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Town Adjusts, Confirms Resident State Trooper Contract through 2011

The commander at State Police barracks Troop A will review the changes and is expected to sign.

The Board of Selectmen have confirmed and sent back for review the contract with the state for the resident trooper program in Southbury.

 The contract was originally written to start in 2009, and will run through June 30, 2011. It calls for $109,050 to pay for portions of salary, vehicle and uniform cost, and a meal stipend. The current resident trooper, who heads the town police department, is Sergeant Michael O'Donnell.

The main change in the contract is to eliminate a position in the department that was not needed or filled.

"The old contract allowed for two resident state troopers," Davis said, "we only needed one."

The reason for the delay according to First Selectman Bill Davis, was "verbiage with the state" which the town adjusted.

The town pays for 70 percent of O'Donnell's salary, but the rest of the pay, as well as some supplement for the car and clothes, come from the state budget.

The contract was sent down the street to State Police Troop A so the commanding officer there could review the changes and either confirm or deny it. There is no set timetable for it. The program is already under this contract, and as yet no problems have come along.

"I don't expect (the confirmation) will take long," Davis said. "We made minimal changes."

The Resident Trooper program places state police troopers in towns to dispatch town constables, as town police in Connecticut are labeled, with police powers. Though Davis is technically the head of the town police force according to town charter, this program allows oversight of the department and lets him focus on other town issues.

The program has been running for some time, dating back to the 1930's, the name coming from when the resident trooper was an actual resident of the town.

"We are happy [with the program]," Davis said, "or we wouldn't have one."

Southbury has 20 patrol officers and three police corporals in the department to respond to all town police emergencies.

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