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Yankee Institute Statement: Police accountability bill is unpopular and ineffective

“It’s no surprise the newly-passed, potentially costly police ‘accountability’ bill, now awaiting approval by Gov. Ned Lamont, is so unpopular. It does nothing to help Connecticut municipalities effectively discipline or terminate police officers for bad conduct. Instead, it will saddle municipalities with another expensive state mandate and have a chilling effect on all police officers, curtailing their ability to do their jobs for fear of frivolous lawsuits. 

Connecticut municipalities remain bound by police union contracts that protect bad officers at the expense of the thousands of good and decent officers who keep us safe every single day. Without reforms to the grievance arbitration process set in union contracts, Connecticut’s police officers – and all public employees — will continue to be stigmatized by abuses perpetrated by bad actors who cannot be fired. Connecticut’s arbitration process regularly forces municipalities to retain – at significant financial and social cost — police officers who have engaged in behavior that shocks the conscience.

The legislature’s unseemly haste to score political points has resulted in legislation — passed in a thrown-together special session — that lacks effective, common-sense reforms that will protect both the public and the many good, heroic police officers serving Connecticut. By failing to address the grievance arbitration process, this bill effectively punishes everyone for the actions of a few. It is another example of how our is governed by union contract, rather than by legislators crafting responsive and thoughtful public policy.”

Statement attributable to Carol Platt Liebau, President of Yankee Institute

House passes police transparency bill after overnight debate

Meeting in special session, the Connecticut House of Representatives yesterday voted on an eclectic range of bills, with the most controversial centering on police reform and voting changes. Protesters outside the Capitol included unionized nursing home workers and teachers; police; self-designated representatives of Black Lives Matter; and the ACLU.   The session began with Representatives testing technology and working out technical bugs. Most representatives connected to session electronically from their ...

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The Fitch Files: Arrested twice for multiple felonies and misdemeanors, a Connecticut State Trooper remains on the payroll

On July 12, 2019, Gregory W. Smith, a sergeant with the Connecticut State Police, was arrested on charges that he had engaged in numerous instances of physical and verbal domestic abuse toward his wife, Katarzyna Smith. State police officers at Troop K in Colchester were alerted to the abuse when ...

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  1. Thad Stewart

    August 1, 2020 6:39 pm

    The unions are to blame here. Like the three strikes law for offenders, it should be the same for officers. If you can not conduct yourself in a professional manner, then you do not deserve the badge or the benefits that go along with the job. That means, if you are fired for conduct unbecoming of a law enforcement official you LOSE any and all retirement benefits. Get rid of the middle man, the unions, and be judged by a jury of your peers.

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