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Norwalk Police budget puts 3 officers in the schools

Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik

Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik considers his operating budget at Wednesday’s Board of Estimate and Taxation meeting.

NORWALK, Conn. – Two of three new Norwalk Police officers planned as part of the next fiscal year’s budget will be dedicated to Norwalk’s middle schools, Chief Thomas Kulhawik said Wednesday.

The 2013-2014 operating budget includes funding for three additional police officers, as has been publicized. Kulhawik said they aren’t technically new positions as they have been authorized for the department for years. But the positions haven’t been funded.

One officer will be assigned to the elementary schools, Kulhawik said. The other two will be assigned as school resource officers to two middle schools each.

“Middle schools are an area where they can have big impact, because that’s where these issues start, with the gangs, you’ve got bullying, with drugs,” Kulhawik said.

Mayor Richard Moccia agreed. “Just the presence, even rotating through the schools, makes people feel better,” he said. “Plus, they would be available should there be a call in the area, emergency call. So it wouldn’t be, ‘Hey, I’m in the school’ if anything else happens, ‘I can’t go a couple of blocks.’ They have that coordination.”

There are no vehicle purchases planned in the budget, although the department is requesting a pickup truck that can be used to plow the police headquarters parking lot, and a new prisoner transport van.

The mayor and Finance Director Thomas Hamilton discussed Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed biennial budget with Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes Wednesday. Moccia said there may be state grant money (from LoCIP, the Local Capital Improvement Program) to buy police vehicles.

He said, “No guarantees, because we have a lot of demands. … At least it’s an option we might have to have.”

7 comments

oldtimer March 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

It is a shame when election year politics interfere with managing a police dept.
“Kulhawik said they aren’t technically new positions as they have been authorized for the department for years. But the positions haven’t been funded.”
That sounds like political doublespeak. Is the police dept really getting three more officers, or is the chief being told where to assign three officers, leaving him three less for street patrol ?
For many years, more positions have been funded than the dept was allowed to fill and that payroll money was transferred to overtime so they could hire officers to work extra shifts to fill a few of the vacancies.

Tim T March 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Will they be paid straight time or time and a half? It has become practice in Norwalk to pay cops time and a half for most everything including when the Norwalk police work for another city department such as parks and recs and the BOE. I find this to be a total waste of money at straight time or time and a half as other cities towns and Moccia urban center have school security but not at exurbanite police salary. Also if what the cops do at construction sites is any indication of what they will be doing at the schools it’s even more of a waste as all they do is read the newspaper sitting in a running city car when they should be directing traffic. Another question is who will be supervising these officers as I am not sure how comfortable I feel with Norwalk police in schools after LT Cummings. It’s time we stop letting the thugs at the police union run the police department and start thinking outside the box as in school security officers, park security and traffic agents. These will all cost less and most likely do a better job than the NPD, However this mayor is more concerned with the police union endorsement than the taxpayer as we seen when he appointed a new chief with ZERO search for the best candidate.

Mark Chapman March 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

As the chief explained it, the three positions have been authorized but not funded in the past. That means the budget request would not include a request for three new officers, but the pay would be included in the total salary request. The assertion that these are not “new” positions is technically correct but somewhat disingenuous. If you put a new flat screen TV in your personal entertainment budget, but put off buying it until 12 months later because you used the money for something else, the TV is still new when you get it.

Tim T March 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

MARK
“TV in your personal entertainment budget, but put off buying it until 12 months later because you used the money for something else, the TV is still new when you get it.”
WHO TOLD YOU THAT I DID THAT?

LWitherspoon March 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

@Mark
Thank you for the clarification. This is not the first time that comments from oldtimer have been disingenuous, and as we get closer to the election I’m sure it won’t be the last.

spanner March 10, 2013 at 9:18 pm

It great to hear more police protection yet rumor has it out of 177 officers only 132 see the streets how could that be?

The scam the NPD has now is prisoners at the hospital who pays for it and who gives money to Norwalk to subsidize it?

When someone is admitted to the hospital friday afternnon and stays until Monday court that is a chunk of change mostly overtime that comes from NPDs budget.

Most of the crimes that do happen at schools happen at night at sports events.

How did the Police dept get the union to except a odd shift?Most shifts end and start leaving the city at bay when schools get out when trouble happens,I’m wondering if this issue was talked about and concessions were made for coverage.In the past we have had shootings stabbings and assaults when school gets out and shift change happens and many times in the news the police dept has said its hard to cover the city schools when shift change is happening.

Anyone know if this logistic has been worked out if not three officers will be leaving before the kids get out or after.This was always an issue and I didn’t see anything mentioned.

Was the crossing gaurd issue talked about at all?

Most days officers as many as four do traffic duty in the morning and in the afternoon why hasn’t the press informed the public of this need for extra crossing gaurds in place of officers with cars that are supopose to be patrolling the city instead?

I think Old timer does well to uncover some of the double talks in the police dept now Rilling when vetted for Mayor will he come clean and tell us all what we have been suspecting for years poor management simple and plain.

Not once will you ever hear me complaining about our officers its the crew running the show there is no trust to anything they say lies are worth money for them not hearing the truth is costing us taxpayers money instead.

I support what the councilors are trying to do but when you read after the fact about these meetings some facts should of been in the hands of those asking the questions are not maybe the system needs tweaking.

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