint to our Chief of Police in the first instance. But that by no means ends our responsibility. As commissioners, we must exercise our authority to ensure that the department addresses the complaint promptly and conducts its investigation professionally. For us to do that, we must not deprive ourselves of the information sent to us by the citizen whose complaint we are to oversee. If we deliberately deprive ourselves of all institutional memory of that complaint, we would be turning our back on our sworn duty.
Alfred “Chub” Wilcox
Old Saybrook, CT