New Frankford police chief makes first report to council
Frankford’s new police chief announced at the Jan. 6 Frankford Town Council meeting that he is in the process of obtaining Narcan — an anti-overdose medication used to counteract opioid overdoses — for the town police vehicle.
Police Chief Laurence “Larry” Corrigan told the council that he has responded to two drug overdoses in recent weeks.
“Both were saved, I’m happy to report,” Corrigan said. However, he said he feels the addition of Narcan to the department’s equipment will help to save future overdose victims.
Corrigan said “the paperwork is complete” in terms of what is needed to begin using the Narcan as soon as it arrives.
He also said he is proposing working with local churches in a “target-hardening” program — to help them prepare for a potential active-shooter situation in a place of worship.
“I’m in my late 50s,” Corrigan said, “and I never thought we’d be having shootings at places of worship, but we are. I think we’ve got to be prepared for that, and if the local clergy wants me to do that, I am trained in target-hardening churches.”
“I don’t even like that word,” he said, “but it’s what we’re living in right now.”
He said he has also signed a memorandum-of-understanding with the Indian River School District that lays out the parameters he will follow when investigating an incident at a school, interviewing a student or “unfortunately” sometimes arresting a student.
Corrigan said his continued collaboration with the Frankford Public Library on programs is going “exceptionally well,” adding that one of his focuses is making sure all children are safely reaching their homes when they leave the library.
“I try to get over there at closing time,” he said.
He lauded the library’s help with hosting “Coffee with a Cop” early in December and praised town resident Dawn Beck for the Dec. 28 “Children’s Luncheon,” which he said “turned into more of a family function. We had several generations of some families here,” he said.
Corrigan informed the council of some issues with the recently restarted police department’s evidence locker. He cited “several years of inattention … professional inattention, and I’m going to leave it at that,” involving the locker’s contents.
“Non-germane” evidence has been “purged,” Corrigan said.
“We are not a liquor dispensary; we are a police department,” he said. “Bottles of vodka,” as well as wine, were stored in the evidence locker. “I had to research the cases; it all got poured out. Every drop of it. Gone.”
As a result, Corrigan said, he has now created an evidence log upon which every item stored in the locker will be registered.
“It’s time to professionalize the police department,” he said.
He told the council that a room that formerly housed a fingerprinting machine and a video phone is now being used as a “semi-community room,” for interviews with children or crime victims, as well as a chaplain program he is starting.
Corrigan said he has felt strong support from the community in his first month on the job.
“I’m going to tell you what we’ve created around here,” he said.
He told the council that frequently, when he is eating out in the town, on or off-duty, “I have a lot of people approaching me, with money in hand, to help pay for these parties,” which he said have not used any taxpayers’ funds. “I obviously can’t accept a $50 bill when I’m eating at Frankford Diner,” Corrigan said, adding that anyone wishing to make a contribution should come in to the town office so that a proper receipt can be given.
Corrigan also told the council, “We’re starting youth groups,” and he is currently setting up guest speakers. “I think it’s critical that a Hispanic or African-American child sees somebody who looks like them that’s a professional, speaking to them,” he said. Future speakers include Georgetown attorney Tasha Stevens.
He ended his first report to the council by presenting them with a professional photograph of one of the town’s police cars in front of the town hall.
Town resident Kyle Quillen said he thinks the placement of one of the cars in front of the town hall “adds an extra presence. And I guarantee it slows some people down,” he said.
By Kerin Magill