All options on table for Darien, police
DARIEN The village of Darien is again considering its options for providing police protection.
The Darien Village Board has asked Village Administrator Diana Dykstra to explore all the available policing options.
After a closed session meeting Monday to discuss police department personnel matters, the board returned to open session and moved to "authorize the village administrator to investigate options for the village board to offer a 27/7 police department."
The motion was approved with a unanimous vote.
Dykstra agreed the options might include:
-- Running the police department just as it is now.
-- Running the police department with more officers.
-- Sharing resources with a nearby, police department such as Delavan or Sharon.
-- Contracting with the Walworth County Sheriff's Office.
In 2010, the village board asked the sheriff's office for information on providing police services for the village. In the end, the board decided it wanted to keep its own department.
The village is in the middle of its budget planning for 2013, and the budget includes plans for the Darien Police Department's continued operations.
"Whatever option we would pick would have to offer a cost savings on what we have now," Dykstra said.
The board's decision to study its options came after several closed-session meetings regarding police department operations and its chief, Hunter Gilmore.
On Oct. 4, a meeting notice announced that the board would meet in closed session to "consider potential charges against the chief." The item was later removed from the agenda.
On Monday, Dykstra said the board at the time didn't intend to pursue "charges" against the chief. The wording of the agenda came from Village Attorney Brad Lochowicz, she said.
However, between Oct. 5 and 15, Gilmore took a week of paid leave so the village board could clarify the "lines of authority" between the chief and the village administrator.
At the same time, the board issued a press release saying it "has every confidence" in the chief's continued leadership.