Stonington Finance Council Approves Addition of Deputy Chief Constable

Stonington ― The Finance Council has backed a Police Department plan to create a Deputy Chief of Police position.

The new position will include the requirements of the position of captain and other responsibilities, and will be filled internally like all other vacancies that will result from the promotion, with the exception of an entry level patrol position. .

The estimated cost of promotions is approximately $53,000 per year, and a new officer costs approximately $86,000 for a total incremental cost of $139,000 per year.

First coach Danielle Chesebrough said she believed the money was available in the budget to cover the increase.

In a letter to the finance council, Police Chief Jay DelGrosso cited increased administrative requirements due to new state and federal legislation, including the Police Accountability Act of 2020, as one reasons for the new position.

Additionally, DelGrosso said the creation of the new position would provide career advancement opportunities and help the department plan for future personnel changes due to department members reaching retirement age. The department currently has 3 sergeants and a captain eligible for retirement, and 2 lieutenants who will be eligible in 2 1/2 years.

Chesebrough said changes will also be made to the job description for the captain, a non-union position, to now oversee officer certification requirements. These needs are currently taken care of by a lieutenant, a union position that generates overtime.

“The new captain position will have a long-term focus on accreditation needs and emergency management, among other duties,” she said.

“We have an emergency management person who is wonderful and has been doing this for years, but the role has really evolved over the years, and the state requirements are really quite extensive,” he said. she explained, adding, “it really makes sense for it to be a part-time position instead of an allowance position like we have now.

She also noted that the changes are intended to reduce the workload and overtime for officers that can cause burnout.

“It has to happen,” she said, “we can’t wear down our officers any more than we already are.”

The police department is also developing a national recruiting effort to fill the patrol position that will become vacant following internal promotions as well as to fill the other three vacant patrol positions.