Jan 292015

BEST-POLICE-Patch-EVER-275x300Orange police served a warrant on a West Haven woman Jan. 19 at 9:35 p.m.

According to the report, Meghan Robinson, 33, of 20 Elizabeth St., surrendered herself at police headquarters after learning of a warrant for her arrest.

The warrant stemmed from an incident on Christmas Day in the parking lot of the Kohl’s store, where Robinson reportedly got into a physical altercation with her girlfriend.

She was charged with third-degree assault and released on a promise to appear in court Jan. 20.


Jan 292015

Police Headquarters

Police Headquarters

An Orange business owner surrendered himself at police headquarters on Jan. 20 at 1:50 p.m. after learning of a warrant for his arrest.

Police said Gomosta Muniruzzaman, 43, of 374 Orange Center Road, was wanted on a warrant stemming from an investigation of credit card fraud perpetrated at the Valero Gas Station, 347 Boston Post Road, Orange, which he owns.

Investigation revealed that a separate person obtained credit cards that did not belong to her, then used them at the Valero Gas Station to purchase gasoline, food, and cigarettes, and also to receive cash advances from the cards.

According to police, Muniruzzaman facilitated these fraudulent transactions. Officers expect to make more arrests in this case.

Muniruzzaman was charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit illegal use of a credit card, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny, four counts of conspiracy to commit receipt of goods by illegal use of credit cards and second-degree filing a false statement.

He was released after posting $7,500 bond for court Feb. 3.


Jan 282015

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.20.20 AMHave you ever wondered why a police officer is sitting in his patrol car with the interior lights on?

What is an officer looking for when she patrols a shopping center parking lot?

Is a shoplifting investigation an easy 5 minute job, or can it take several hours to complete?

Why do the Orange Police need all those vehicles? What is that truck used for? Does Orange have a SWAT unit?

You can get the answers to these questions and so much more when you take part in the Citizens Police Academy.

The academy is a unique opportunity for regular citizens to see first-hand all the behind the scenes workings of the Orange Police Department.

This is an eight-session course that includes lessons on the traffic division; firearms; legal issues in the court system; crime scene processing – fingerprinting techniques; how patrol officers deal with intoxicated drivers; meet the K-9 officers Trent and Loki (and their handlers, of course) and much more.

The course culminates in a ride-along with a patrol officer during his or her regular shift, during which you will get the feel of what it’s like to be an officer (but you will not be put in harms way).

The class begins on Wednesday, March 11, and will run every Wednesday evening for 8 weeks from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Orange Police Department, 314 Lambert Road.

Registration is first come first served, with preference given to Orange residents. Limited to 20 students. Age 18 and older.

Register by Monday, March 2 by calling Officer Robert Amarone at 203-891-2138 ext. 215.

Historically, classes fill up quickly, so don’t procrastinate.


Originally Published on: Jan 19, 2015 @ 10:29

Jan 262015

Blizzard Warning 2013The latest from the National Weather Service, Blizzard Warning remains in effect until midnight Tuesday night.

“Crippling and potentially historic blizzard will impact the area into Tuesday,” the NWS announced.

Much of the report mirrors what Orange Live published yesterday.

• Heavy Snow and blowing snow with blizzard conditions.

• Accumulations of 20 – 30 Inches with locally higher amounts.

• Snowfall rates 2-4 inches per hour late tonight into Tuesday morning.

• Northerly winds 20 – 30 mph with gusts up to 50-60 mph.

• Visibility of 1/4 mile or less at times.

• Temperatures in low to mid 20s.

• Accumulations of up to 4 inches by sunset. Snow will pick up in intensity tonight with the heaviest snowfall and strongest winds from around midnight into Tuesday afternoon.

• Life threatening conditions and extremely dangerous travel due to heavy snowfall and strong winds with whiteout conditions. Many roads may become impassable and strong winds my down power lines and tree limbs.

• Do not travel, but if you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle. All unnecessary travel is discouraged beginning Monday afternoon to allow people already on the road to safely reach their destinations before the heavy snow begins and to allow snow removal equipment to clear the roads.

• A travel ban is in effect beginning at 9 p.m. per the governor, so aside from police, emergency crews and snow removal crews, no one is allowed on the roads until the ban is lifted.


Jan 262015

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.24.01 AMOrange Emergency Management Director Fred Palmer passed along these Red Cross Safety Tips:

❏ Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).

❏ Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.

❏ Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

❏ Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS) 

❏ Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.

❏ Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

❏ Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

❏ Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

❏ Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

❏ All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

Cold-Related Emergencies 

Frostbite and hypothermia are two dangerous and potentially life-threatening emergencies. Learn how to care for these emergencies by taking a first aid class.

❏ Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.

❏ Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.

❏ Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.

❏ Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

❏ Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

❏ Check on your animals and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles. If possible, bring them indoors.

Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills 

❏ Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

❏ The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.

❏ Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

❏ If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.

❏ Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. Let Your Family Know You’re Safe If your community experiences a severe winter storm, or any disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Web site available through RedCross.org to let your family and friends know about your welfare. If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.

Be RedCrossReady Winter Storm Safety Checklist

What should I do? What supplies do I need? What do I do after a storm? Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind driven snow that lasts for several days.

Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

For more information on disaster and emergency preparedness, visit RedCross.org

Winter Storm Watch Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions. Winter Storm Warning Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

❏ Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day

❏ Food—at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food

❏ Flashlight

❏ Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

❏ Extra batteries

❏ First aid kit

❏ Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)

❏ Multi-purpose tool

❏ Sanitation and personal hygiene items

❏ Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

❏ Cell phone with chargers

❏ Family and emergency contact information

❏ Extra cash

❏ Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

❏ Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

❏ Tools/supplies for securing your home

❏ Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery

❏ Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members

❏ Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves.

Jan 252015

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 6.24.19 PMFeel the chill in the air? Winter is here, so it’s time to adopt a fire hydrant.

In the event of an emergency, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department will need to access all local fire hydrants for water.

But if they are covered in snow, the firefighters would have to clear it themselves, taking up valuable time and possibly cause a delay in putting out a fire — no one wants that to happen.

Some town residents already have signed up for the “Adopt A Hydrant” program at the Orange Country Fair and the Firemen’s Carnival. Other residents just automatically take it upon themselves to clear around fire hydrants near their homes and the fire department greatly appreciates it.

The Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is asking residents interested in adopting a fire hydrant and helping out the town and fire department to please e-mail CERT member Lisa Hartshorn at [email protected] with your name, address, fire hydrant number (if applicable), location of hydrant and e-mail address so she can add you to the directory of volunteers.

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 6.36.17 PM


Originally Published on: Jan 4, 2015 @ 18:44

Jan 252015

K9 Loki

K9 Loki

Orange Police Officer Chris Brown has had a busy year. He is the father of a 7 month old daughter, and recently completed his second training course at the Ct State Police K9 Training Academy: first with K9 Major, who was killed in the line of duty on Route 34 and in December with new K9 partner Loki.

Major’s death was a tragic accident early in his career. He was distracted by a flock of sheep while Chris was helping a stranded motorist and ran to the opposite side of the highway. He was struck by a truck when responding to his partner’s command to return. There is a memorial in front of the Police Department in his honor.

Police Chief Robert Gagne encouraged Chris to “grab the leash” again and get another dog.

Asst. Chief Anthony Cuozzo said Chris is good at his job and he and Gagne have the utmost confidence in his ability as a K9 handler. “The Orange PD is lucky to have a lot of community support for our K9s.”

Chris went to a kennel in upstate New York to look at the dogs bred to do police work.

Loki, a sable German Shepherd was the first dog he looked at.

At 14-months old, the dog showed he had a strong work ethic and would do anything for the ball (if you remember Officer Mike Kosh’s dog Max, you know about that passion) which is his reward for a job well done.

“His drive was high and he went the extra mile to get (the ball),” Chris said. “I chose him without hesitation, I know he’ll have the longevity to do the work for 6-7 years.”

As Cuozzo tells it, Chris called Chief Gagne and said, “I found a dog, I need $7,500.” The Chief agreed and asked when he was going to pick him up — Chris said, “He’s with me now, I’ve got him.”

Chris said the training academy was easy for Loki: he did well in everything from obedience to tracking, and he’s very aggressive.  “He’s got a very strong bite.”

“I think he would have been the Top Dog in his class if I hadn’t already gone through the training once last year,” Chris said.

Gagne said Loki was put to the test with farm animals that you would find in Orange, to make sure they wouldn’t be a distraction — he passed with flying colors, focusing on his goal and ignoring everything else in his surroundings.

Every dog has a different personality and is special in their own way. Unlike Max and Major, Loki (now 18 months old) doesn’t bark incessantly when in the patrol car, something Chris appreciates.

The team took to the streets on January 12 and so far, they are the perfect fit.

Loki’s connection to Chris was clear as we sat down together on Jan. 15 at the Orange Police Department.

Both the dog and handler were facing me while we talked and I couldn’t help but notice that when Chris, tilted his head, turned a certain way or looked left or right, Loki — who had his back to his partner — mirrored every move.

Loki and Chris work the night shift and currently, Loki is trained for tracking.

Chris, a member of the regional SWAT and since it does not yet have a K9 member, he believes Loki would be a valuable asset to the team.

Chris is planning to bring Loki to the schools where former K9 handler Mike Kosh is the resource officer and introduce his partner to the children.

Family Dog

Loki belongs to the Town Of Orange, but he will live his entire life as a member of the Brown family.

Chris and his wife knocked a few names around but they quickly settled on Loki, “The God of Mischief” from the Avengers.

The Brown family also has a Maltese/Yorkie Mix that Loki gets along with well. Even though she rules the roost, the friendship was immediate and Loki is gentle with her.

Being a K9 handler means constant training throughout the dog’s career. Chris already has plans to work with other dog handlers from nearby cities and towns to keep Loki’s skills fresh. They will meet on weekends and put their dogs through their paces to keep them fresh. It also helps to socialize them with other dogs.

AKC Reunite Funding

As noted earlier, a good police dog costs about $7,500 and some police departments can’t afford to purchase them.

Chris Sweetwood is from the Trap Falls Kennel Club, one of 5,000 kennel clubs from across the country. One day, while talking to Newtown Police Officer Matt Hayes, with whom he spent time in Iraq, he learned about the town’s need for a K9 and his club donated money to fund the purchase.

After the Newtown school tragedy, the K9 passed on and the town could not afford to buy a replacement. After talking to several other clubs, money was donated to the AKC Reunite, which provides microchips and helps recover lost dogs, for a grant program spearheaded by Sweetwood that provides search and rescue dogs and police dogs where needed. Newtown got a new dog through this grant money and soon after Orange also received a grant for matching funds with which it was able to pay for K9 Major.

AKC Reunite is now working on getting donations to help Monroe and Westport with funding for police K9s as well.

“The AKC community recognizes the significant role of K9 officers, as well as the challenges that many police departments face when attempting to finance new dogs. We were deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of Major, but are thrilled that Loki was able to step into his role so quickly,” said Tom Sharp, CEO, AKC Reunite. “It is our hope that more police departments across the country will utilize the AKC community as a resource for their K9 programs in the future.”

The town of Orange had insurance on Major, so, fortunately it was able to obtain Loki without having to look for money.

In October, Mike Rhodes of the UConn Police, who met Chris Brown during K9 training (with Major) donated $1,000 from the K9 Olympics to help Orange’s K9 program.

Jan 242015

K9 Trent and handler/partner Officer Mary Bernegger

K9 Trent and handler/partner Officer Mary Bernegger

On Friday night, Orange Police Officer Mary Bernegger and her K9 partner Trent visited the Orange Congregational Church where the youth group was taking part in the annual fundraising Freeze Out to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Trent is a trained drug-sniffing dog.

Bernegger hid small amounts of drugs inside the building and told Trent to get to work. The kids and their chaperones watched as he found one item and then another within a few minutes.

Since going into service last June, Trent has done an excellent job at getting illegal drugs off the streets. So far his nose has sniffed out around 20 pounds of marijuana and other drugs.

After he was done impressing his audience, Trent visited with the kids, gave kisses and got plenty of belly rubs while Bernegger answered questions.





Jan 242015

IMG_2356On Friday night into Saturday, the Youth of the Orange Congregational Church participated in the “Freeze Out,” fundraising event to benefit Youth United/Habitat for Humanity.

The purpose of this event is to raise money for Habitat for Humanity in Bridgeport. The Orange Congregational group hopes to raise at least $2,000 from this event to put toward its $10,000 State Farm Matching Grant.

Each teen who participates is required to get friends and family members to sponsor them to stay out in the cold and raise a minimum of $35 each.

Some residents drove by and handed the kids donations for the cause.

A shanty town of cardboard boxes in front of the church provided them a little shelter from the elements. Tarps kept the snow and rain from soaking and weakening the structure.

The event began at 6 p.m. with a pizza dinner for the participants and ended around 8 a.m. on Saturday.

After dinner the youths and adult chaperones rotated every hour to experience living outside on a cold January night. Those who were inside the church hall participated in activities and listened to guest speakers.

This year, Orange police officer Mary Bernegger’s drug-sniffing K9, laborador “Trent” impressed his audience with his amazing ability to find even trace amounts of drugs that his partner hid inside the church building prior to the demonstration.

At 6 a.m., before breakfast, two chaperones, Karen and Stuart were shoveling snow and already had built a snowman.

Jan 222015

police carThe Orange Police Department responded to three shed burglaries over the holiday weekend.

On Sunday, Jan. 18, officers received complaints from two different residents on South Greenbrier Drive that their sheds had been forcibly entered and tools were missing.

On Monday, Jan. 19, a resident on High Ridge Road reported that his shed was entered along with a storage trailer parked next to the shed. He also lost a number of tools to the perpetrator(s).

Residents are reminded to lock up any valuable items left outside and call police if they notice any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. Residents should take inventory of valuable items in sheds and garages. Photograph the item and record purchase dates and serial numbers. Marking tools with a personal identifier, such as engraved drivers license number, will help in locating the owner of recovered property.