As First Selectman and the Police Commissioner of the Town of Greenwich, I fully support and echo the statement below of Police Chief Jim Heavey in regard to the removal of signs, both political and non-political.
The Greenwich Police Department has concluded its investigation and sent its findings to the State’s Attorney’s Office in Stamford. We will respect the process and not comment until we are contacted by their office. I ask that all residents, including elected officials, refrain from making judgments, posting inflammatory statements on social media, and adding in a negative way to an already tense election season. We ask that all respect the impartiality of the process.
We will address the sign issue post-election, and hope to maintain what was, is, and should always be a fundamental right, but in a less combative, more civil environment.
Stay safe, and see you at the polls on Tuesday.
Fred Camillo, First Selectman, Town of Greenwich
STATEMENT FROM Police Chief James Heavey
In the last couple of weeks Greenwich has experienced a large number of political signs set up across Town on public and private property. The Greenwich Police Department has received numerous complaints about these signs, including concerns over where they have been placed, improper removal of them and vandalism to the signs. We have been able to positively resolve some of these concerns, however in many of the complaints there has been insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint or to prove who committed the questionable act.
In one incident from last week, Town Department of Public Works employees were reported to have selectively removed political signs. GPD conducted an investigation of this incident, which included speaking with witnesses, canvassing for video footage, inspecting the signs in question and interviewing the DPW workers and their supervisors. We have completed our investigation and submitted our findings to the State’s Attorney’s Office in Stamford.
Earlier this week, a GPD patrol officer witnessed an individual take down and remove a political sign. The officer issued a misdemeanor summons to court to the individual for the charges of larceny and criminal mischief. In another incident, officers determined that a juvenile removed four political signs from private property. In yet another incident, a physical altercation broke out over someone placing a political sign on public property.
The individuals we have found responsible for these incidents have come from various sides of the political debate. We will continue to investigate complaints regarding political signs and will issue appropriate enforcement based on the requirements set forth in Connecticut General Statutes and judicial policy. We encourage the public to civilly engage in the political process, appreciate one another’s right to free speech and respect the property of others.
“The Greenwich Police Department recognizes that political and social tensions have been on the rise across the country and even here in Greenwich. There has been a lot of speculation how this will play out on Election Day and navigating these concerns in a fair and impartial manner is a priority for us. We are committed to meeting this challenge. As with all matters, our goals are protecting the community, preserving life and upholding the Constitutions of the U.S. and the State of Connecticut. Our pledge is to support democracy in a non-partisan way that protects everyone’s right to vote.”
—Police Chief James Heavey