Old Lyme to create committee to study options for police service

Old Lyme — The Board of Selectmen plans to form a committee to analyze the town's police services and consider the pros and cons of potentially collaborating with East Lyme.

Old Lyme and East Lyme officials announced in July the beginning of preliminary discussions about the possibility of creating one police force for the two towns.

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder said at Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting that East Lyme is still interested in having the conversation, and Old Lyme "has to do its due diligence as to whether or not this is a good fit for us."

Reemsnyder had approached East Lyme to begin the conversation, after East Lyme left the Resident State Trooper program and established its own independent police force on July 1. Old Lyme is under the Resident State Trooper program.

East Lyme and Old Lyme officials said during the July announcement that they wanted to see if it would make sense for the two shoreline towns to collaborate to improve police service and be more efficient. They said if they decided to collaborate in the future, they would still need to figure out logistics and costs, and any decision would include public comment. Both towns would have to study the issue and vote to approve a consolidation.

During the recent election, the topic of the potential collaboration on police services became a campaign issue.

Reemsnyder said on Monday that Old Lyme won't know whether or not the collaboration is a good idea until the town thoroughly studies it, which is why she is proposing to create the police services options committee.

She said it's important for the town to keep an open mind and determine if there are other options. She said the committee could potentially review other towns' police services. 

Reemsnyder said that the next steps are to develop a charge for the committee, which she envisions will have five members with skills and understanding of police services, and appoint people to the committee. She said she would like to have the committee in place by the end of December.

She asked the selectmen to reach out to potential committee members and encourage them to fill out a request for appointment to the committee, so the selectmen can then make appointments.

The volunteer form can be obtained by downloading it through the town's website or by emailing the selectmen's office 

k.drelich@theday.com

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