Hewlett Harbor board members are concerned about a recent incident when the fire department responded to a false alarm at a resident’s house when there was no one home and did not leave notification they were there, causing the homeowner to mistakenly believe there was a criminal break in.
“The problem is that [the fire department] never told anybody,” said Mayor Mark Weiss. “So the homeowner comes home and at some point in time realizes that a door was broken into to, and they reported it to the police. Only upon further investigation, which took about a week, did someone realize that it was the fire department.”
The mayor made it clear that he isn’t criticizing the fire department or telling it how to do its job. But he did suggest that if a similar incident occurs in the future, the fire department could possibly leave a hang-tag or sticker to indicate responders were there, or contact the village’s security patrol, the police or Hewlett Harbor’s village hall.
“Here we are calling the police about a possible break in, the police are running around as if it were a break in, our security patrol is driving around the house for the next couple of nights, because the neighbors are concerned, and we find out a week later that it was the fire department,” Weiss said. “For people to think they were broken into and feel violated seems silly.”
Other topics that were discussed in the meeting include:
- Board members are in the final stages of selecting new street signs. They still want to confirm the size and proper reflectivity of the signs, exactly where they will be positioned on each street corner and if any of them will get in the way of existing stop signs or lamp posts.
- The village is in the process of purchasing three new computers and software. They have recently added some new features to the village’s website and plan to add further improvements when the new computers are installed.
- Trustee Kenneth Kornblau brought up an incident of National Grid responding to a possible gas leak in the village, and the responsibility of utilities to repair damage to the street afterwards, even in the case of emergency calls.
“National Grid had a team of three or four different crews for about fours hours, digging up a number of holes,” he said. “I just want to know when it’s being put back together and that it’s getting done to our standards. I just don’t want people coming in the middle of the night to do something and leave.”