The grant will fund improved technology and equipment for the Darien Police Department’s Marine Division and police boat
The Darien Police Department is making some much-needed improvements within its Marine Division thanks to a significant grant from The Darien Foundation. In total, the police department received $124,000 in grant funding to support a robust technology initiative for the Darien Police Boat, Darien-127.
Darien-127 was originally purchased in 2016 and was launched with $65,000 of then cutting-edge technology underwritten by The Darien Foundation. However, significant advancements have been made in boating technology that are needed to support the marine division’s mission of on-water safety and emergency response. Also, exposure to the salty air and harsh weather conditions in the off-season resulted in a shorter-than-average life expectancy for much of the onboard technology. The police boat operates 8-10 hours per day during boating season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, responding to emergency incidents and engaging in safety enforcement on a daily basis. However, Darien-127 does not go on drydock, but remains in service for the five marine officers who respond to distress calls year-round, including during the dark, frigid, and harder-to-navigate waters of winter.
“We are so pleased to be supporting the Darien Police Department’s Marine Division, who respond to calls in all sorts of conditions,” said Darien Foundation Executive Director Sarah Woodberry. “Recreational use of our waterfront is a core element of our community here in Darien, and whether in-season or off-season, we understand the importance of keeping everyone safe and the value of investing in the resources our public safety officers need to do their jobs effectively.”
Through The Darien Foundation’s Grant, Darien-127 has been outfitted with state-of-the-art enhancements, including onboard navigational hardware and software, a side scan sonar system, FLIR thermal imaging systems, an LED flood searchlight, and a Getac rugged laptop and mobile data terminal. Additionally, the Marine Division will be receiving Motorola all-band multi-mode radios — allowing the five Marine Officers to communicate beyond the marine channel and connect directly with other first responders on land or on sea. The new radios also have the ability to receive distress calls in real-time when on land in the off-season rather than waiting for calls to be routed through the U.S. Coast Guard or dispatch.
“We were thrilled with the quick response from The Darien Foundation on this grant,” said Sergeant James Palmieri, Supervisor of the Darien Police Department’s Marine Division. “This allows us to outfit Darien-127 and our marine officers with some of the most advanced technology and communications so that we can help ensure the safety of all who use our waterways, as well as the safety of our responding officers.”
The Darien Foundation, which is marking its 25th Anniversary this year, has supported the Darien Police Department with numerous grants for innovative technology and equipment, including a $109,000 grant in 2020 for training and investigation technology.
“We are grateful for the longstanding partnership and dialogue with The Darien Foundation,” said Chief Donald Anderson. “We value our community relationships, and we continue to work to best serve our community of Darien.”
For more information about The Darien Foundation, visit darienfoundation.org
Photo provided with permission from Katherine Calderwood of Calderwood Photography.