STATEMENT BY POLICE COMMISSIONER ALFRED “CHUB” WILCOX

It is apparent that the Chief takes his job seriously. I hope it is equally apparent that I take my job seriously too.

The Chief’s job is to manage the department. My job is to be a part — and hopefully a forceful part — of citizen oversight of the Chief and the department.

I can’t accomplish anything individually, only a majority of the Commissioners can really accomplish anything. But I can’t persuade a majority to do anything without the benefit of information, and I think that’s what this dispute is really about. The Chief apparently wants to be the only person with all the information we need, depriving the rest of us of our ability to do our jobs effectively.

There seems to be a lot of misimpressions or misinformation floating around, so let me state flat out what is not involved here.

There are:
-NO police photos in any of the documents being discussed.
-NO report of a police interview with the alleged victim.
-NO report of a police interview with a child of the alleged victim.
-NO photo of or even the name of a child of the alleged victim.

There is nothing gruesome, lurid, prurient, or otherwise sensational shown in the three photos which a private citizen gave to each member of the Commission in support of his complaint to them in early July, 2021.

Neither Chief Spera nor anyone else has ever suggested that the citizen who made the complaint about the department was not lawfully entitled to possess the documents he supplied to the Commissioners, or that he was not lawfully entitled to share those documents with the Commissioners.

Why, you may ask, do I care about these documents? Because I believe that when a citizen is angered enough about how he was treated by our police department that he (or she) writes a lengthy complaint letter to the Commissioners, supporting it with what he believes to be corroborating evidence, then the Commissioners owe it to him (or her) not just to turn the complaint over to the Chief for him to look into, but also to monitor and follow up from time to time to ensure that the complaint is being taken seriously.
And if we are to do that, we need to have some record of the complaint so we can competently follow up on it.

Chief Spera says he is doing his utmost to protect us all. But with specific regard to this citizen’s complaint, when I asked at a Police Commission meeting what was being done, Mr. Spera replied that he wasn’t investigating it because he had invited the complainant to come to police headquarters and fill in a form, and the individual hadn’t done that.

But that runs directly counter to the Chief’s own General Orders for the department, which state that complaints received in the form of a letter are to be promptly acknowledged and investigated. Clearly, there is good reason for the Commission to be alert to its ongoing oversight responsibility here.

I will address in another piece the purported legal reasoning which Chief Spera says backs up his position, but that must of necessity be denser and drier than this. In the meantime, I hope this gives the public a clearer picture of the nature of the materials that were given to me, and why I think it is important that I hold onto them.

Dan Moran

 

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Adam Boyd
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Colin Heffernan
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Carol Conklin
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A. Donald Cooper
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Ken Soudan
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Neil McCrudden
  • Neil and wife Ethel have lived in Old Saybrook for 20 years
  • Retired Pharmacist – having graduated from Pharmacy School at U.R.I.
  • Served in U.S. Navy during WW II
  • Member of the Elderly Benefit Committee
  • Served on the Estuary Transit Board
  • Past member of the OSDTC
  • Active member of the American Red Cross and American Cancer Society
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George Chang

 

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John O'Brien
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Alan Spargo
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George Wall
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Emilio Scamporino
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Susan Esty
 
  • Park and Recreation Commission member for over 6 years
  • Integral to the successful restoration of Parks and Play Fields after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, including the Saybrook Point Miniature Golf facility
  • Worked on Appointment of the new Director of P&R, after retirement of Vicky Duffy
  • Serves on The Preserve Ad Hoc Committee
  • Strong believer in the value of Old Saybrook’s many natural resources for recreation.
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