“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