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..
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018: New Year is the time, when we all want to start on
a good note. It is the time when you want to wish each other that the
coming year is filled with happiness, joys and loads of success. New year
is a symbol of positivity. By welcoming the new year on a positive note,
it is important that we let go of all the negativities accumulated in
the year gone by. Just like with the sun rise every day a new day begins
with the new year people associate a new chapter in life to begin. It
is important we start afresh and welcome the new year. The new year brings
with it, its own set of aspirations, hope and desires. We wish all of
you a healthy and prosperous new year.
High profile violent crimes in late 2017 stole the headlines leaving city
officials "disappointed" and the public scratching their head
finding answers to explain what's happening and what can be done about
it to prevent any further harm to the city's already tarnished reputation.
Day's arm chair general bloggers too have weighed in too offering opinions
ranging from of more police coverage but no new police, increase walking
patrols with less cruiser patrols more community based policing, eliminating
tax exempt entities, seek more contributions from suburbs for social services,
crack down on the homeless industry and stricter compliance for problem
landlord properties. Once the posturing and bloviating is over, fact is
none of those ideas will adopted.
Our perspective is our men and women are exhausted by the amount of work
and calls for services, every shift, every day with not enough staff.
We are too short staffed and busy answering calls to simply walk around
neighborhoods. To put more cops on the street today means forced overtime.
Many of our officers don’t want to work another shift unless ordered
in because our work load has a human cost on officer's quality of life
at home. Any piece of equipment is destined to fail, if you place high
demands on it, it only breaks quicker shortening it's useful life. Readers
have no idea how much personnel and labor man hours are required to investigate
one homicide let alone three in one weeks time. Our officers are burning
out from too few officers and too many calls.
based policing is labor intensive and expensive. It means the patrol cop
is to be a municipal ombudsman -- a conduit for the services of other
city agencies and a catalyst for community self-help efforts. Problem
is it can only work when all city departments have the ability to collaborate
and provide services to requested neighborhoods.
Fact is New London city agencies have little or no staffing available
just to provide the most basic of municipal services and rarely, if ever
are they timely to any police request for services. The police can talk
all day long and pass along community concerns but if requested services
are not handled timely or neglected the cop is nothing more than information
booth with the community quickly loosing trust in any further dialogue
since it comes across as cheap talk just for the sake of talk.
Union has consistently repeated for several years with many city leaders,
councilors and the public at large - we simply need more cops. In 2009
it was not uncommon to have 12-17 officers on the street most shifts,
today that number is five every shift sometimes only four- that’s
for the entire city. Our men and women are commended for their hard work
and perseverance with the number of arrests being made not only in major
crimes but many other crimes that often don't make headlines.
Just this past month Detectives captured a serial rapist, closed out two
murders with swift arrests and working diligently to bring to justice
a suspect in another murder case. Our Vice Investigators along with DEA
and State Police wrapped up a major heroin trafficking case resulting
in multiple arrests while our patrol officers continue to excel with quick
arrests for many street crimes not to mention conducting critical first
responder investigations in many of these recent major crimes.
Yet all too often many of these suspects are found to have extensive criminal
records and out of jail due to the political will of Hartford leaders
and reluctance of Connecticut courts to demand real jail time to be served.
It appears nobody is a criminal anymore just "regular people with
big hearts about to change their life around" who repeatedly
get caught making a "bad decision". Judges seem to have a preference
to dole out suspended jail sentences or in lieu of time served sentences
with a sprinkling of probation that proves time and again rarely works.
Just think for a moment how many new victims of crime were perpetuated
by criminals out on the streets due to early release programs from full
sentences, on parole, probation or released on bail for pending crimes.
