724 Political News
Keep it right here for
you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..
December has arrived! In the words of Dr. Seuss how did it get so late
so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June.
My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Local 724 November elections resulted in some changes on the Executive
Board, we welcomed newly elected members Max Bertsch and Luke Delgrosso.
Both of them bring energy and new ideas to the board. We thank Brian Laurie
and Rob Pickett for their service, both have previously served several
intermittent terms over the years.
the last four years we have established and maintained a good working
relationship with Chief Pete Reichart, CAO Steve Fields and Mayor Mike
Passero. While we don't always agree on every issue there is a chemistry
between labor and management that allows everyone to speak openly without
spoiling our personal and professional friendships. The result is a focus
on problem solving and moving forward. As 2019 comes to a close we can
unequivocally say we enjoy a significantly better relationship that has
led to much better morale throughout the building.
Thank you to the Chief and City Hall for committing 7 new police cruisers
plus with the help of grant funding a new traffic enforcement car and
support service vehicles. Additionally Chief Reichart is finalizing plans
for long term plan programmed fleet replenishment. To become a reality
the plan requires approvals from both finance department and city councilors.
These new cruisers are desperately needed, rank and file look forward
the new cars hitting the road soon.
On the horizon our current contract expires on June 30, 2020. Negotiations
with the City are expected to start sometime after the new year.
724's members, friends and associates conducted our annual and successful
holiday food drive benefiting the United Way/Gemma E. Moran Food Bank
of Southeastern Connecticut. 2019 marks our 14th year of involvement.
The food drive is our biggest in size and duration annual civic event
we participate in.
Our many donors were excited to "give us the bird" this year.
Among the notables were Mayor Mike Passero, CAO Steve Fields, FDNL members.
Special shout out to Eric Anderson from the Birdseye Café for his
generous $100 cash donation. We collected 69 turkeys and an estimated
3,000 pounds of non perishable food and $610 cash donations that will
purchase Shop Rite gift cards for our Holiday Adopt-a-Family program.
It's nice that in this season of giving so many diverse people regardless
of their socio-economic backgrounds or political views all came together
helping our fellow citizens in need. Thank you to everyone who stopped
by for their very generous donations making our campaign a success
Hearty congratulations and appreciation to Dustin Adkins who once again
took charge of the food drive, plus members Roger Baker, Brendan Benway,
Todd Bergeson, Max Bertsch, Rusty Cavanaugh, Chuck Flynn, John Green,
Eric Hulland, Zach Kelley, Joe Kondash, Ryan Linderson, Mike Liachenko,
Todd Lynch, Wayne Neff, Deana Nott and ACO Tonia Kloiber. All are commended
on a job well done. Ideas are great but without those members who selflessly
give of their own time to help nothing is possible.
Next up is the FDNL/NLPD toy drive on Dec 6th Warterford Walmart 4:30-1000pm.
Lynch has been busy with two big issues of late; the critical need to
hire more police officers and the pending implementation of police body
In 2014 City Council passed an ordinance mandating 80 officers at the
department. When the ordinance was implemented the understanding by city
council was manpower increases would be done incrementally. Reality is
more like sporadically and we have never come close to meeting that goal,
as of this writing we have 67 officers. To reach that manpower goal the
city would need about $1.2 million.
While councilors have approved some intermittent funding for new officers
and several have been hired, we've been stymied by retirements and departures
from the department that has kept our numbers dangerously low. Mayor Passero
has assured us anticipated new hires this year could bring us to 75. We
elephant in the room are twelve officers who are or soon will be retirement
eligible this year. They include three of three captains, two of three
lieutenants, three of twelve sergeants, two of six detectives and two
master patrol officers representing almost 350 years combined police service.
If they left on short notice agency command/supervisory staffing would
be decimated and hard to replace.
The body camera program has been pushed by Chief Reichart in response
to a few vocal councilors and community activists as the newest transparency
panacea to improve all police interaction issues and cut down on frivolous
lawsuits. No doubt audio/video can offer benefits to criminal and internal
investigations. Yet in some cases people are disappointed that the quality
of the audio and or video can be choppy with a myopic viewpoint not meeting
their expectations since the captured video should look and sound like
a professionally edited movie scene.
in a city perpetually challenged by funding the Union's biggest concern
is and remains the associated program costs and yet to be determined unknown
costs. This proposed four year program has an estimated $200,000 per year
cost in new money for four years amounting to $800,000.
Furthermore the suggested numbers don't include officer training costs
or the hiring of a minimum of at least one new full time employee to handle
the anticipated swarm of Freedom of Information requests from court officials,
defense and plaintiff attorneys, activists and public for obtaining and
processing each request that comes with this program up and running which
could cost another $100,000 or more per year which also has not been budgeted
for. These and other yet to be determined costs are real money that would
come from a police line item budget that hasn't even been created yet.
