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Election Day in Manchester

6:00 am to 8:00 pm

COVID-19 changed how voting looked in Manchester this year. The State of CT required masks at all polling places and had installed new Official Ballot Drop Boxes at the town hall earlier this year.

Before 6:00 am, there was a long line of voters waiting to vote at Keeney School. At 8:00 pm, town officials collected the final ballots from the drop boxes.


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Overflow Parking at Keeney School at 6:00 am
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Long Lines at 6:15 am
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Keeney School at 6:30 am
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Ballot Drop Boxes at 2:00
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Ballot Drop Box at Town Hall
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Volunteers Helping out the Candidates at 3:15 pm
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Voters at 3:30 pm
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Voting almost over 7:45 pm
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MPD Safeguarding Last Ballot Pickup
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8:00 pm Ballot Collection
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Final Ballots Collected
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Manchester Community Services Council Meeting

Kind and Caring People Co-ordinate Services to Offer Support & Resources


Last Thursday, on the second floor of the Manchester Police Department, the Manchester Community Services Council (MCSC) met.  Approximately 20 people attended the meeting.  This group meets once a month to focus on networking and timely topics with a goal of matching resources and agencies with Manchester people in need.  Shannon Baldassario, Director of Community Outreach and Emergency Services for Manchester Area Conference Of Churches (MACC) was the speaker.

Attendees were from Eastern CT Health Network (ECHN), Rebuilding Together, Highland Park Market, Manchester Adult & Family Services, National Alliance for Mental Illness, Manchester High School Family Liaison, Interval House, Pastoral Counselors from the  Unitarian Universalist Society, a retired University of St. Joseph professor, and a representative from an organization that helps homeless veterans.  (I don’t always write fast enough to get names of all of the organizations so please excuse any errors or omissions.)

Meeting attendees provided a glimpse of the good work performed daily to offer valuable assistance to those in need in Manchester.  Shannon Baldassario, of MACC Charities, spoke to the group about her efforts to provide outreach to people whose circumstances leave them without a home.  She informs them of services available, including clothing and showers at MACC Charities, free laundry, and appropriate referrals for mental health and addiction services.  Once a connection is made, follow-up occurs after a week or two with additional support provided if needed. Shannon is persistent and thorough in reaching out as often as needed to connect individuals with appropriate resources.

Another service provided by MACC utilizes resources available at MACC Charities to keep individuals or families in their home or apartment.  Clothes, dishes, grocery vouchers and funds to pay for utilities are available for people at risk of losing their home/apartment.  This is short term help to keep people and families from becoming homeless.

Emergency referrals can be made directly to Shannon Baldassario by calling (860)647-8003 X 31 or emailing  A phone call may also be placed to 211 to refer someone to the Coordinated Access Network (CAN).  This network provides triage for people at imminent risk of becoming homeless or for people who are chronically homeless.  Individuals will be placed in shelters or on a waitlist for a shelter. The maximum stay at a shelter is 30 days.  Families are referred to an organization called Journey Home.

If you are interested in helping out here is a brief list of needs:

  • Joy of Community Sharing (adoption of 40 families not receiving services but in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • December 20 – Holiday Party for children under 10, volunteers needed
  • November 10, 11, 17 & 18 Stop & Shop Food Drive
  • Yoga for Food TBA
  • Thrift Shop open Mon-Sat
  • Check out for volunteer opportunities
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Manchester Police Department



I have joined the Manchester Government Academy for the last few weeks of the class.  My husband and I  took it a few years ago and if you live or work in town I highly recommend it.  The way the class works is that on Thursday nights you travel to a town owned building to find out how the department is run.  You might be at the fire department one week and then the water plant or the senior center or the library the next week.

This past Thursday the meeting was at the Police Department. The Manchester Police Department, according to Sergeant Ryan Shea, is one of the top departments in the state of Connecticut.  To become a police officer in Manchester one must be 21 years old, have 60 college credits or 2 years of active military service, pass a polygraph test, a written test, an oral test, a physical fitness test and a mental health exam.  Once hired the candidate trains for 22 weeks at a police academy in Meriden, Hartford, Bridgeport or New Haven followed by 17 weeks of field training.

The top crime problem in Manchester is larceny especially by Buckland Hills Mall and includes shop lifting and motor vehicle thefts.  When there is a major incident the department has a chaplain for support and mutual aid agreements with police departments in surrounding towns.  Also, the chaplain is available for support after any stressful situation an officer encounters.

Officer Jason Moss spoke to the class about the specialized traffic unit.  Traffic violations are the #1 complaint received by all police departments.  The violations include DUI, speeding, distracted driving and accidents.  Some members of the MPD are part of a regional team for serious and fatal accidents.  Using drones, mathematical formulas, accident scene photos, interviews with witnesses, vehicle damage, sobriety tests and knowledge of the weather and road conditions the officers are able to reconstruct with good accuracy what happened.  The report can take up to 6 months to complete.  Another part of the traffic unit is a motor unit which provides escorts and security during special events using motorcycles and ATVs.

The class was led on a tour of the police department.  The dispatch room and the training room were quit impressive.  The most senior dispatcher showed us the equipment used and how officers are directed to calls and tracked during a shift.  Each car on patrol shows up on a screen at all times.  The training room allowed for comprehensive and adaptive training using interactive video to allow officers to practice de-escalation of stressful situations verbally or if needed with minimal and appropriate use of force..

I also learned that there is a Citizen’s Police Academy which is a ten week program that runs every fall.  It has already begun for this year.  Maybe next year?