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..
A recent January article in
The Day on our police staffing issues certainly did not sit well with
police rank and file officers. Unfortunately some politicians like our
mayor suffer from very selective memories when it suits them so let us
remind our readers of his prior positions using his own words.
In 2014 then Council President Passero stated the city [Mayor Finizio]
had a responsibility to make public safety a top priority in the budget."
Then in 2015 Democratic mayoral candidate Michael Passero called for a
"return of respect for public safety employees with plans to restore…staffing
levels at the police department, calling a well-functioning police department
a key to quality of life in the community".
Fast forward to 2018 Mayor Michael Passero now washes his hands of our
shortage claiming "the issue comes back to the City Council. It’s
the council that approved only enough money for 70 officers". When
it comes to standing by his own immortalized words requiring minimum staffing
ordinance of 80 officers his explanation is "the number 80 was a
compromise… it was more important to get something into writing
than to bicker over the precise number".
Well forget the guessing Mr. Mayor had you even bothered to look no further
than the expert report requested and paid for by the city 10 years ago
recognized law enforcement experts recommended 118 officers for NLPD.
READ OSS REPORT )
The number of 69 officers is a misleading number. Once you take away command
staff, supervisors, investigators and support services the actual number
of patrol officers is 37. Now subtract injuries, training, days off, sick
and vacation leave are added in that number drops off precipitously to
cover the entire city 24/7.
To the doubters, many from outside the city who provide comments without
slightest understanding of facts suggest more police officers don't solve
more crimes. Remember famous words from former Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan, Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts
and political society wants things simple but what is not discussed, will
not be advanced.
We say more police means timely responses to calls for service. more pro-activity
allowing us to focus on quality of life issues which has been proven to
reduce other crimes, in particular street crimes of opportunity like-
car breaks, daytime burglaries, robberies street corner drug dealing and
pan handling to name a few.
recent example is our Vice and Narcotics Unit added another investigator
to the unit a few months back with a dramatic uptick in unit activity.
Not only increased on site street level drug dealing arrests but significant
activity with larger complex investigations utilizing search and seizure
warrants resulting in impressive seizures of drugs, money and guns and
Properly staffed police agencies can and do provide a full range of police
services which allows us to be responsive to more community policing concerns.
For those non believers we suggest you drive around the city with your
eyes wide open and tell us how clean, inviting and attractive the city
is right now and explain to us why any new business, developers or residents
would want to move here. A sentiment echoed in a recent David Collins
article on the state of downtown.
Borrowing a quote "The greatest success stories were created by people
who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity." Maybe
we have arrived at that moment, after a several recent and brutally honest
discussions with police administration and City Hall involving very early
stages of coordinating a plan to increase staffing in the next fiscal
year to add patrol officers another detective and Deputy Chief.
will be contingent on collaboration with Councilors for their approvals
in upcoming budget workshops, but we came away believing this may, might,
could be, the start of a new opportunity for the police department. One
of the plans calls for certifying a new batch of promotional lists for
Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant in place by early spring which is not
only welcomed but timely if we are to increase staffing.
Connecticut remains in a polarizing quagmire of high unemployment, huge
debt, crumbling infrastructure and a population fleeing the state our
lame duck Governor Malloy tries to remain relevant joining our Sesame
Street twins, Bert (Richard Blumenthal) and Ernie (Chris Murphy) as always
reliable with their Democrat National Committee puppeteers to parrot the
latest Never Trump rants while Congress and our own General Assembly proves
inept to solve any problems in front of them except to kick it down the
We hope all Connecticut voters remember how our self absorbed Senatorial
twins and darlings of the progressive left turned their back on every
American citizen and our military not once but twice in a week's time
by not only voting to shut down the government choosing instead to support
illegal immigrants but a second time when they voted no to end the government
shutdown. Elections have consequences especially Murphy who faces 2018
Meanwhile the list of hopeful candidates for governor is growing by the
day, each believing they have what it takes to fix this mess but none
to date offering any meaningful solutions. Currently none of the Republican
hopefuls have statewide voter name recognition and face a tremendous uphill
There is one exception though, 30-year-old New Britain Mayor Erin Stuart
in her third term, who appears ready to jump into the race. A self-described
fiscal conservative who is moderate-to-liberal on social issues, she wins
consistently in a city where Democrats dominate the voter registration
rolls, and for the past two election cycles, she has won endorsement from
municipal unions could pose a serious challenge to the status quo.
for the Democrats there are three names that stand out: former Secretary
of State Susan Bycewicz, current Hartford mayor Luke Bronin and Greenwich
businessman Ned Lamont each capable of raising big campaign money and
each offer their own version of reshuffled deck of progressive politics
that differs little from Dan Malloy in substance.
Recall if you will Malloy stated in 2010 and again in 2014 he and he alone
would turn the Connecticut economy around. Well he was right , he single
handedly tanked it. He asked for and got a $2.6 billion tax increase in
2011 only to burn threw it like am inept lottery winner. Then in April
2017 with the state economy and especially struggling cities on life support
- except for his hometown of Stamford - he was bold enough to echo this
myopic claim, "I know that Connecticut must continue to change and
grow and strive for a more perfect tomorrow".
Malloy's record of failures (killed off Route 11, emptied the transportation
fund, soaring energy costs, 95 and mass transit a mess while state infrastructure
crumbles) all broken promises resulting in a high disapproval and failed
policies – all the while raising taxes, increasing regulations,
misleading voters not to mention driving away business and jobs represents
the worst of our governors. Hey Dan how about do no more harm and quietly
To be clear this is not personal but business, Dan Malloy is a personable
guy that we whole heartedly supported and endorsed twice because he supported
unions, hard working middle class families and upheld collective bargaining
rights. While challenger Tom Foley made clear his first order of business
was to blame all the state's problems on union employees and go after
our public sector jobs and hard fought contracts. But that was then, this
is now and new blood is needed.
Oh then there is one Independent candidate, Oz Griebel the former Executive
Director of the Hartford Alliance (greater Hartford region chamber of
commerce). A personable businessman with plenty of optimism but short
on cash who at best plays a spoils position in voter tallies. I'm sure
if he can survive to Election Day and sway some votes he will be rewarded
by the victor with a plumb job. But a day in politics can be a lifetime
allowing plenty of time for twists and turns along the way.
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.
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