Low pay for New Haven Police


Police Union takes out ad on billboard

The New Haven Police union said that low pay and benefits are the reason 34 officers left in three years. Police have been without a contract and pay increase in over two years and are headed to arbitration next month. In a rare move as part of the drive for better benefits the union has taken out two digital billboard ads near the intersections of I-91 and I-95.

One billboard states, “Low pay police don’t stay” according to Craig Miller president of the local union. Police Chief Anthony Campbell stated the police are down 85 officers and is expected to get worse by the end of the year. After more retirement at the end of the year police may be down 130 officers.

Miller said this falls back to a public safety issue. Miller went on to say, “We need to be fully staffed to protect the public, to perform our duties as police officers.”
The second digital billboard ad states, “In three years, 34 officers have left New Haven for better pay or benefits.”

The starting pay for officers is around $44,000 and according to Miller may be the lowest pay for law enforcement in the state. According to the City of Hartford’s website the starting pay for police officers is $49,851. According to policeapp.com the city of Bridgeport’s starting salary for police officers is $47,164.

In an article by NBC Connecticut they spoke with Mayor Toni Harp who stated “Members of the New Haven Police Department comprise what I believe is the best-trained and most effective law enforcement agency in Connecticut.” She further told NBC Connecticut in a statement, “The current, binding arbitration process will yield a new contract to provide them with appropriate compensation for their efforts given the city’s current ability to provide that compensation.” Mayor Harp recently defended handing out pay raises to her staff.

Mayor Harp recently granted her staff pay raises that ranged from two percent to almost 28 percent. These records were obtained by NBC Connecticut and state the records were obtained from a local government source. The highest raise was given to an executive administrative assistant.

The top paid employee on the list is the city’s attorney who will now take home $161,250 followed by the city’s health director who will make $155,875. A majority of the raises for the 37 employees are 7.5 percent. Seven of the salary bumps are greater than $10,000.

Mayor Harp recently diverted nearly $4,000 from the city fire department to obtain uniforms from for her administrative staff. These funds were intended to outfit firefighters with protective gear and uniforms according to an article by NBC Connecticut. Two receptionists and one mayoral aid received a combined total of $3,959 of the diverted funds.

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

Closer to Free Ride this Saturday

Dave Knickerbocker

Dave Knickerbocker at the parade

It’s that time of year again!! The Closer to Free Ride is Saturday 09.08.17. This is Connecticut’s most organized cycling ride which is now in its 8th year. The vision to start this ride was formed in 2009 with the opening of Smilow Cancer Hospital. Riders decide how long they will bike for, 10, 25, 62.5 or 100 miles, with many rest stops along the way manned all by volunteers. The ride starts by passing Smilow Cancer Hospital where many patients and staff come out to cheer on the riders, which is an amazing site. Riders ride alongside cancer patients and survivors as they cycle all throughout Connecticut. They return to New Haven where the ride culminates in the Yale Bowl where they pass through a spectacular finish line.

One hundred percent of the funds raised by ride participant supports patient care and research at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.

Members of the New Haven Police Emerald Society will be directing bicycle traffic as the approach and pass through the final turn of the ride, located at Chapel Street and Central Avenue. This is a special time for the Emerald Society as we do it in honor of one of our own, Dave Knickerbocker, who lost his heroic battle with cancer. Dave was a retired Sergeant who was with the New Haven Police Department. Dave served in many departments within the New Haven P.D. which included Patrol, Mounted Unit, Narcotics and Robbery/Burglary. He was the Sergeant at Arms and an Executive Board member for the Emerald Society for 16 years.

Come down to Chapel and Central after 8am. and help us direct the bicycle traffic. If you can’t come down all day come down and spend a few minutes with us there, which will give the guys a few minutes to have a sandwich. We will have food and beverages there. After that take a walk around the finish line and visit with some of the riders, vendors and food trucks. I’ll see you there!

If you want to learn more about the ride click here.

White powder found in envelopes in Hartford

White powder incident in Hartford. Photo courtesy of NBC Connecticut

The Hartford Police Department Bomb Squad, State Police, Hartford firefighters, the FBI and crews from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were called in to investigate suspicious letters containing white powder around Hartford yesterday.

Hartford Fire Lt. Bryan Thompson confirmed four white powder incidents in Hartford.

One incident was at 450 Columbus Blvd, which houses the Department of Education. Six people were near the package but self-decontaminated. No one was taken to the hospital but the building was evacuated.

Two envelopes containing letters and white powder were opened at the federal courthouse at 450 Main Street in Hartford. Fire officials said one female party was taken by ambulance to Hartford Hospital as a precaution.
A third incident occurred at 21 Oak Street, a state building behind the state courthouse. Firefighters on scene said the building was not evacuated and the incident was contained to a small area.
A fourth envelope containing white powder was opened at the First Bristol Credit Union. The Bristol fire and police departments and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene.

