EDITORIAL: In Wallingford, technology eliminates need for police couriers

An odd and inefficient anachronism has been eliminated in Wallingford. And that’s a good thing.

For decades, police officers have been used as couriers to deliver meeting agendas and other materials to town councilors by 5 p.m. on the Wednesdays before the twice-monthly Tuesday Town Council meetings.

Why? Because the Town Charter requires the material gets to the councilors by that time, and the Police Department was there, with cars in the lot and people working around-the-clock.

It usually took about an hour to deliver the packets, Police Chief William Wright said, although “we used to struggle sometimes to see that they got it by 5 p.m. Wednesday, having to call people and track them down.”

Police have other, more important work to do. It was not appropriate to use these highly trained, professional police officers as a delivery service. As far as we know, the mayor is ultimately in charge of how departments use staff. He should have found an alternative years ago. 

At any rate, the technology is now here in Wallingford — and has long been here everywhere else — to send this material out by email, and that’s how it will be done henceforth.

“I think we are all digitally capable at this point,” said Town Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni, who suggested the change in December. “In light of that, it seems to be a waste of resources to have uniformed officers in cruisers deliver our packets to us.”

Most councilors seem to agree. And so do we.

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