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Committee Considers Name for Public Safety Building

Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell Suggests Naming It to Honor Dennis Monahan Jr.



The public safety building has the perfect address (911 Norwich New London Turnpike) – so now, what about the perfect name?

Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell brought up the question at the most recent Public Safety Building Committee meeting.

His idea was to name the building in honor of Dennis Monahan Jr., a Montville Police officer who died of cancer in 2007.

"It's been my goal" to have the building named after Monahan, Bunnell said, and described him as "a dear friend."

"What that guy gave to the town…" Bunnell said, his voice trailing off as he remembered. He was a DARE officer, a training officer "and a friend to hundreds of residents and children here," Bunnell said. "He's missed tremendously, and I think it would be really great."

No one on the committee disagreed, but Chairman Jack Platt raised the question of other people who served the town well, and whether they also might be honored.

"There's a list of names," he said, including the first fire dispatcher, the first fire marshal and more. "I think we should really think about it. There's a lot of them that could be on the list."

William Bucko, the vice chairman, said that it would be great to honor Monahan.

"If I was that family, I'd be over the top. It's a good and noble thing" that Bunnell was suggesting, he said.

The town has a history of naming buildings after people who have made a difference, Bunnell pointed out.

Fire Marshal Ray Occhialini mentioned that already there is in town a Dennis Drive and a Monahan Drive, both named to honor the late officer.

The idea was raised of including a plaque or some monument at the building that would list the names of people in emergency services who have been important to the town.

The question was tabled. The next meeting of the Public Safety Building is Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, Room 203.

According to his obituary, Monahan was a Montville High School graduate who earned a bachelor's degree in sociology with a criminal justice background from Eastern Connecticut State University.  He was earning his master's degree in public administration from the University of New Haven, at the time of his death.

Monahan served as a Montville Police officer for 20 years, and was one of the first DARE officers in the state, according to his obituary. He was Montville's first DARE officer, and the town's first school resources officer, and the police department's first representative to the Youth Services Bureau.

He was co-chairman of the Montville Public Schools Safety and Security Committee, and an elected member of the Board of Education for six years.

Monahan volunteered at Ground Zero with the NYPD after 9/11. Her earned the Bravery Aware, the Life Saving Award and the Meritorious Service award from the Montville Police Department.

And according to his obituary. "His youth involvement within his community impacted the lives of over 1,000 kids."

sandy stauffer December 25, 2010 at 12:53 AM
I am sure that there are many people who have done good things for this town that are deceased. Maybe there should be a plaque with all their names...however, I personally would love to see the new station named after Dennis. I have known the family for over 30 years, and yes, I think he was a very positive influence on our young people. And that is what we need in our law enforcement men and women. I hope the public safety committee will consider all the positives that Dennis and his Dad gave the Town of Montville.
Kenneth J. Sylvia April 23, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Kenneth J. Sylvia I feel that the new public safety should be in honor of someone who has done the most good for the whole town, not just "good work" for the constables in the town. I would nominate "Russ" Beetham because he lead this town thru thick and thin and we ALL benefited because of his diligence for the majority of people in Montville. No offence to Dennis Monahan,Jr. but he has been honored for what he has done.

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