The Fuzz Buzz

Bethel Police Thanks Target & Bethel Buzz for Help With Toy Drive

DEC 10, 2012

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Bethel Police Thanks Target & Bethel Buzz for Help With Toy Drive

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The Bethel Police Department had planned on holding a Stuff-a-Cruiser event at the Bethel Target to benefit local needy children this holiday season. Captain Bruckenthal of the Bethel Police sent Bethel Buzz the information to get the word out to the community and Bethel Buzz published the article on Dec. 5. (click here to read)

On a local level, Target was working with the Bethel P.D. to host the event, however on Dec. 6, Target Corporate was made aware of the Stuff-a-Crusier toy drive and canceled the event due to their “No Solicitation” policy. Following a phone call from Wendy Mitchell, owner/editor of Bethel Buzz, Target promised to donate $1,000 to the Bethel Police Benevolent Fund, who were organizing the event, and Target’s media relations department issued the following statement:

“Target partners year-round with local law enforcement across the country, including the Bethel Police Department, and annually evaluate how we can best partner to make a positive impact in the community.

This year, Target is providing a $1,000 grant to the “Stuff a Cruiser” event to enable the police department to purchase gifts for area children.  Prior to this weekend’s shopping event, additional donations will also be accepted at the Bethel Police Department.

Target is focused on creating a great shopping experience for our guests, which includes providing them with a distraction-free shopping environment. Therefore, we prohibit solicitation at our stores regardless of the cause or issue being represented. We continue to educate our stores across the country to ensure they have a thorough understanding of Target’s policies.

Target donates 5 percent of our profits to communities—more than $4 million per week—and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year to non-profit organizations across the country and continuously evaluate our partnerships to ensure they are supporting the community.”

Molly Snyder, Communications Manager, Target

Last Saturday, Captain Bruckenthal went to Target to collect the donation and purchase gifts for Bethel Social Services who will distribute them to needy families in the community.

After a successful collection, Captain Bruckenthal sent the following letter to Bethel Buzz:

Dear Wendy Mitchell, Bethel Buzz,                                                                                                                                 December, 10, 2012

Let me start by giving you a HUGE THANK YOU!!!! It was your prompting that pushed Target into the $1,000.00 donation. Several officers, along with Target employees, went  shopping at Target and spent the monies and loaded the closets for Bethel Social Services. Without your help we would not have had the success with this program with the last-minute problems we endured.

The Bethel Police Benevolent Association will continue to accept gifts for those in need, at the Bethel Police Department, 49 Plumtrees Road,  until Saturday December 15th. Thanks again for all of your help next year I may seek your expertise earlier.

Have a great Holiday Season!

Regards,

Captain David Bruckenthal

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Bethel Police Sergeant Keith Mackenzie to Bike for Fallen Officers

APR 18, 2012

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Bethel Police Sergeant Keith Mackenzie to Bike for Fallen Officers

Bethel Police Sergeant Keith Mackenzie has been protecting and serving the Town of Bethel since 1993. Since 1997 he has been doing it from two wheels. Fifteen years ago Sgt. Mackenzie started the bicycle patrol division of the Bethel Police Department and this May he will be riding for a cause, the Police Unity Tour whose mission, according to their website is—

“To raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty. The secondary purpose is to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.”

On May 9, 2012 police officers from across the country will wide 320 miles for 4 days in honor of their fallen officers.  Sergeant Mackenzie said he trains 3 days a week, 30 miles a day. This is his first year riding with the tour. He said he found out about the ride at a police chief association meeting last year and knew it was something he had to do.

“Since it was first reported back in 1791, there have been 19,000 officers killed in the line of duty. I’m doing it to raise awareness for the officers killed in the line of duty and to raise money for the national law enforcement officers memorial in Washington D.C.”

The bike ride starts in East Hanover, New Jersey. There are 8 chapters throughout the country. Mackenzie is a member of Chapter 1. Fifteen of the riders are from Connecticut, including a Police Chief in Darien and a Captain in Greenwich. Officers from North Branford, Darien and Greenwich will also ride in the Police Unity Tour.

