Notes in A Nutshell: Police Commission

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May 122015

Orange Police Headquarters

Orange Police Headquarters

The Orange Police Commission met at Town Hall on Monday, May 11.

As always the Traffic Authority portion of the meeting came first to discuss any traffic related issues, followed by the general Police Commission items.

Following were some of the topics on the agenda:

Traffic Authority

Subdivision for 560 Lambert Road to subdivide 3.51 Acres of Residential Land to create 2 lots. The applicant went to TP&Z last week but did not have all the approvals and signatures he needed for consideration.

He told the commissioners that the existing house will be removed and two houses would go in along with two new driveways.

Police Chief Robert Gagne looked at the plans and said the sight lines would be the same as they now are.

After a brief discussion the commission unanimously approved the plans.

The applicant received the signatures he needed and will go before the TP&ZC at its next meeting.

• Safety complaint

A resident on Buttonball Road spoke to Asst. Chief Cuozzo about cars speeding in this family neighborhood and expressed her wishes for Children At Play signs as a way to help keep up to 9 kids living there safe.

All of the commissioners are familiar with the road and added the comment, “if another car is coming you may have to stop so they can get by” to the discussion.

Chief Gagne said police will monitor the traffic as much as they can.

They unanimously agreed that getting the signs asap is a priority.

ALS Trek Bike Ride

The annual Tri-State ALS Trek bike ride from Cambridge Mass to Greenwich Ct June 26-28 will come through Orange on Sunday, June 28.

Chief Gagne said the bicyclists will be riding down Route 1, Malloy and Dogwood Roads and up through Route 34 on the final day of the event.

Police Commission

Asst. Chief Cuozzo presented the monthly report for April.

There were two commercial burglaries last month.  The first was at Fieldstone Village where someone took snowblowers. The second was at the unoccupied Orange Medical Center where construction and cleaning equipment were taken at some point, but the actual date is unknown.

A residential burglary was reported on Garden Road and Jewelry and silverware were reported missing.

Copper pipes were taken from a vacant home on Brookside Drive (in the same part of town as Garden Road)

Officers responded to a burglar alarm at another home (address not stated) and jewelry was reported missing.

In April police made 35 criminal arrests, issued 429 traffic tickets, investigated one stolen car complaint, and responded to 58 motor vehicle accidents.

Department Expenditures

• Sgt. Ray LaPlante was sent to accident reconstruction training.

• Minor leaks in the building were repaired

•Cabinetry was installed in the mobile command post

•A drain on the roof was retrofitted.

Budget Balance

Chief Gagne said everything looks good.

Any overtime (overages) can be taken care of by end of fiscal year.

The cost of gas went down and that helped save money.


A resident wrote a letter saying an officer who helped her was patient and kind and went the extra mile.

Another resident praised an officer for ensuring her safety when she had car trouble.

New Recruits

The Orange Police Department will welcome four new officers at the police academy graduation in Milford on Monday, May 18.

All four officers will be sworn in on Tuesday, May 19 and then begin their on the job training.

PHOTOS: Asst. Police Chief Anthony Cuozzo Sworn In

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Sep 272012

Orange Live was the only news media to videotape the swearing-in ceremony of Asst. Police Chief Anthony Cuozzo this afternoon.

The video is processing now (7:53 p.m.), and should be online around 9 p.m. In the meantime, enjoy these photographs.

At Home WithTony Cuozzo, Moments After He Learned Of His Promotion

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Sep 192012

Asst. Chief Anthony Cuozzo and his wife, Antonietta at home.

Anyone in town that knows Anthony Cuozzo is well aware of his desire to be top dog in the Orange Police Department. When Asst. Chief Edward Koether retired nearly one month ago, Cuozzo was probably first in line with his application in hand.

The past month has been a nail-biter for Cuozzo and his wife of 20 years, Antonietta as the Police Commission meeting was postponed from last week to this week, and then from Monday to Tuesday due to the Jewish holiday.

Minutes after Chief Robert Gagne broke the news and congratulated Lt. Cuozzo on his new job, I was in his livingroom with Antonietta, two of his children and his mom watching as he fielded one congratulatory cell phone call after another.

Antonietta smiled and said, “It’s been a long time coming. He works so hard, he deserves it.”

Tony’s mom, Carole,  brushed back her tears and said, “My husband would have been so proud.” Arnold Cuozzo died in December 2010.

“So, talk to me, how does it feel?” I asked.

“Believe it or not, I’m speechless,” Cuozzo said. (If you know Tony … You wouldn’t believe it)

That said, he gathered his thoughts, lost the deer in the headlights look and talked about achieving his long time goal. “I bleed Orange. I’ve been here 23 years, it’s where I’ve always wanted to be,” he said. “I’ve directed my career to move up and to have this opportunity is really an honor.”

“I’m really looking forward to working at this level with Chief Gagne. I’ve been his administrative Lt. for four years, so we’ve worked close together on that respect, but I still have a lot to learn,” he said. “It’s a really different perspective. I’ve been able to make recommendations all these years, but now to actually be in the position to make decisions is kind of new to me.”

Cuozzo said the bottom line  is that he would not be where he is today had it not been for his wife and family supporting him when he was working on holidays and overnight shifts.

He also credits all the guys and gals that work for him and that he’s  worked with for all these years. “They’re the ones doing all the work and I got a lot of the credit, but I credit them,” he said. “The only thing missing here today is my dad, but I know he’s here somewhere.”

“I’m excited, I’m nervous. I’ve done everything I can do to prepare for this moment,” he said. “I have some big shoes to fill.”


