Saybrook OKs police chief’s retirement

Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

OLD SAYBROOK — The Police Commission voted to accept Police Chief Edmund Mosca’s retirement after meeting in executive session for nearly two hours Monday night.

The commission also discussed a process for replacing the chief, whose retirement is effective Oct. 16, Chairwoman Christina Burnham said. The group plans to seek input from current police officers before meeting June 8, when commissioners will discuss the scope of the search, Burnham said.

The meeting was the commission’s first since state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced the conclusion of his investigation into Mosca’s use of the McMurray-Kirtland Memorial Fund, a pool of money that Blumenthal found the chief had partly misused for 25 years. Mosca agreed to reimburse $22,500 to the fund, which Blumenthal said would be reorganized.

About 20 people turned out for the meeting, and several expressed concerns about or support for the Police Department.

Mary Hansen, a town resident who filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the fund’s files more than a year ago, questioned whether Mosca would still have a role in the Police Department’s operations until October.

“If so, I would highly recommend that this commission make his retirement date effective immediately,” Hansen said, adding she thought the commission should look outside the department to replace Mosca.

“We need someone new to lead our Police Department,” she said. “We need a person with experience and no prior connections to the Mosca regime.”

Resident Jim Lynch said he has had “nothing but positive experiences” with the Old Saybrook Police Department.

“I don’t see anything broken with the police force,” he said. “I just don’t see the bureaucratic approach to reaching out, retraining and reorganizing something that’s not broken.”

Mosca announced his retirement April 30. He is currently using up accumulated vacation and personal days. In the meantime, Deputy Police Chief Michael Spera, who was appointed to the reinstituted deputy chief position last June, is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the department.

Police Commission members thanked Mosca, the longest serving police chief in the state, for his service after unanimously voting to accept the resignation Monday night.

“We’d also just like to commend him for his 47-plus years in service to the town of Old Saybrook and duly noted in all that he’s done for us over the years,” Vice-Chairman Timothy Conklin said.

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