Mackenzie said each officer rides in memory or an officer who was killed in the line of duty. The death of the officer who was assigned to him hits very close to home, he said, because they had so much in common.

“I am riding in honor of David Enzbrenner Atchinson of Kansas who was killed in the line of duty on December 9, 2011. He was shot in the head in an unprovoked attack. Someone walked up behind him and shot him in the head simply because he was in uniform. He was a 20 year veteran patrol sergeant, a father of 3 young daughters and leaves behind a wife,” Mackenzie said.

“It’s the perfect match,” Mackenzie said. “We’re both 46, we both have 3 kids, we are both Control Sergeants and the town he worked for has about 25 officers. Bethel has about 35. It hits really close to home.” Mackenzie’s wife Kate, along with their 3 children, will travel to D.C. to meet the fallen officer’s family.

Officers raise funds that are donated to the National Law Officers Enforcement Museum. Mackenzie’s personal goal for fundraising was $5,000, which he exceeded by $1,000. The Police Unity Tour will hit 10 million dollar mark in donations this year. The memorial is growing because every year names are added so it is a living memorial.

Mackenzie said he wants people to know the following statistics about police officers who die in the line of duty, especially in a small town such as Bethel:

  • In 2011 there were 177 deaths nationwide in 41 states
  • 1 officer is killed every 2 days in the line of duty
  • 71 officers are killed by firearms
  • 64 are killed in traffic related accidents
  • 42 are classified as “other” (drownings, stabbings, officers driving too fast)
  • State of Connecticut has lost 136 to date

Bethel has had 4 officers shot; none died. In 1972 a 12-gauge shotgun shot Aaron Johnson. Detective Mark Fitzgerald was shot in the neck while working undercover in 1982 in Danbury. Officer Michael Daubert was shot in 1986 in routine traffic. He was shot in the head, neck and face and survived. Officer Scott Santa Maria was shot in the waist while checking buildings on Route 6.

“In October of 2009 on Grassy Plain Street officers shot and killed someone so there was 5 incidents where Bethel could have had fatalities. That is horrible statistics for the size of the town,” Mackenzie said.

“The reason I ride is not just to raise money. It’s about raising awareness about all of these officers who were killed in the line of duty.”

For more information or to donate, please click here.

Bethel Police Names New Youth Officer

OCT 28, 2011

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Bethel Police Names New Youth Officer

The Bethel Police Department announced Thursday their appointment of Officer Lynn Morris as their new youth officer.  Chief Jeffrey Finch promoted her to Detective.

Det. Morris will be replacing Officer Ralph DeLuca retired from the Bethel Police Department after serving the Bethel community for 3 decades. While there is no D.A.R.E. program in place after being cut by Chief Finch and the Police Commission, Det. Morris will have a visible presence in the schools, mainly at Johnson and Bethel Middle School.

“I will be interacting with kids during the school day and investigating any criminal and juvenile issues that come up, as well as any child abuse,” Morris said Thursday. She will be visiting the schools mainly on a weekly basis but will be available on a daily basis as needed.

“I will be stationed at the Police Department and visit the schools to say hi to the kids and as needed if they need presentations on topics related to bullying, etc.,” she said.

Since the D.A.R.E. program was cut no new programs have been initiated to replace the anti-drug program. Chief Finch could not be reached for comment.

Det. Morris’ new position as Youth Officer officially begins on Nov. 7th.  She has been trained in dealing with victims of child sexual assault and has 15 years of on-the –job training in handling juvenile cases.

Morris, a Bethel resident, is married with 2 children in the Bethel Public School System, ages 8 and 10-years-old.

Det. Corporal Ralph DeLuca Retires From Bethel P.D.

POSTED BY  ⋅ SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Det. Corporal Ralph DeLuca Retires From Bethel P.D.

After over 3 decades of service to the Bethel community and our children, Det. Ralph DeLuca is hanging up his hat, so to speak. This Friday, Sept. 23 will be DeLuca’s last day on the job in Bethel after 31 years of service.

DeLuca was sworn into office at the Bethel Police Department on March 3, 1980. Originally from Bridgeport, DeLuca moved to Newtown at the age of 11 and to Bethel in when he was 16. He said his love of “all things having to do with the military and uniforms” began as a young child.