The hopes these high profile cases shall quickly pass will do nothing
to stop the onslaught of daily domestic violence, robberies, assaults,
larcenies, drug overdoses and crisis intervention calls our cops respond
to that are leading to personnel burnout. It’s just a matter of
time before the next exodus of our officers leave for other agencies offering
better working conditions. Believe us when we say those conversations
are being whispered again in our hallways. Or choose to do nothing and
wonder what happened once the exodus starts.
calming reassurances everything is ok and pointing to a 5.9% drop
in FBI crime stats as proof does nothing to improve the city's image -
remember we still lost 1/3 of the police officer staffing that have never
been replaced. Recorded crime has fallen, but we are dealing with unprecedented
demands. Downtown has become a ghost town chock full of drunks, drug addicts
and homeless vagrants scaring away just about everybody else. The latest
downtown businesses to give up and close are the Seehund Restaurant, The
Bistro on Bank and the downsizing and consolidation of Monica's State
Street Diner. Not to worry though did we mention city crime is down 5.9%?
just how busy are we? New London with just 68 police officers averages
75,000 calls for service a year. According to CT Department of Public
Safety statistics New London receives 25,000 911 calls annually. Connecticut
cities with similar 911 call volume include: Bristol, Greenwich,
Hamden, Manchester, Meriden, Norwich, Stratford and West Haven yet all
those agencies have a mean number of 116 officers each. So have all these
other agencies got staffing numbers wrong just enjoying taxpayer largess
or is there a problem in New London with police department staffing?
Some readers may recall eight years ago when we had 96 officers, but many
are not aware or may have forgotten in 2007 when the city hired OSS Law
( READ OSS REPORT ) from Texas to conduct an independent assessment
of police department operations and recommended 11 years ago NLPD have
118 officers due to high call volume, severity of cases, times consumed
on calls and agency shift relief. Since then we lost 35% of sworn staff
and have only become busier. So if anyone cares to listen, yea…
we're real busy and we're really tired.
if anyone is paying attention the common thread repeated in all this is
- we don't have enough cops. Each shift has our people
plugging their fingers in the crumbling dike we call New London and hopes
the dyke won't fail during our shift.
While we all standby for to multi jurisdictional city department heads
deconstructing this spike in recent violence most if not all of those
participants work Monday thru Friday 8:30-4:30 leaving only the police
to once again do all the heavy lifting, with the same five cops per shift
for the entire city. Maybe the answer is simply hire more firemen, because
we never seem to have enough and don't need to convene a panel experts
to deconstruct that request.
Eban was an Israeli diplomat, politician and author credited with some
famous quotes that could fit New London's past 50 year history. Eban said
"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they
have exhausted all other alternatives" and "[they] never miss
an opportunity to miss an opportunity". It is our hope with the beginning
of a new year New London finally finds the opportunity to reinvigorate
itself with wise decisions for economic growth and prosperity.
Some good New London news to begin 2018 with when Standard & Poor's
credit rating agency upgraded the city’s bond rating to A+, a sign
of fiscal stability. S&P classifies all debt-issuing entities they
review according to the following scale: AAA, AA+, AA, and AA- (Very High
Capacity to Repay Loans) with low chance of defaulting. S&P provides
an AAA rating to any borrower that has an extremely high capacity to repay
its debt. hey are considered to have a very low chance of defaulting.
A+, A, and A- (Strong Capacity to Repay Loans) are financially stable under
current economic conditions. BBB+, BBB, and BBB- (Adequate Capacity to
Repay Loans) the ability to repay is less assured and more vulnerable
to changing economic conditions than the previous ratings these are the
lowest investment grade bond ratings S&P assigns.
On the other hand many of the city's, middle and upper middle class residents
south of the hospital are the highest taxpayers are feeling trapped with
high taxes, users of little or no city services and stuck with houses
nobody wants even at fire sale prices as more landlords subdivide housing
stock catering to Section 8 recipients, sober/halfway house clients or
homeless that have brazenly flooded the city straining city resources.
fact a recent Day
story was critical of so many closed, empty downtown store fronts
and increased blight.
The New York Times described New London as "being on a roller coaster
looping through episodes of colorful municipal politics and flashes of
optimism for a revival before returning to chronic economic distress".
