DARIEN — The Darien Police Department is gearing up for several changes in the upcoming new year including personnel shifts and new K-9s.

Chief Duane Lovello will retire on Feb. 15. The police commission has already begun discussing personnel assignments and who will succeed Lovello.

Two new police canines will be certified to begin working with the department at the end of the month. One will replace Darien’s previous K-9, Zulu, who retired last year, and the department will add a second dog to their team.

The current school resource officer, James Palmieri, is being assigned as a detective in the youth division. His replacement will be named soon.

There is a 1.7 percent increase in the proposed operating budget for this year, which includes the cost of body cameras and two new civilian dispatcher positions. There is expected to be a decrease in overtime and training costs as the department plans to add six new officers who are finishing up training. Two new officers will finish training in February and four more will complete the Milford Police Academy in mid-April.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata