Your Neighbors • Your Priorities

Board of Police Commissioners


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left to right: George Kain, Issy Caporale, and Nick Perna.

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George Kain

George Kain, Ph.D. is the senior member of the Ridgefield Police Commission, having served for 20 consecutive years, and is currently the Chairman of the commission. He is a professor and Chairman of the Division of Justice and Law Administration at Western CT State University in Danbury, CT (25 years), and earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York in 2006. He has been professionally involved in the law enforcement community, in various roles, since 1983.

Dr. Kain has been a resident of Ridgefield since 1971, and is a former volunteer firefighter in town. In his many years of service on the Police Commission, he has worked with 3 town chiefs of police, and has served on numerous town committees regarding central dispatch, regional dispatch, building renovation, and currently on a building committee to assess the needs of public safety facilities for the town in the years to come. His background and experience in law enforcement, from both a practical and theoretical perspective, has been extremely valuable to the Town of Ridgefield. He is an active member of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) and the Police Commissioners Association of CT (PCAC). His professional associations keep him connected to discussions and debates on modern law enforcement “best practices”.

Dr. Kain has been actively involved in research and public policy related issues in law enforcement for over 25 years, and has lectured around the world, including in Italy, Japan, the Philippines, and Oslo, Norway. He has testified in state legislatures across the US, and has written extensively in peer reviewed journals and professional trade publications.

Dr. Kain is presently in the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program in the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT. He also volunteers at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Danbury to assist inmates with pre-release counseling instructions to ensure a smooth transition back into society. He is married to Marilyn Kain, and lives in Ridgefield.

Why I'm Running

  • I have served on the Ridgefield Police Commission for 20 consecutive years, and have maintained a strong commitment to public safety through a 35 year-long career in law enforcement and justice-related activities.
  • I hold a Ph.D. in criminal justice which has provided me with the theoretical and educational background necessary to debate and to reach consensus on the important justice related issues which face our town and our nation.
  • I will continue to remain sensitive to the needs of our town, our police administration, and our officers.
  • I will continue to insure that our citizens are treated fairly by our officers, and without prejudice.
  • I will continue to ensure and maintain the high level of professionalism currently found in our Police Department.
  • I will continue to address public concerns over traffic congestion in town.
  • I will continue to address public concerns regarding speeding and other traffic violations that endanger our safety.
  • I will continue to address the concern over vehicles that use our “back roads” as a cut-through to avoid congestion on main thoroughfares.
  • I will continue to monitor applications for property development to ensure that our roads are capable of handling potential increased traffic without jeopardizing safety.
  • I will continue to support officer wellness programs to maximize the productivity of our officers in their service to our town.
  • I will continue to support officer training programs that increase our knowledge of how to keep our schools safe and how to respond to specific emergency situations.
  • I will continue to monitor our capital and operating budgets to minimize our costs while still providing our town with the best service possible, while being mindful of budgetary constraints.

Issy Caporale

Issy Caporale is a passionate and driven contributor who rolls up her sleeves and digs in to improve and enhance everything she touches. She has demonstrated her formidable drive through her Coast Guard and law enforcement careers, her athletic pursuits, and her youth sports officiating. Issy is a "people-person" with a proven ability to collaborate and build consensus to get things done. Owing to her 11-year career in the Ridgefield Police Department, Issy is uniquely positioned to contribute unique insights and ideas for departmental excellence to the Commission.

Issy grew up in Ridgefield, attending St. Mary’s and East Ridge Middle School and graduating from Ridgefield High School. A star athlete throughout her school years, Issy played semi-pro and pro softball before enlisting in the Coast Guard.  She was inducted into the Old Timers Association of Ridgefield in 2006 in recognition of her sports achievements in Ridgefield, at the time one of the few women inductees.

