Marpe Creates Civilian Review Panel For Police, Fire, EMS

Westport’s police force, fire department and EMTs provide high service with “utmost professionalism, transparency and accountability,” town officials say.

However, today’s climate “demands a reassessment of goals, an even higher degree of commitment, and a clear way to incorporate and engage” the public.

So today, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe announced a new Civilian Review Panel. Members will work closely with the Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services Departments to “assist in the hiring process of new employees, and review and provide feedback in the civilian complaint process.”

Marpe appointed Selectwomen Jennifer Tooker and Melissa Kane, along with TEAM Westport chair Harold Bailey, to the CRP.

Though the departments heads retain responsibility for hiring and disciplinary measures, the CRP will work collaboratively and offer feedback.

Foti Koskinas says that when he became Police Chief, his goal was

to continue to build on the foundation of public trust carefully fostered between this department and our residents. Now, at a time when police departments across the country are looking introspectively at ways to better serve our communities, I believe that this is an important step in continuing to maintain complete transparency, in preserving public trust and in reassuring our residents that effective policing is truly a collaborative effort.

Fire Chief Rob Yost adds:

The Westport Fire Department continues to strive to diversify in its hiring of recruit firefighters and, to that end, welcomes the assistance from the CRP. I would also welcome their assistance with any questions of conduct or complaints of fire personnel to insure the continued high level of public trust and support of the Fire Department

11 responses to “Marpe Creates Civilian Review Panel For Police, Fire, EMS

  1. Caryl Beatus


  2. Excellent choices.

  3. Monica Ryan

    That is great. I am particularly happy to see that one of those appointed happens to be African American…. and the other two are women! I like the headway. But how about adding some Westport residents that are not part of the Westport government?

  4. Why aren’t some residents who might have some experience in this be appointed. If you constantly appoint people in the town government where is the transparency. Government whether federal, state or local does not always ( and very little lately) have the trust of the people.

  5. Morley Boyd

    Elected town officials are”civilians”?
    That’s interesting.

    • Diane Johnson

      Civilian as in “one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force”. (Merriam-Webster)

      • Morley Boyd

        If one is to establish a board which has some kind of oversight over a unit of local government – and that board is to be populated by appointees who serve at the pleasure of the First Selectman – it would seem best that said appointees were not actually part of the same local government.

  6. Diane Johnson

    Excellent idea to create the CRP and excellent choices in appointments.

  7. Totally agree. This is a half baked idea to have local government people on this board. Don’t you think the relationship they have with police etc might taint their opinions or decisions.
    Food for thought