A five-year member of the Bel Air Police Department, D'Alto was praised by both Mayor Eddie Hopkins and Chief Leo Matrangola, who both complimented D'Alto for his integrity and commitment to the town police department.
D'Alto is a member of the sheriff's Hostage Negotiations Team and the Harford County Crisis Negotiation Team, one of just 49 patrol officers trained as a CIT officer in the county. He has also been recognized by the state's attorney for his drunk driving arrests in each of the past four years.
According to Matrangola, since becoming a member of BAPD, D'Alto has made 78 adult arrests, 24 juvenile arrests and 36 drunk driving arrests.
D'Alto and his wife, Angela, have two daughters, Julianna and Allison, and live in Harford County. Angela D'Alto and one of the daughters, along with D'Alto's mother and sister, attended Monday's ceremony.
Food trucks again
Tim Smith, who lives on Leeswood Drive just outside of town, talked briefly during the public comment portion of Monday's meeting about concerns he has with inconsistencies in the recently enacted law that permits food trucks and other mobile vendors to operate in town, but supposedly only in designated areas.
"The only place I've seen food trucks is on Main Street in front of the Tower [restaurant]," said Smith, who pointed out the new law does not permit the mobile vendors to operate indiscriminately along Main and Bond streets in the town's main restaurant district. He particularly mentioned recent Ravens rallies on Jan. 18 at the Armory and Feb. 1 on the county parking lot at Main Street and Churchville Road, where two mobile vendors were.
Town Planning Director Kevin Small said both rallies were "sponsored events" and the trucks had the permission of the sponsors to be there, but Smith said he disagreed with Small's interpretation, noting the trucks were parked on Main Street, not on the Armory property or the parking lot.
Once again, Smith referred to the map that was enacted as part of the new law, saying it specifically does not allow the vendors on Main or Bond. He asked Small if that means when the Downtown Alliance sponsors its first Fridays events on Office Street, if food trucks will be allowed on Main Street. The director of the alliance, Scott Walker, supported the new law.
Small replied in the affirmative.
"That's your opinion, not mine," Smith replied, adding, "Judges might have a different opinion."
Smith also suggested to the commissioners that the law "is a little too vague" and should be clarified, so the town police will be able to enforce it. "Making so [mobile vendors] aren't infringing on other businesses," he added.
According to town Director of Administrator Michael Krantz, one food truck operator has been granted a license since the new law took effect last week.
Smith, whose wife, Elise, owns a jewelry business on Main Street, also criticized the commissioners' recent decision to grant a $40,000, low interest town loan to a new cupcake bakery that will be opening on Main. He said the town should leave business lending to the banks.
"Would you personally guarantee that loan?" he asked, looking directly at the five commissioners. None of them answered.
"I'm just concerned about protecting our businesses," Smith said following the meeting. "You look at Main Street, and it's dying."