Chief of Police Frank Papapietro was present at Monday's meeting of the Mayor and Council to speak about his department's investigation into the recent reported incidents of luring and answer questions from concerned residents.
Commending the efforts of the New Milford Police Department, Mayor Ann Subrizi turned the floor over to Papapietro to update the public about the investigation and answer questions.
Papapietro said New Milford Police, detectives from many agencies, and the Prosecutor’s Office are working together and collectively sharing information, sorting through descriptions, pooling resources in searching every lead and utilizing every investigative tool. Patrol officers have been issued specific orders and are being extremely vigilant around places where children are gathered.
"The safety of our children is paramount," Papapietro said. "We will stop at nothing to keep our children safe."
Papapietro assured the audience that he has been in constant contact with the Superintendent of Schools, Michael Polizzi, advising him of all new developments. Together they have been proactively disseminating information and have coordinated the efforts of DARE, the School Resource Officers, Guidance Counselors and Doreen Zacher, New Milford School Student Assistance Coordinator, to prepare age-appropriate programs designed to address the reported lurings and give the students the opportunity to voice their concerns.
Most of the residents in attendance said that their concerns were partly quelled by the amount of police presence not only from the NMPD, but from the County, and the proactive measures that the schools, in conjunction with NMPD are taking.
Although he said that he could not get into details, Papapietro said that his officers have specific orders that they are following for the early morning hours prior to the start of school and when school lets out.
In response to a question about Halloween, Papapietro said that he is requesting that the Mayor and Council authorize a curfew for that day.