Submitted by Brad Radulovacki
In the recent Greenwich Time article, Police unions overwhelmingly back the GOP, police officers in Connecticut are reportedly expressing their frustration at the flawed Democrat-sponsored Police Accountability law. Greenwich residents, once they fully understand the impact of this legislation, should also hold our Democrat political representatives accountable for legislation that imposes costs on our town without discernible benefits.
The cost of the new law, rushed through the Connecticut legislature on a partisan basis, is already evident in our town. Just last month, in order to comply with the law, the Town of Greenwich approved over a million dollars to procure body cameras for our police department. There will be additional costs when dashboard cameras for police cruisers and staff to manage and store the video footage are added.
Was this investment in policing imperative for Greenwich? The answer is no. In prior years, Greenwich had passed on purchasing police body cameras because there was no pressing need. We have a highly qualified police force that operates with the highest level of state accreditation. Greenwich now also faces the prospect of paying for litigation costs arising from frivolous lawsuits brought against our police.
The Police Accountability law has stripped away an officer’s qualified immunity, subjecting them to civil lawsuits. This makes it easier to sue Greenwich police who must now purchase personal liability insurance simply to do their jobs.
It is no wonder that a number of senior officers have privately expressed their deep disappointment for being singled out in this manner. Many are considering early retirement.
This all makes one wonder, what problems has the new Police Accountability law solved for Greenwich? The answer is none. In fact, we face new ones in higher costs for policing and potential issues with recruiting new officers to protect and serve our community.
In voting for the ill-conceived Police Accountability law, State Senator Alex Kasser (D) and State Representative Steve Meskers (D) appear more interested in furthering national issues important to their party instead of drafting well-thought-out legislation germane to the lives of Greenwich residents. We deserve much better representation on this important issue.
Brad Radulovacki is a Representative Town Meeting representative from District 11. The views in this letter are his own and do not represent those of the RTM or any of its committees.
Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.