So in the end the health of the city depends on which rose colored glasses
you are using.
want to take this moment to extend our thanks and appreciation to DPW
for recently renovating our report room. George Frankawitz, Bill Barlow
and Donny Yourk for their hard work and extraordinary efforts polishing
up this turd of a building are greatly appreciative of their herculean
With the 2018 race for governor growing daily with an ever expanding list
of contenders, the Republicans recently held a forum in Windsor attracting
seven candidates who broadly outlined their interests with predictable
turnoffs — unfunded pension and retiree health liabilities, wasteful
spending, excessive regulation and career politicians.
Why must every Republican playbook require them to cut wage and benefits
for public employees to get elected? We are hard working middle class
families that pay our fair share of taxes and overwhelmingly turn out
on election day. If they want our votes in 2018 they better come up with
better ideas than simply attacking our hard fought and fairly bargained
wages and benefits.
point of interest came from former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst
volunteered that if elected governor he would ask the General Assembly
to reinstate capital punishment and end the release of inmates before
completion of sentence. Now there is an idea worth taking a looking at.
While Dan Malloy and former criminal justice sidekick Mike Lawlor are
quick to crow what a better place Connecticut is now by how many prisoners
they released, prisons they closed and umpteen second chances they doled
out to career offenders with meaningless probation sentences citing statistics
that show crime is down.
We're confident the families of these recent homicide victims as well
as other crime victims don't share Malloy's rosy outlook on his criminal
justice reforms. In the words of Ronald Regan, "We must reject the
idea that every time a law is broken society is guilty rather than the
law breaker. It's time to restore the American precept that each individual
is responsible for his actions"
Chris Soto accepted our invitation to speak at our December meeting. He
provided a frank perspective on some legislation he co-sponsored last
term and what he learned throughout the process that illustrated the many
sides of an issue that come to light that may have not been known when
an initial bill was offered.
Our position is and remains we must have a seat at the table when it comes
to political discussions affecting our members because if labor doesn't
have a seat it's because we are probably on the menu. Soto welcomed our
input on future bills that may have an impact on our members. We look
forward to those talks.
Representative Soto certainly realizes New London is a distressed municipality
but we provided a firsthand day to day perspective of what it's like to
be severely short staffed, using failing equipment and a budget that demands
daily sacrifices. Further that any up front grants to entice program participation
that becomes an unfunded mandate will become a yearly budget gremlin forcing
us to cut personnel to continue funding, a choice we can't make.
Since New London doesn't have the ability to self sustain a budget of
their own and the state payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program has never
worked as intended since its inception, he favors legislation that would
require some if not all tax exempt city entities to pay some kind of pro-rated
tax or service fees to assist New London. We simply can't continue the
path were on and welcomed his ideas to allow everyone to pay some type
of fair taxes for future sustainability. Thanks for Chris making time
for us with your busy schedule.
The police union conducted its biennial election for union officers
this past November. Many incumbents returned to office with three new
Executive Board members: Matt Cassiere, Brian Laurie and Josh Malaro.
Outgoing EB members Joe Buzzelli, Deana Nott and John Michaud are applauded
for their time and efforts. Like any organization ideas are great but
execution makes them happen. It comes down to a core group of people that
make the time and energy to ensure mission success, that core included
our departing executive board members.
Local 724 along with our friends and associates once again conducted another
very successful holiday food drive benefiting the United Way/Gemma E.
Moran Food Bank. This year marked our 13th year with the second highest
overall collection that brought in a record breaking 111 turkeys and an
estimated 3,000 pounds of non perishable food, $325 cash donations to
the food bank. We also plan to distribute an additional $600 from the
food drive for our Holiday Adopt a Family program providing ShopRite supermarket
many donors included visits from Mayor Mike Passero and former Mayor Daryl
Finizio who was "happy to give us the bird" this year. It's
nice that regardless of politics we can all come together to help our
citizens in need. We thank the mayors and everyone else for their very
generous support making our campaign a success.
almost a year of waiting Local 724 members are proud to offer congratulations
to Pete Reichard after he was formally chosen and sworn in as our newest
Chief of Police. The process was long but the results were worth the wait.
Rank and file officers are eager to formally begin a new chapter of this
agency history and curious to see what the future holds.