Issy served in many capacities in the Coast Guard, ultimately spending half of her career as a tremendously accomplished recruiter. She was the Top Recruiter nationwide for all five military services in 1999, proof of her drive, teamwork, critical thinking skills, and constant focus on identifying and implementing improvements in the recruiting organization’s processes. Issy was ultimately was responsible for over 50 Coast Guard recruiters, combining her personality as a natural people-person with her unwavering focus on making the recruiting process more successful.  For her service, Issy was awarded the CG Recruiting Service Ribbon, CG Medal, CG Commendation Medal, CG Achievement Medal, CG Good Conduct Medal, and the CG Presidential Unit Commendation. Her series of promotions ultimately brought her to the high-enlisted rank of Chief Petty Officer.  Issy also played on the All Navy Softball Team, a women’s team on which she was the only Coast Guard member.

Returning to Ridgefield after her 22 years with the Coast Guard, Issy spent 11 years as a Dispatcher for the Ridgefield Police, bringing her experienced critical eye for how to do things better in order to accomplish the Department’s goals.  Since retiring from the Ridgefield Police Department in 2018, Issy has been working as a private security guard for St. Mary’s School.

Issy also officiates for lacrosse and field hockey games from youth level through college throughout the Eastern U.S.  She especially values the platform that her officiating provides for giving advice to girls and young women playing sports.

Why I'm Running

I’m running for Ridgefield’s Police Commission to give back to the town that has given me so much. Growing up in Ridgefield I had dreams of being an athlete. I played many sports and I was always a team player.

Then I joined the military, the ultimate team sport. I was in life and death situations that required absolute teamwork. I spent much of my 22-year military career as a recruiter, leading and forming effective teams.

Back in Ridgefield, I joined another exemplary team, the Ridgefield Police Department, as Dispatcher for 11 years. I worked closely with the dedicated men and women of the Department to insure the safety and security of every Ridgefield resident.

Now, I am running for a position on Ridgefield’s Police Commission, which has the responsibility for supervision, appointments, promotions and terminations. My background in team building and recruiting, in addition to my experience and relationships with the rank and file, will serve me well as a Police Commissioner. I thank you for your support on November 5th.

Nick Perna

Since filling a vacancy in early 2019, Nick Perna, Ph.D. has very quickly earned the respect of his fellow commissioners and police department personnel. He is smart, affable and regularly attends not only Commission meetings but promotion ceremonies as well as presentations by officers to the community.

Dr. Perna's brother was a police officer and his son and daughter-in-law are in law enforcement. Nick has gone on dozens of “ride-alongs: traffic stops, domestic violence calls, narcotics raids and more. Dr. Perna recently graduated from the Ridgefield Civilian Police Academy where he learned police procedures and techniques.

Dr. Perna is seeking reelection out of a desire to give back to the town where he and his family has lived for almost 50 years. He wants to “protect and serve,” particularly those least able to fend for themselves such as children and the elderly. He’s convinced that solving our growing traffic issues requires intensive public education in addition to enforcement. He will continue to help the excellent Ridgefield Police Department in fulfilling its responsibilities and making sure adequate resources are available.

Dr. Perna is a nationally renowned economist and has taught at several prestigious colleges and universities, including Williams College and Yale University. He also worked at the Federal Reserve and a number of private businesses. He ran his own firm in Ridgefield which specialized in interpreting economic developments. He’s very comfortable evaluating statistics, performance appraisals, and budgets.

Dr. Perna is well known in Ridgefield. He is a member of Saint Mary Parish and was on the Parish Finance Council, the Ridgefield Men’s Club and, formerly, the First Congregational Church Concert Choir. He coached soccer and had leadership roles in Indian Guides, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Over the years, he has spoken numerous times to the Ridgefield Board of Finance, the League of Women Voters, the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. He previously served on the Democratic Town Committee and the Ridgefield Board of Assessment Appeals.

Dr. Perna attended Fairfield Prep and Boston College and earned his PhD at MIT. His wife, Cathy, is an RN who worked many years for Dr. Jeffrey Metzger. He has two children (Amy and Nick Jr) and two grandchildren (Sophia and Nick III.)

Election day is November 5th, 2019

Your Neighbors • Your Priorities