LETTER: America’s Crime Wave Has Found Its Way to Greenwich

Submitted by Joseph Montanaro, Cos Cob

America’s crime wave is coming to a town near you and, in the last several weeks, it has found its way to Greenwich. Strong-arm robberies, vehicle break-ins, various street crimes and homeless panhandling are becoming commonplace.

Crime has become a sign of the times in our cities and it is spilling over into the suburbs. Sadly, the innocent’s exposure to criminal acts are largely preventable. The solution is an alliance and a cooperative relationship between local politicians, town committees, police leadership and the public at large.

On March 8, 2021, the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting (RTM) cast votes to reinstate traffic cops on footposts of Greenwich Avenue. One District 8 member even condescendingly stated at a public meeting this year, “I am going to say it slowly…traffic cops are never coming back to the Avenue”. These are people who run for and who are elected to a position on the RTM.

As a new active member in local politics with some understanding of our local structure, which can still be confusing, I am sure that the average Greenwich resident does not know what the RTM is or how much its decisions affect their daily lives. From my perspective it is an in-crowd club that has been allowed to go rogue and unchecked with the personal ideologies and radical agendas of its membership.

Dissenters are usually steamrolled into the minority. I encourage all Greenwich residents to do some due diligence into who is on the RTM and their voting record. Do they really have your best interests in mind or are many of them smug bubble-livers who want to turn Greenwich into their own little out of touch utopia? The time has come to hold these elected officials accountable, get new members involved and speak out courageously with the strength of your convictions.

As a former NYPD cop and detective, I know that foot posts are the first line of defense and deterrence against all street crimes. Under mayor Rudy Giuliani’s leadership and continuing under Michael Bloomberg, in conjunction with Police Commissioners Ray Kelly and Bill Bratton, NYC established the model to fight crime. NYC became the safest major city in America. While daunting to establish, with years of hard work and dedication from the rank-and-file officers and a police leadership who bought in.

The New York City example was coupled with political backing and a supportive prosecutor’s office. In recent years, all of the collaborative effort between law and order has been decimated. A sect of American society has turned on the police and this faction has infiltrated every institution of our government and justice system with political support and media endorsements. They push policy based on unrealistic emotional rhetoric, resulting in endless failures to maintain public safety. Street criminals do not care about their victim’s ideologies or which way they vote, but they will always take advantage of lenient Democrat polices. Although police officers wear many hats, their main reasons for existence are to deter crime and enforce the law. So, let them do their jobs! A good cop exudes bravery, toughness and drive coupled with the delicate balance of empathy, logic and compassion. An overwhelming majority of cops with whom I have worked and encountered in my life all have these

I am also calling on our local police to speak up and speak out. We are in a battle on two fronts with the criminals on one side and destructive political ideologies on the other. It is, in a broader sense, good vs evil. I am asking the police leadership, the union heads and the rank and file to pick a side. You can no longer live in fear over optics and backlash. We are at a crossroads in this country. A major way we can overcome these great adversities is to have the right political candidates in place and to help them get elected.

Forget out of date precedents. You must think critically and examine each candidate’s track record. Do not get caught up in their punch lines and political talking points or appearances.

For Greenwich, and the State of Connecticut, we have an extremely important primary vote coming up on Tuesday August 9th, followed by a huge November election. There are true pro-cop, law and order
candidates on the ballots for the primary and the general election this fall. The candidates in the primary are largely bifurcated by the following: citizen candidate versus career politician, pro 2nd amendment and pro state’s rights versus turnover of power to the federal government.

Dr. Michael Goldstein for US Congress is one of these citizen candidates in Tuesday’s primary. He is a member and Police Surgeon for the National Police Defense Fund which is an organization that helps indemnify law enforcement officers who are wrongly persecuted for doing their jobs. Dr. Goldstein is on the ballot this Tuesday in a primary for the US Congress Republican candidacy. I encourage you all to get out and vote for him. We need more citizens like him stepping up.

His opponent is the former first selectwoman of Darien. Some very questionable events including an ongoing court case arose during her tenure. Credible detail about a former Darien High School coach and the Darien Board of Ed is contained in the complaint for the pending civil lawsuit Brian A. Trifone et al. v. Darien Board of Education et al., Case FST-CV-21-5024880-S (The link to the Complaint is https://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=20082589.).

The case outlines some extremely disturbing incidents within both boys’ and girls’ sports programs during Jayme Stevenson’s tenure in Darien. Should the former CEO of that town not comment on this ongoing case? Does the buck not stop here? The events that transpired in this active case are more than 6 years old. These are the sort of things we should all be looking into before blindly throwing our support behind certain candidates just because our local RTC tells us who we should vote for. Those days are over.

I encourage you to read up on another candidate, Kimberly Fiorello, who has backed local police and
fought for law and order during her first term in Hartford. She is on the ballot this coming November. She supports SROs and police in our schools. She opposed the Deceptive Interrogation Bill. Candidates like Kimberly are who law enforcement officers should publicly support regardless of whether our unions and police associations have endorsed such candidates.

Be active, be vocal, go vote, get involved and stay vigilant. We can no longer stand idly by as our towns, cities and states are overrun with failed policy, high crime, fiscal irresponsibility and zero accountability.