North Canaan keeps resident trooper
From left, Terry Aitken, an election day poll worker, and voter registrars Patricia Keilty  and Rosemary Keilty  count ballots during the special town meeting on April 26. 
Photo by Riley Klein

North Canaan keeps resident trooper

NORTH CANAAN — Residents of the town of North Canaan gathered at Town Hall on April 26 for a special town meeting to vote on the future of their resident trooper. After a contentious discussion, the 55 residents in attendance voted 37 to 18 in favor of keeping the program for another year.

The special town meeting was called following a $30,000 increase in the resident trooper’s budget for North Canaan next year. Keeping the resident trooper would cost $158,000 in 2023-24, up from $128,000 in 2022-23.

Lieutenant Cori Swift and Trooper First Class Jeremy Ribadeneyra (current resident trooper in North Canaan) from the State Police Troop B barracks presented their case for why North Canaan should keep the program in place.

“North Canaan’s a very busy town. For instance, last year, 2022, we made 56 arrests in the town of North Canaan. Salisbury is twice the size and has more people. They made 18,” said Ribadeneyra. “Of all the towns in Troop B’s jurisdiction, the town of New Hartford is the only town that creates more case numbers.”

“There is a lot that goes on in this town behind the scenes that people don’t know about. Jeremy’s here in the middle of the night trying to catch drug dealers that are on the street,” said Swift. “Him being here is great. To me, it’s irreplaceable.”

Supporters and opponents aired their position and asked questions of the troopers.

“It’s a wonderful story but the bottom line is our taxes are through the roof and we’re paying now for this when the barracks is right down the street,” said resident Stacey Dodge.

“There’s much better ways the money can be spent,” said resident John Considine as he noted that the town could benefit from services like a grant writer or a town planner. “We’re a town of 3,400 people in a rural community. I don’t see it as a high-crime district.”

Resident Penny Terry, who worked in the barracks for 27 years, said, “Just because the building is there does not mean there’s anyone in it who’s going to be able to get from that building to our school in a matter of minutes.” She added, “This is the busiest town next to New Hartford. That’s the gospel truth.”

Towns rely on Troop B for local police services.

As the discussion heated up, moderator Brian Allyn slammed the gavel.

“This is getting out of hand. We’re going to vote,” said Allyn.

Second Selectman Craig Whiting called the question and the residents then voted by paper ballot. Once the ballots were tallied, Allyn announced that North Canaan would keep its resident trooper for another year.

“It’s a service to the town in an area where police resources are scarce as it is,” said Ribadeneyra after the hearing the result. “I’m glad the town is getting another year of it.”

North Canaan’s resident trooper Jeremy Ribadeneyra (in rear)  answered questions from residents before they voted on whether to keep the resident trooper program in North Canaan during a special town meeting on April 26. Photo by Riley Klein

North Canaan’s resident trooper Jeremy Ribadeneyra (in rear)  answered questions from residents before they voted on whether to keep the resident trooper program in North Canaan during a special town meeting on April 26. Photo by Riley Klein

Latest News

Cornwall receives grant for new sidewalks

CORNWALL — Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced its selections for the Transportation Rural Improvement Program (TRIP) grants.

Applications were submitted to the state in 2023 for infrastructure projects in rural regions of the state. By the deadline to apply, more than $20 million worth of grant requests were received but only $10 million was available in funding.

Keep ReadingShow less
Mountaineers fall to Litchfield 72-44

Sam Marcus defended the perimeter when HVRHS played Litchfield Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Riley Klein

LITCHFIELD — Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) Mountaineers basketball lost to the Litchfield High School Cowboys in a 72-44 decision Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The Mountaineers fell into a deep hole early on and were unable to climb out. Despite the deficit, HVRHS battled to the final buzzer.

Keep ReadingShow less
Children brought their parents to The Hotchkiss Library on Saturday

A popular feature at The Hotchkiss Library’s observance of “Take Your Child to the Library Day” on Saturday, Feb. 3, was the children’s story hour. Eloise Kivitz, 10, seated at right is preparing to present the first book reading of the morning. Seated at left is Renee DeSimone, head of circulation and children’s services at the library.

Leila Hawken

SHARON — It was hard to tell whether the grown-up took the child to the library or if it was the other way round.

Enthusiasm was in high gear as the staff at the Hotchkiss Library welcomed all for “Take Your Child to the Library Day,” observed Saturday, Feb. 3.

Keep ReadingShow less
Housatonic students prep new musical

HVRHS students practiced choreography for the upcoming Housatonic Musical Theater Society presentation of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Patrick L. Sullivan

FALLS VILLAGE — Rehearsals for the Housatonic Musical Theater Society’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” were underway Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Cast members, reading directly from their scripts, worked on their lines and movements under the watchful eyes of director Christiane Olson and musical director Tom Krupa.

Keep ReadingShow less