“Growing up as a kid in the 60′s I saw a lot on the news about hippies, Woodstock, Vietnam war protests and the proliferation of drugs. I thought ‘someone has to do something to make things better.,” DeLuca said.

He has spent the last 3 decades as a youth officer and D.A.R.E. instructor attempting to do just that. At the age of 14, DeLuca joined the Newtown Police Explorer Post and from there “never looked back.”

In college int he late 70′s DeLuca attended college at Moravian in Bethlehem, PA and worked part-time as an officer for the Town of Sherman. Beginning his position for the Bethel Police Department as a patrol officer, DeLuca was approached by then Chief John Basile for D.A.R.E. training.

“I was a little unsure at first if I wanted to do it but I figured I would try it and it turned out to be the one thing that has defined my career for the last 26 years as a youth officer,” he said, smiling.

The Police Commission and Chef Jeffrey Finch and the police Commission decided to cut the program last year, even after an 11-year-old girl, Lauren Messert collected over 600 signatures to save the program.

While the cut was heartbreaking for DeLuca to see, he said on Tuesday: “It’s time for me to start a new chapter in my life and I think this chapter is going to be a good one.”

DeLuca has helped countless school children over the last 3 decades to learn about making the right choices and to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Some of them, now adults,  have come to visit him, bringing along their own children. Some have followed in his footsteps, choosing to pursue law enforcement as a career themselves.

“The thing with prevention is that many times you don’t know what you’ve prevented. Sometimes you get so close with the families you end up adopting them. Other times, despite your best efforts, things don’t work out,” he said.

DeLuca was eligible to retire 6 years ago but said he could not walk away from the D.A.R.E. program. After it was cut, he said, he had to rethink his retirement plans. After taking one  week off to get things in order, it’s back to work for Det. DeLuca at his new position as School Safety Officer for Trumbull High School. He said he looks forward to the change and starting a new chapter in his life.

Bethel Police Save 47-Year-Old Bethel Man

POSTED BY  ⋅ JULY 27, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT
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Bethel Police Save 47-Year-Old Bethel Man ~ By Wendy Mitchell

The Bethel Police Department is proud to acknowledge that their department, along with Bethel EMT’s, saved the life of a 47-year-old Bethel man who had a heart attack.  On July 13, 2011 the Bethel Police Department received a call from the man’s wife that her husband was in cardiac arrest. Sergeant Rost, Sergeant Durkin, Officer Perun, Officer Delaney, Dispatcher Mort Gutman and Dispatcher Jason Shuttleworth all assisted in the lifesaving call.

Officers Perun and Delaney and Sergeants Rost and Durkin arrived at the home of the man whose wife was performing CPR as instructed by dispatch. The officers applied AED pads and a valve mask until paramedics arrived who then took over and transported the man to the Danbury Hospital for treatment.

Police Chief Jeffrey Finch said, “Over the years we have all seen the great majority die, despite our best efforts, or those of the emergency personnel. To my great surprise this man survived. Three days later he walked out of the hospital. I spoke with him today [July 26, 2011] and he is doing well.”

EMT Guy Minglinas said in a letter to Captain Cedergren: “I feel compelled to point out that it was because of [Bethel Police] crew’s quick, confident actions last night that this man was able to make it to the hospital with a pulse, and hopefully spend many more years with his family.”

He continued: “They really should be commended for their actions. Last night was an excellent example of the caliber of people that work for the Town of Bethel. This town is lucky to have people that are willing to take that extra step in helping others; and do it well.”

Bethel Couple Arrested For Cultivating Marijuana

POSTED BY  ⋅ JULY 26, 2011 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

A Bethel couple living right next door to the Bethel Police Station was arrested on Tuesday, July 26 at 8:00 a.m. for cultivating marijuana in their house. The Bethel Police Department obtained and executed a search warrant stemming from an investigation into the cultivation of marijuana at the home of Guy Allen, 57, and Ellen Allen, 52, of 51 Plumtrees Road, Bethel.

The pair was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of paraphernalia, cultivation, and possession within 1,500 feet of a school zone. The Allens were each released on $5,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in Danbury Superior Court on 8/5/2011.

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