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..
Here we are already with that old September feeling of
summer passing, vacations nearly done, obligations gathering, books and
football in the air-another fall, another turned page. Where does the
members extend our sympathy and condolences to the family of Lt. Rocco
Bascilia FDNL (Retired) and his fellow firefighters on the news of his
recent passing. Rocco served the fire service for over 24 years working
under some of the most dangerous conditions imaginable, whether rushing
into a burning building or providing emergency rescue services. He also
served as union president of Local 1522 and credited with bringing them
a well deserved pension plan allowing them to retire with dignity. We
thank him for his commitment to keeping the community safe and protecting
his fellow firefighter's working conditions.
annual telephone fundraiser conducted by TCI America benefiting the New
London Police Union is in progress. Your generous donations no matter
how small helps us support many local civic organizations and defray some
operating costs including our Web site allowing us to keep the public
informed on our organization activities. In fact we are upgrading our
web domain with a new modern look from our friends at Pyramid Marketing,
Design and Technology with a showcase date within the next 60 days.
If you're able, please consider making your contribution by sending your
check payable to New London Police Union, P.O. Box 135, New London, CT.
06320. We thank you in advance for your help. For the many businesses
and residents who have already contributed this year, we are grateful
for your continued support
past month NLPD said goodbye to Officers Mike Laichenko and Gus Salas
with a combined 30 plus years of police service chose to leave police
work for a career change. We salute them for their public service and
gratitude for their personal sacrifices, dedication, perseverance and
professionalism they have shown protecting the life and property of all
citizens. Despite the long hours away from home, being ordered in for
additional short staffed shifts, missed holidays, weekends and events
with friends and family along with the danger they sometimes faced in
the course of discharging their duty, they were always the first at a
crime scene. Best of luck in your future endeavors, we'll take the watch
US Attorney Andrew Lellingin Boston recently commented on the overheated
politics and absurd rhetoric to defund and disband police stated, "local
police are not optional- they are in fact crucial to maintaining a safe
and free society". With so much vile, distrust of police and every
action they take considered improper until proven right, many officers
now question if it's worth the personal and professional risk to themselves
and their family to continue in a thankless job.
Nationwide police are leaving agencies. In Colorado over 250 have left
in 2020, NYPD 500, Chicago 400, Baltimore 300 per year since 2015, Washington
DC 70% are considering getting out. Connecticut State Police went from
1248 troopers a few years ago to slightly over 800. Twenty plan to retire
in the next 60 days and 400 are retirement eligible.
At NLPD as of this writing three active officers that we know of have
also applied elsewhere looking to leave with more discussing their employment
options to get away from urban policing or law enforcement all together.
The new Police Accountability Bill if not amended before the July 2021
when the full implementation date of the new qualified immunity provision
takes effect may see an additional seven officers leave not to mention
a recruitment crisis.
Low recruitment numbers nation-wide including here New London, have caused
a workforce crisis. As of this writing NLPD is authorized for ten new
officers: six from a federal grant, two funded by the city and two replacement
funded positions due to recent resignations.
Thirty applicants were invited to the physical agility, eleven attended
resulting in four candidates passing and that’s before serious the
vetting processes of background investigation, polygraph and psychological
occurs. The fact is very few want to be police officers in this current
environment. While the average person may not care, they certainly will
when its them forced to wait for someone - anyone - to respond to their
911 call for help because of our anticipated critical staffing levels.
Don't think it will happen to you? With absolute certainty - it will.
left coast Oregonian, self proclaimed activist and current Police Community
Relations Committee (PCRC) member Kris Wraight after being voted back
in for another term immediately brought the committee way outside of its
scope of authority again with her latest concern. This time complaining
our standards for use of force are not good enough and wants all New London
police officers be unarmed. Meaning all New London cops prohibited from
carrying or possessing any lethal or less lethal weapons. No rifles, handguns,
less lethal shot gun, taser, baton or cap stun - nothing.
Former US Attorney General Ed Meese recently wrote in The Federalist ,
"to ask police to do their jobs in extremely dangerous environments
without adequate means of protection defies logic..It’s a false
idea that disarming the police would usher in an era of non-violent conflict
resolution in which nobody gets hurt and everyone gets along. That’s
not the real world. In the real world, there are criminals committing
serious crimes. They are an active and powerful force, and police departments
were created specifically to counter that force. Defunding
and disarming the police would only cede ground to mayhem and chaos."
Why are progressives never satisfied, always looking for change? In these
uncertain times regardless of how radical the idea, these demands for
change are from people who have absolutely, positively no idea what police
officers do on a day to day basis attempts to change the way law enforcement
does business is painful.
It appears politicians and corporate heads are bowing to the power of
the mob and doing what they demand. Well-thought-out decisions are being
replaced by a desire to keep from being a target. To insist on an all
or nothing approach with no patience for thoughtful incremental change
only makes matters worse.
Union leadership recently sent letters of thanks and support to Senators
Paul Formica, Heather Somers and Representative Joe delaCruz on voting
against the recent Police Accountability and Transparency Bill (HB-6004).
While they all agree with the concept of better policing they understood
some serious problems with the Bill as written that was rushed for a vote
without being properly vetted.
are some problems we have with HB-6004 including violations of police
officers’ substantive and procedural due process rights not to mention
several constitutional issues.
