Heritage Village in Southbury losing its community resource officer

Heritage Village losing community resource officer
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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SOUTHBURY, CT (WFSB) - There’s been a change at the state’s largest senior housing complex, and residents are not happy.

Heritage Village in Southbury is losing its community resource officer.

The facility has close to 5,000 residents and it’s 20-percent bigger than most Connecticut towns.

Roeli Johansson wasn’t too pleased when she learned the town was getting rid of their community resource officer.

“We are a big community, we have a lot of people and I think you feel safer if there is security around,” said Roeli, a Heritage Village resident.

In the 20 years since she’s lived here, Roeli feels the security should stay in place, but the town is making a change.

Southbury is unique. It has a police department, but the first selectman is the police chief.

“We have limited resources as every community does and we still have to service 75-percent of the rest of the population of Southbury,” said Jeff Manville, Southbury First Selectman.

Manville said it’s about efficiency. He says in a two-year period starting in 2019, police had more than 41,000 calls but only 4-percent came from Heritage Village.

Manville said there is a full-time officer who will remain, but the community resource officer will be replaced by a detective who will help out as a liaison.

“It’s important to have a focused security on the needs of the elderly that aren’t met in a regular beat that a police officer has,” said Rick Boritz, Heritage Village resident.

Rick says there are cases of elderly abuse and scams targeted at seniors. He says the CRO helps the residents know what’s been going on and is a valuable resource.

“The CRO has gone to clubs, to share information, there are 30-40 to 50 people at a group setting and he would share information,” Rick said.

There have been some meetings, however the most recent was canceled because there were overcrowding concerns.

There is a selectman meeting this Thursday. Residents are hoping to get the chance to raise their concerns.