DEEP RIVER— The board of selectmen this week hired Chris Cope, a former resident state trooper, as the town’s new full-time police officer. The hiring was approved at the board’s regular meeting on Aug. 27.
First Selectman Richard Smith said Friday Cope, an East Lyme resident, was one of six finalists interviewed for the new full-time police position. Cope retired last March after 20 years with the Connecticut State Police. At the time of his retirement, Cope was completing about four years of service as the resident state trooper for Deep River.
Smith said Cope must complete about two weeks of comparative transfer training at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden. The training is required for former state troopers shifting to work in a municipal police department. Smith said Cope is expected to begin patrol duties in Deep River by mid-October. He joins a force that now includes full-time officer Raymond Sypher, and two part-time officers, Smith and Peter Lewis. The town officers serve under the supervision of a resident state trooper.
In other business this week, a town meeting Tuesday approved five additional appropriations from the now concluded 2012-2013 budget year that totaled $283,221. Only one resident joined the three selectmen and Town Clerk Amy Winchell at the town meeting to act on the additional; appropriations.
The additional appropriations included $34,751 for selectmen/town hall operations, $64,741 for police services, $70,265 for the highway department, $45,401 for parks and recreation, and $60,063 for capital projects, specifically the completion of improvements to town hall. Smith said nearly all of the additional appropriations were covered by grants, additional revenue, and unexpended funds from other budget accounts.
Smith had said earlier this month that about $65,000 from the $283,221 total may not be covered by other sources of funding and could require an appropriation from the town’s undesignated fund balance. Smith said Friday he now believes the actual shortfall that would require a transfer from the fund balance will be closer to $40,000.