Our questions are simple and yet remains unanswered. If we don't have
money now for necessary manpower, equipment or fleet upgrades, where did
we suddenly find money for body cameras? If we already had the money why
haven't we hired more officers? If councilors choose not to fund this
multi-year obligation in successive budget years - which is more probable
than not - it has to come from somewhere. Our biggest costs are personnel
so we have justifiable reasons to fear layoffs of real cops will be required
to feed these still to be determined body camera costs.
Norwich recently approved $300,000 in funding for their body cameras and
cruiser cams. New London City Council Public Safety Committee Chairwoman
Alma Nartatez, - who has never once met with police union leadership -
stated, “My opinion is that we need to implement body cameras and
follow the lead of Norwich…This means it needs to be added in the
New London councilors have a terrible history of inconsistent police budget
funding each fiscal year that more often than not has been bare bones
after their budget workshops, we rightly fear losing even more manpower
going forward. Secondly, if our council wants to follow Norwich's lead
they also have many more officers than we do - so let's hire more cops.
was quoted in a recent news article “They’re nice [body cameras]
to have but not a necessity. A necessity is manpower, which we are drastically
short on. We need bodies a body camera is not going to get to your home
to save your life, lessen response time ... or prevent drug trafficking.
This is done with manpower…. If the city finds $1 million, we would
hope that money goes towards filling the 80-officer ordinance long before
it goes towards body cameras" he said.
As we close out 2019 we want to thank the many people and businesses who
took time out their days this past year to send kind notes, gifts and
assorted food and treats during the year and especially around holiday
Throughout the past year, from touring classes of school children to moms
and dads with young children stopping by the police department to hand
us a gift of appreciation to the many area businesses who dropped off
delicious food and treats throughout around the holidays including; Texas
Roadhouse, Clarion Inn, SubVets Groton, Jeff Suntup from Bernie's Service
and Cross Sound Ferry to name just a few. Their thoughtful kindness is
appreciated especially in these difficult anti police times we now live
As 2019 come to the final turn this will be the last update until the
new year. We take a moment to look back at our 2019 updates.
In January as Todd Lynch kept the Red Sox Nation safe in spring training
we predicted no serious Democratic challengers to Mike Passero when Chris
Soto accepted legislative affairs position with Governor Lamont allowing
Anthony Nolan to become next state representative. February arrived as
we congratulated Joe Pelchat as new sergeant and donated $300 to help
Coast Guard members during government shutdown. During March Chief
Reichart offered informal agency re-org proposal while the General Assembly
sought 20% contribution increases to MERS retirement. April was annual
city budget talks, again offering no new police vehicles for upcoming
fiscal year while an Old Lyme developer hinted at huge downtown re-development
idea. May we said goodbye to Scott Jones, Patty Kehler and Kristy Christina.
June kept the SRO and Detectives very busy with the Board of Education
investigations and warm weather brought a new swarm of homeless people
from all points outside of New London.
In July we thought the new budget would get us to 74 officers-it didn't.
With many members enjoying vacation President Lynch complained of no formal
talks with the City or Chief to come up with workable re-org plan. August
was another successful National Night Out at Ocean Beach and we welcomed
rookies Mike Jarvis and Joe Hajj to the agency. September we said good
bye to Kevin McBride and Larry Lee upon their retirement and K9 Zeke joined
the department. Republican mayoral challenger Marty Olsen promised if
elected, more police visibility but offered no funding or plans to increase
staffing. During October Josh Malaro resigned for the private sector while
DPW worked hard to complete the 23 month long renovation of the Shift
Commanders office - it's still not done. November Matt Cassiere and Jeremy
Zelinski were promoted to Sergeant while Justin Lawrie promoted to Detective.
We take a moment to reflect on our brother and sister officers who died
in the line of duty and won't be with family and friends this holiday
season. May they all rest in peace, we'll take the watch from here.
greetings of peace and prosperity, we wish the very best to allour family,
friends, supporters and associates of New London Police Union during this
festive time. May you enjoy all the best now and throughout the coming
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings from our family
Why Political Action
THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board,
city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect
AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.
Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits,
working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern
to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues
of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers'
compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected
officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.
The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide
vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to
look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a
critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when
membership is informed, educated and active.
Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big
business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers,
so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members
pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates
have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the
ever-more important media ad wars.
Through the political process we can be involved in setting important
public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect
representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services
and committed to dealing with workers fairly.
Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with
the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement
to produce a just and rewarding workplace.
724 gets recognized on the national level!
On January 28, 2011 at
the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO
thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the
Labor 2010 campaign.
Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's
Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local
724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and
commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections".
To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our
Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can
achieve when committed to a goal.
Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership
which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want
to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how
big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of
our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
724 helps East Lyme fight the cause
Why Political Action
Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn
Crippling Leadership Mistakes