For  Cuozzo, Tuesday was a nerve wracking, waiting for the call that would either bear disappointing news or change his life.

“The waiting is the hardest part. You have no control —  you do your best in the interview and hope that your experience and resume stand on their own and you wait,” he said.

He looked at Antonietta and continued, “I laugh, there are those moments in life with that ultimate surprise, your first born, you don’t know if its a boy or a girl … you get engaged, get married, have kids – and this is one of those moments, when the community has the faith in you,” he said. “I had to convince the police commission that I was the guy for the job, and for them to put their confidence in me is remarkable. They’re a volunteer commission and it wasn’t an easy decision. all of the candidates were outstanding. I’ve worked shoulder to shoulder with all of them, and to be recognized as the next guy is a huge honor.”

Be careful what you wish for

Cuozzo said he’s stayed in touch with past chiefs and even sought out advice on getting through the oral interview and often heard the same thing, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Being Asst. Chief is a huge responsibility: it’s the operational end of the department. Chief Gagne’s job is planning and oversight, while the Asst Chief’s job is day to day, making sure things happen — he got a taste of that as acting second in command doing paperwork and answering his phone in the middle of the night. “It’s all part of the job and it’s for the good of the community. I’ve wanted this for a while. I think I’ll rise to the occasion and make Chief Gagne  and the  town proud.”

A date has not yet been set for Asst. Chief Cuozzo’s swearing in ceremony, but Orange Live will let you know as soon as it’s decided.

Amity Senior Anthony Cuozzo Jr. Places Second in National Championship Match

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Jul 272012

By Anthony Cuozzo Sr.

Anthony Cuozzo and his dad, Tony pictured in Ohio, where Anthony participated in a national shooting competition.

Each July since 1907, Thousands of sportsman make the pilgrimage to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) National  Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie.

The matches are comprised of pistol, smallbore .22 caliber and high power rifle competitions and run through August.  (https://odcmp.com/NM/History.htm).  This year, Amity Senior Anthony Cuozzo, 17, made his fourth trip to the National Matches.

Over the 5 days of competition Anthony fired well over 600 rounds, at distances of 50 yards, 100 yards and 50 meters,  and competed in two distinct matches, Iron sights (no magnification) and Any-Sights, where many choose to employ scopes which magnify the target.  Each match consists of 240 record shots valued at 2400 points.

This year Anthony faced other athletes in the “intermediate junior “class (15 – 18yrs old) from around the country.  Only about 75 athletes are ranked at this level.

To get an idea of the level of competition at the matches, this year Anthony fired an 1194 out of 1200 possible points… he was in 4th place in the Expert – Intermediate Junior class for the day. (The Class winner fired an 1199!)

This year the CSRRA fielded the same Championship team as in the 2011 Championships Last year they won the Iron sight National Championships.

The team, comprised of Remington Lyman (Wallingford), Claudia Duksa (Bristol), Eric Petty (Wallingford) and Anthony Cuozzo (Orange) was hoping to repeat this year.  In fact this will be Claudia’s last chance as a junior competitor as she enters her sophomore year as Texas Christian as a NCAA athlete this fall.  Petty and Lyman will also compete in NCAA Division I rifle this fall for Univ. of Akron and Ohio State respectively.

Two of Connecticut’s Athletes were selected for prestigious international matches this year.  Claudia Duksa was selected for the “Randall Cup Team” and all women’s match versus England and Remington Lyman for the Dewer Cup, and international match versus several countries.  This resulted in a team change for the Whistler Boy two man team.  Anthony Cuozzo was selected to step in for Lyman and represent the CSRRA Gold Team.

The Whistler Boy is unique because it combines a 60 shot 3 position match with a 4 shot prone match.  Their Coach was also called to the Dewer Cup and Anthony’s Dad was asked to step in and coach.  The Rookie team held their own for a 5th place finish.

As the 4 – person matches began at 12:30 on Tuesday, conditions were less than favorable with a steady 4 – 7 mph wind coming off the lake.  CSRRA “GOLD” fought a good fight in the iron sight match, but fell to LAR&R by less than 5 points.

During the Any-sight match the team was more determined as ever.  Team Coach David Lyman and Captain Patricia Clark (both legendary athletes in their own right) led the team to a 2 point victory over Los Angeles!!!!  The Team received the Officers Reserve Corps Trophy.

All of the Connecticut athletes have done outstanding.  Anthony finished 6th Intermediate Junior for the Iron Sight National Championship, 3rd Intermediate Junior for the Any-Sight Championships and an amazing 2nd place overall Intermediate Junior for the Prone National Championships!

Any athlete will tell you that the payoff for hours of practice and fine tuning is being recognized as one of the best of the best.   This was certainly Anthony’s year.  What does the Future hold?  Rifle is an NCAA sport and Anthony hopes to compete in Division I next year.  until then he will continue to compete at the local, regional and national levels.

NOTE: Tony Cuozzo added this information about the awards bestowed upon Anthony.

“Anthony and Eric Petty place 5th for Whistler Boy Match and were awarded a bronze medallion. The junior team of Lyman, Petty, Duksa and Cuozzo won the Any-sight National Championship and received an Officers Reserve Trophy plaque. He won 3rd place Intermediate Junior for Any Sights, and 2nd place overall Intermediate Junior out of 75 competitors or all skill levels!!!! He received a silver medal and a whole bunch of swag, including a 100 Visa gift card, a brick of ammo and a free match grade pistol barrel (odd considering he is a rifle shooter).”

Anthony Cuozzo shooting in the Whistle Boy Competition