Chief Reichard has demonstrated his ability to juggle meager budgets,
politics, union issues and the many demands for police services required
of an urban police agency. While we remain severely challenged with manpower,
equipment and training there is a measureable tone of civility returned
to the building. We wish future success to Chief Reichard, because his
success benefits the agency and citizens alike.
the 1959 novel Flowers for Algernon character Charlie Gordon is a mentally
retarded thirty-two-year-old man, chosen by a team of scientists to undergo
an experimental surgery designed to boost his intelligence. Dr. Strauss
asks Charlie to keep a journal. The entire narrative of Flowers for Algernon
is composed of the “progress reports” that Charlie writes.
In 2017, Charlie Gordon no longer blogs, instead he provides "reports"
about others to his friend down the street but fails to reveal his own
troubles yet to be discovered.
More good news to report, DPW carpenters are actively underway with long
awaited renovations to our report room and shift commanders office. Both
will undergo significant remodeling which we hope will not only improve
working conditions but improve efficiency too.
Voters spoke this November with congratulations in order to our returning
incumbent City Councilors. We also welcome newcomer Alma Nataratez and
venerable war horse Marty Olsen back to another new term as Councilor.
With the state budget mess resolved we hope city hall can begin to work
on and implement a real plan to move the city forward with measurable
We extend our appreciation to outgoing councilors Martha Marx and Tracee
Reiser for their public service and for especially supporting us with
yea votes ratifying our new police contract. Thank you and good luck in
your future endeavors.
speculation if Nancy Wyman would not run for governor in 2018 came to
a halt when she announced she would not run. After 40 years in government
she chose to spend more time with family. Always friendly and available
to Local 724 issues, we offer a heartfelt thank you, for her many years
of service to the citizens of Connecticut. Good luck in your next chapter
Wyman with the highest name recognition now out leaves a field of over
30 potential lesser known B list candidates when it comes to statewide
name recognition vying for the job- all. That all changed when Hartford's
38-year-old mayor Luke Bronin announced he is seriously considering a
run for the job. Funny two weeks earlier he claimed he had no interest
in leaving Hartford.
Well that announcement brought out many Hartford Courant bloggers who
had a much different opinion of Mr. Bronin. Take for example this one:
"No more than two years at any job he's ever had, no accomplishments
as Mayor of Hartford, a begging tour that went nowhere, no union concessions
and running a city that Moody's has in junk bond status and the TV personality
of a test pattern. How can he lose?"
hard to imagine anything getting done in Washington these day. In fact
while our Connecticut senators continue daily news releases of Never Trump
Resistance Congressman Joe Courtney has been quietly but effectively representing
the state and his district after successfully negotiating a huge new defense
spending budget. The final defense bill that would boost the number of
F-35’s requested by President Donald Trump from 70 to 90 , Sikorsky-made
Black Hawk helicopters from 45 to 53. Besides boosting the number of F-35s
— whose engines are made by Pratt & Whitney –and Black
Hawks requested by the White House, the defense bill authorizes the construction
of four ‘heavy lift” CH-53K helicopters.
$5.9 billion for the Virginia- class attack submarine program and authorizes
the Navy to build three submarines a year in 2020, 2022 and 2023. Currently,
the pace of Electric Boat’s production is two subs a year. It also
authorizes $1.9 billion for Electric Boat to continue development and
design work on the new Columbia-class sub happening right here in New
In mid November while waiting for a flight at Regan National Airport I
had the chance to speak with and congratulate Joe on his great work securing
this deal. Please remember his efforts on our behalf to help secure our
nations defense industry and provide good paying jobs to Connecticut families
next November when he runs for re-election.
As we begin to gather with family and friends this holiday season let
us not forget the 118 officers killed in the line of duty in 2017 as of
11/28/17. We hold them up as heroes because that’s what they are.
It takes a special kind of courage to be a peace officer and they gave
the ultimate sacrifice keeping us safe. We are reminded of the words given
by President George H.W. Bush dedicating the National Law Enforcement
Officer Memorial, "Carved on these walls is the story of America,
of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect
a national treasure that we call the American dream".
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