Many police officers have said the new law will hobble proactive policing
and expose officers to financial ruin and hostile scrutiny from clueless
citizen and elected officials review panels. Such as: changing the standard
for the application of qualified immunity; and limits police officers’
due process rights to interlocutory appeals; unconstitutionally vague
decertification standards – whereby a police officer can be decertified
for engaging in “conduct that undermines public confidence in law
enforcement;” and relating to penalties for failure to intervene
and report -- imposes criminal penalties pertaining only to police officers
for acts outside the scope of the criminal statutes.
are also significant changes to the use of force standards under General
Statutes Section 53a-22 for when a police officer can use deadly force,
inserts an “objectively reasonable person/civilian” 4th Amendment
standard in the analysis of when it is appropriate for a peace officer
to use force. But the United States Supreme Court 4th Amendment standard
under Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989) has a “reasonable police
officer at the scene” standard. The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution
under Article Six, Clause 2, states that state law is preempted if it
actually conflicts with Federal law.
Another concern is the bill contains vague terms such as “reasonable
alternatives” and “de-escalation measures.” The Due
Process clause of the US Constitution requires that a criminal law such
as this 6004 proposed Use of Force statute must give fair notice of the
conduct it punishes; and a state criminal statute cannot invite arbitrary
enforcement. Such a statute would be deemed Constitutionally void for
Several highly effective attorneys representing various statewide police
unions were granted a meeting with Governor Lamont's senior staffers who
acknowledged the concerns in the Bill raised by lawyers but refuse to
intercede or suspend elements until properly vetted allowing the Bill
to remain intact as law.
state Representatives and Senators have been dismissive of any concerns
about the bill especially qualified immunity, claiming the "good
cops have nothing to worry about". Also suggesting by implication
those that do leave due to the new law may have been some of those "bad
cops". That's the supposedly nebulous group of dangerous Connecticut
cops that activists are quick to proclaim exists in every agency marauding
on the public they love to speak of but can't provide any facts or specifics
as to who they are or what they did.
Qualified immunity is something a judge can grant depending on the circumstances.
In federal law, police officers enjoy qualified immunity for their acts
and omissions. Unless their conduct violates “clearly established
law,” they are immune. Plaintiff attorney Norm Pattis who made a
career suing police claims, "the law is stillborn. It changes nothing."
However, police use of force attorney Elliot Spector's viewpoint is rather
different and troubling for any working police officer in Connecticut.
Spector stated , "The statute creates a separate cause of action
for State Constitutional claims to circumvent federal qualified immunity.
There still is a limited defense of governmental immunity but unlike “federal
qualified immunity” there is no interlocutory appeal. This increases
the burdens of litigation and the risk of playing Russian roulette before
An interlocutory appeal is an appeal of a ruling by a trial court that
is made before the trial itself has concluded. It asks an appellate court
to review an aspect of the case before the trial has concluded. In the
U.S., such an appeal can be made if extraordinary circumstances exist
that would prevent the case from being properly decided if the appeal
Spector continued, "Because almost all use of force cases are brought
by law violators/criminals who fail to comply with instructions, resist,
fight or flee, this statute benefits those criminals and their plaintiff
attorneys. It creates greater risks to innocent citizens due to de-policing,
reduced pools of quality candidates and hesitation due to the new use
of force standards. It creates greater risk of liability and burdens of
litigation for officer. It increases litigation costs for taxpayers who
have to pay for defense costs, settlements/judgments going into the pockets
of resisting criminals and attorney fees awarded under the statute to
Since the bill many senior officers of various ranks look to July 1, 2021
as their retirement launch platform unless there are changes to the law.
What remains unknown are what younger officers may leave who are not retirement
The constant calls for defund/abolish/fuck the police will come home to
roost when our cops walk away from the job. They have worked too hard
for their livelihoods to be taken away by frivolous lawsuits from opportunistic
resisting criminals. Even if they did nothing wrong ask yourself, just
how many lawsuit defenses can a person sustain before going broke, their
liability insurance policy is cancelled or issued a non-renewable quote?
The bill should have been more fair and balanced instead being slanted
against police and appearing to favor criminal behavior. Pursuit laws
have become so restrictive it's almost impossible to chase a criminal
who chooses to flee and yet the crime remains just a misdemeanor with
no increase in penalties for those who willfully decide to flee from police.
Likewise any use of force by police is now subject to extreme scrutiny
yet the penalty for suspects actively resisting arrest or interfering
with an arrest remains just a misdemeanor. Consent searches for weapons
and contraband in traffic stops are now prohibited without probable cause.
This now limits the number and kinds of traffic stops which has been a
tremendous tool to detect other crimes has been restricted which only
encourages criminals to engage in more criminal behavior since they no
longer fear detection and apprehension.
where do we go from here? We are reminded of two quotes from John F. Kennedy
that have relevance to this present day mess, "We cannot negotiate
with people who say what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable"
and "It is compromise that prevents each set of reformers from crushing
the group at the other end of the political spectrum." In that same
spirit both sides need to engage in meaningful dialogue and find compromise
to fix this bill. The alternatives are worse.
The views expressed by the author may not necessarily reflect the
views of all Local 724 members.
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