Derby Lawmakers To Talk Vandalism, Security

Members of Derby’s government will convene 7 p.m. Wednesday for a special meeting to discuss vandalism.

The special meeting was called after local officials talked about a rash of vandalism at two previous meetings — a subcommittee of the Derby Board of Aldermen, and then at a full meeting of the Derby Board of Aldermen.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting is embedded as a photo below.

The agenda includes a public portion. That means anyone interested in commenting should show up and make his or her opinion known.

The agenda also suggests there could be a closed-door “executive session” during the meeting.

That’s a nonpublic meeting allowed under very specific circumstances under state law, such as the deployment of security personnel.

But the discussions so far have been very much in the public, as crime is literally a matter of public concern. In addition, the Aldermen are not the city’s Board of Police Commissioners, and public safety issues happen in public in neighborhood watch meetings all over the U.S., all the time.

Here is a summary of the public discussion so far, with info from a previous Valley Indy story:

At an Aldermen subcommittee meeting June 13, Derby Public Works Director Anthony DeFala said the vandalism in downtown Derby is the worst he’s seen — and he spent 20 years as a Derby police officer.

About $6,000 in damage was inflicted upon benches and other items on the Derby Green between Elizabeth and Minerva streets, DeFala said, according to meeting minutes from the subcommittee.

Among the victims — the Derby Green Civil War monument, which was already in the process of major renovation.

The press box overlooking the football field within the Leo F. Ryan Athletic Complex was also burglarized and damaged, according to Second Ward Alderman Joseph DiMartino.

At the full Derby Aldermen in June, Third Ward Alderman Anthony Staffieri offered to install cameras on the building he owns next to the Derby Green to keep an eye out.

This is far from the first time vandalism has been discusses in Derby.

In fact, the image at the top of this story is from The Electronic Valley, which was Derby government’s unofficial website until the city finally established a website of its own.

The photo is from 2007, when vandals kept defacing the Derby Greenway (the walking trail that stretches along the Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers).

Back then Derby legislators talked about increasing fines and even offering rewards to “crack down” on the problems.

Click here to be transported back to 2007.

On Tuesday afternoon we asked Valley Indy readers on Facebook to weigh-in on the vandalism issue. The response thread, which can be accessed by clicking the image below, morphed into a conversation about property crime in Derby.

Readers posted about:

  • Car break-ins on 10th Street
  • Bicycle thefts
  • Dirt bike thefts
  • More car break ins
  • BB gun vandalism

From reader Susan Schroeder: “Derby PD could issue monthly crime reports via website or a facebook site…news otherwise comes too late to allow to be proactive….which we should all be but often procrastinate. We tried to no avail for neighborhood watch meaning we attended meeting held and volunteered names but no follow-up or encouragement was given.”


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