Should security surveillance cameras be installed in Greenwich Town Hall? Should town employees undergo more training in how to respond to emergency situations?
Those are two of the questions Greenwich officials are mulling over in their post-mortem of the April 26 incident involving a powder-laced envelope left in the Geographic Information Services office of the Information Technology department on the ground floor of town hall.
First Selectman Peter Tesei called a special meeting of the Board of Selectmen for Friday morning in which the three-member board quickly moved to hold an executive session to discuss the incident and possible beefed up security measures.
In total, 17 town officials—including the selectmen participated in the nearly 90-minute meeting in Tesei's office.
In a press briefing following the meeting, Tesei revealed:
- 3 town employees—including one police officer—received medical treatment and were prescribed prophylactic medications after being exposed to the powder-laced enveloped.
- The substance probably was talcum powder according to test results of the substance, Tesei said.
- The installation of security cameras in town hall is under consideration, as part of a Greenwich Police review of building security.
- Town hall employees may receive increased training in how to respond to emergency situations.
Tesei also said that police are continuing their investigation to identify and arrest whomever left the legal-sized envelope in the GIS office. "If their intent was to cause disruption ... they succeeded," Tesei said. (Please see video.)
Tesei said the meeting also included discussion of "after action reports" or critiques of each responding department's performance a week ago. Following the report of the envelope's discovery about 4 p.m. April 26, a full-scale emergency response involving Greenwich police, fire, emergency medical service, various state agencies, the Greenwich Health Department and the FBI.
Reviewing each agency's response and discussing future security measures were Joseph Soto and Art Romano of Greenwich Emergency Medical Service, Police Chief James Heavey and police patrol commander Capt. Pamela Gustovich, Sgt. Michael Reynolds; Fire Chief Peter Siecienski, Assistant Robert Kick and Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Zack, Health Director Caroline Baisley, Human Resources Director Mary Pepe; ,Buildings Superintendent Alan Monelli, and Emergency Management Director Dan Warzoha.
Tesei also said that police are seeking to identify and arrest the person responsible for the "disruption" of town hall operations. "If disruption is what they wanted ... they succeeded," Tesei said.
Selectman Drew Marzullo told Greenwich Patch that he supports increased security measures and increased employee training on emergency response. But he noted that the 101 Field Point Rd. building, "is the building of the people, I don't want it to become Fort Knox."
""I think cameras are a good thing but I don't think it would have prevented what happened ... It's a good investigative tool. Cameras are everywhere now—hospitals, banks, offices. I think that and maybe a Greenwich Police officer or a highly skilled security officer or a special police officer (stationed in the lobby) would be good," Marzullo said. "Cameras can't see people, feel people, have a gut feeling about people."
"We are living in a world where people want to hurt people," Marzullo added. "The end goal is we have to be one step ahead of the kook-a-looks—the crazy people."
Ironically, the April 26 incident occurred a week before a scheduled safety drill for town hall employees that Marzullo had planned in conjunction with the police department. That drill will be rescheduled, he said.