The Norwalk Police Union announced Friday that it is endorsing Rilling, former Norwalk police chief, for re-election over Rilling’s Republican challenger, former Common Councilwoman Kelly Straniti. The union also endorsed Rilling in 2013 as he successfully sought to unseat then-Mayor Richard Moccia.
“As Mayor of the City of Norwalk, Harry Rilling has continued to build on his record of dedicated public service,” Sgt. David Orr, union president, said in a statement. “Mayor Rilling has made himself accessible to City employees, and he’s helped restore a healthy working relationship between senior administrators and City workers. As someone who has risen through the ranks as a City employee Mayor Rilling sees the importance of fostering a working environment that places the employee in a position to succeed rather than struggle. Mayor Rilling has demonstrated that he values Norwalk’s municipal workforce, and he’s committed to working with the Unions rather than against them. Mayor Rilling understands the incredible challenges that we face as police officers, and the critical role that we play in promoting quality of life for the citizens of Norwalk.”
The union membership voted at its Aug. 27 meeting to endorse Rilling after interviewing both Rilling and Straniti, Orr said.
“The candidates spoke about their respective records of public service and their vision for the police department,” Orr wrote in his statement. “They fielded questions on manpower as it relates to development projects in the City, police benefits, body cameras, and the current anti-police climate that is plaguing our country. The Norwalk Police Union has great respect for Kelly Straniti, and we appreciate the support of our profession that she so clearly conveyed to our membership. We are very appreciative of her time and grateful for the energy and thoughtfulness that she brought to our meeting.”
“I am honored and humbled to once again receive the endorsement of the Norwalk Police Union,” Rilling said in the statement. “I have nothing but respect for them and the work they do. In my time as mayor of this city, the partnership we have developed with the municipal workforce has allowed us to function and progress in a way that is beneficial to everyone.”
“The Norwalk Police Union looks forward with optimism to another term under Mayor Rilling’s leadership,” Orr wrote. “We support his candidacy and proudly endorse his re-election to Mayor of the City of Norwalk.”