Norwalk fire chief named to Sandy Hook Advisory Commission

Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy marches in the 2011 Memorial Day parade.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s fire chief has been named to the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

The 16-member commission will review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention, according to a release. Malloy had announced the commission’s formation on Thursday, and announced the names of its members Tuesday

“I’ve asked this group to join Chairman Scott Jackson (mayor of Hamden) so they can begin the task of taking a broad, systemic approach in crafting the recommendations that will lead to comprehensive legislative and policy changes that must occur following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Malloy said in a statement. “This includes ensuring that our mental health system can reach those that need its help, looking for ways to make sure our gun laws are as tight as they are reasonable, and making certain that our law enforcement has the tools it needs to protect public safety, particularly in our schools.”

The members are:

  • Chairman: Scott Jackson – mayor, Town of Hamden
  • Dr. Adrienne Bentman – director, Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living
  • Ron Chivinski – teacher, Newtown Middle School
  • Robert Ducibella – founding principal, DVS Security Consulting and Engineering
  • Terry Edelstein – nonprofit liaison to Governor Malloy
  • Kathleen Flaherty – staff attorney, Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc. / facilitator and state trainer, National Alliance for Mental Illness in Connecticut
  • Dr. Alice M. Forrester – executive director, Clifford W. Beers Guidance Clinic, Inc.
  • Dr. Ezra Griffith – Professor Emeritus of and Senior Research Scientist in Psychiatry, deputy chair for Diversity and Organizational Ethics, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University
  • Patricia Keavney-Maruca – member, State Board of Education / former technical high school teacher
  • Christopher Lyddy – outgoing state representative, 106thAssembly District of Newtown / Program Manager, Trainer & Consultant, Advanced Trauma Solutions, Inc. / Former Program Director, Youth Equipped for Success!, Forensic Health Services, Inc. / Former Clinical Supervisor, Juvenile Risk Reduction Center, Community Solutions, Inc. [Membership effective January 10, 2013]
  • Denis McCarthy – fire chief, City of Norwalk
  • Barbara O’Connor – director of public safety and chief of police, University of Connecticut
  • Wayne Sandford – professor, University of New Haven, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences / former deputy commissioner, Connecticut Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security / former fire chief, Town of East Haven
  • Dr. David J. Schonfeld – director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement / professor, University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Harold I. Schwartz – chief psychiatrist, Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living
  • Bernard R. Sullivan – former chief of police, City of Hartford /former commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Safety / former chief of staff to House Speaker Tom Ritter

An initial report will be due to the Governor by March 15, in time for consideration during the regular session of the General Assembly.  The commission’s members are currently developing a meeting schedule, which will be announced as soon as it is available.


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