The US Attorney’s Office said 51-year-old Gary Gravelle, of New Haven, is being questioned in connection with these incidents. Gravelle was arrested on a supervised release violation unrelated to this case. In 2013, he was sentenced in Bridgeport federal court to 70 months in prison for mailing threatening letters. He was released from federal prison in November 2015.

For more details you can click here.


Best use of a Challenge Coin

Keychain front

This is the best use we have seen so far. Tom made his into a key chain and he carries it were ever he goes! He offered to do the same for yours. Just let us know and we will put you in contact with him.


Nike signs deal with Colin Kaepernick

Alejandro Villanueva with his hand over his heart before a NFL game

The former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick just signed a deal with Nike that will “rival those other top NFL players” according to the New York Times who spoke with people close to the negotiations. As you may recall Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee when the national Anthem was playing at the start of pro football games. Nike will also donate money to Kaepernicks’ campaign. This is likely to annoy the league’s top executives and owners. In March, Nike and the N.F.L. announced an extension of an apparel deal through 2028. As part of that deal, Nike supplies 32 teams with game-day uniforms and sideline apparel that features the company’s swoosh logo.

Kaepernick inspired other NFL players to take a knee during the anthem which was not taken lightly by veterans and police officers. In an article by nfl.com Kaepernick stated “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick was also seen wearing socks with pigs and police hats on them. According to CBS sports.com Kaepernick said he was making a statement, “because rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust. I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people. So before these socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately.” You can read that article here.

Kaepernick stated “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

However two of the largest veteran organizations in the US are condemning the players’ actions. Denise Rohan, the national commander of the American Legion, said in a statement that professional athletes and others who do not respect the national anthem are “misguided and ungrateful.” Last season one NFL player for the Pittsburg Steelers, Alejandro Villanueva, broke from the rest of the team and stood outside with his hand over his heart during the national anthem. He was chastised by some of his team mates for doing so.

In an article by The Hill.com Denise Rohan stated, “We salute Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who stood alone respecting the flag as his teammates stayed in their locker room.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) likewise saluted Villanueva for “showing the rest of his team and the league what true mettle is.”
“I stand for our flag and anthem, and I kneel for our fallen,” VFW national commander Keith Harman said in a statement. “That’s what patriots do. We rally around the flag of our country, not use it and our Constitution as both shield and sword.”

“There is a time and place for civil debate, and wearing team jerseys,” he said, “and using sporting events to disrespect our country doesn’t wash with millions of military veterans who have and continue to wear real uniforms on real battlefields around the globe.”

In the past some NFL team owners came to the defense of the protesters saying they had the right to do so under the first amendment. However since that time the NFL has seen a decline in revenue due to everyday citizens not agreeing with the NFL players and owners.

Like oil and water, a number of sources reveal overall viewership was down 10 percent. International Journalism review, citing several advertising sources, says Sunday Night Football was the biggest loser, dropping nearly 2.2 million viewers. Monday Night Football, which has slid for years and is the ‘weakest’ of the prime-time games, dropped from 12.3 million average viewers to 10.9. You can read the article here.

Due to increasing pressure and loss of revenue the NFL tried to institute a no kneel policy. In May of 2018 the NFL announced that teams would be fined if all of their players did not stand for the national anthem but did offer a compromise stating that players could stay inside the locker room. However in July the NFL announced it was halting its policy so they can negotiate terms with the NFL Players association.

Since this started Kaepernick has become a free agent and has not been signed by any NFL teams.

With the NFL season right around the corner it remains to be seen how this new controversy with Nike will affect the NFL.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.


South Windsor Police Sergeant Dies

Sergeant Matthew Mainieri- South Windsor Police Department

With sad news the Courant is reporting that South Windsor Police Sergeant Matthew Mainieri died Sunday afternoon while he was off duty in South Carolina attempting to break up a fight. He was a 20 year veteran of the South Windsor Police Department.

The Courant reported that Mainieri died at Grand Strand Medical Center of a head injuries sustained in an assault. The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Department arrested Kelton Jess Todd, 21 years old, on assault charges. Additional charges may be added pending further investigation.

Deputy Chief Scott Custer stated, “We have lost a wonderful officer, supervisor, and friend.” Deputy Chief Custer went on to say, “That’s who Matt was, someone who always helped those who needed help, anytime and anyway he could.”

Sgt. Mainieri was hired in 1998 as a community police officer. He rose through the ranks to become a sergeant while serving in both the traffic and detective divisions. He was also a member of the regional Emergency Services Team.

He received numerous awards and decorations throughout his career.

Please read the entire article here.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the South Windsor Police Department.