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Norwalk tax board looks to slash Norwalk Police budget

Norwalk shooting 080812 001
The 2014-15 recommended operating budget for the Norwalk Police calls for eight new SUV cruisers and two used cars to be used by detectives.

NORWALK, Conn. – Things have reached a critical point and the city really needs to invest in new police vehicles, even if it’s not a good year to do it, Norwalk officials said Wednesday.

The planned purchase of eight SUV’s is one of the primary reasons the next Norwalk Police budget has swelled 3.8 percent from 2013-14, Finance Director Thomas Hamilton said.

But Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation members, who are saddled with the task of cutting $500,000 from Hamilton’s recommended 2014-15 operating budget, got no easy answers from Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik as they looked for things they might cut.

“We are at a critical stage and, with the SROs (school resource officers) needing vehicles, it’s going to get to the point where people want walking patrols, well they’re going to get them,” Kulhawik said.

The $20,758,197 recommended police budget is $762,617 higher than last year’s figure, an increase of 3.8 percent, Hamilton said. Of that, $264,300 is for eight new SUV’s and two (used) Detective Bureau vehicles; $112,860 for fuel and maintenance; $107,963 for Workers Compensation and other insurance premiums; and $77,579 for building maintenance due to a reallocation of Guardian-provided janitorial services to city buildings.

Director of Management and Budgets Bob Barron said waiting to buy vehicles would hurt. “At some point you’ll have to double up on the order,” he said. “… This is the year where you really need to make the purchase.”

That’s because buying vehicles has already been put off, officials said.

“Last year we only got three. There was a year several years ago when we got none,” Kulhawik said. “… I understand why. It was a situation that it really needed to be done, but it’s put us in the position now where we’re behind the 8-ball and we’ve been fighting that for the last several years.”

Police vehicles last five years – and that’s pushing it, Rilling said. Fixing them is good, but it gets to the point where the repairs are more than the vehicle is worth, Kulhawik said; $16,000 was spent last year to keep a 2007 Ford Explorer going and it is only worth $12,000, he said.

Two unmarked vehicles died in the past three months, Kulhawik said.

Fairfield gets 12 new police vehicles a year, he said. Bridgeport just bought 60, he said.

SUVs are desired because they are bigger, he said. The sedans – basically a Ford Taurus – don’t really get better gas mileage because they’re both using basically the same engine, he said. Getting vehicles that use less gas doesn’t pay because you pay more money for the vehicle, he said.

In addition to Workers Compensation, other insurance and janitorial services, other non-vehicle cost increases total $199,915, which includes an additional police officer to increase SRO presence at the middle and elementary schools. The recommended budget calls for $1.1 million in overtime.

If salaries go up when the police contract is settled, that will come from the contingency account.

“Most of our budget is out of our control,” Kulhawik said. “It’s personnel costs and it’s operational. There’s very little that we can give up. … You can cut the overtime budget but the fact of the matter is it’s going to get spent, it’s part of life.”

Paying overtime is actually cheaper than hiring more people as the staff would swell to 221 positions from the current 196, he said. Hamilton agreed, saying that there are a lot of expenses associated with police officers, including training and equipment.

The increased SRO presence at the middle schools has reduced crime significantly, Kulhawik and Mayor Harry Rilling said.

BET Chairman Jim Clarke asked Kulhawik if he would rather give up cars or people.

“If it was one car I would keep the officer,” Kulhawik said. “If you’re talking about getting rid of several cars then I would go for the cars because again, we’re going to get to that critical point.”

Comments

50 responses to “Norwalk tax board looks to slash Norwalk Police budget”

  1. bsmith

    Outsource the dirt jobs. Save on overtime. Need less cars.

  2. Or make the police who work the overtime dirt jobs pay for the abuses the cars take – 100%.
    *
    What, with the wear & tear and not to mention the gas they waste sitting there, I’m sure these dirt jobs depreciate the cars by half of what they originally were quoted at the time of purchase.
    *
    No new cars until this is worked out. Those officers sitting around all day at taxpayers expense – both in the overtime pay they receive and the usage out of the cars is A CRIME AGAINST THE TAXPAYERS (but Rilling won’t “see” it that way – gotta protect da boyz in blue). After all, they elected him so he has no option but to vote for this project.

  3. John Hamlin

    Yes –aren’t we all tired of seeing police making overtime while they stand idle near some construction site with no purpose ?

  4. Longtime Resident

    I think that having city police vehicles running for hours and hours while officers are on ‘dirt jobs’ cannot be good. That’s a lot of wear and tear, not to mention fuel consumption and pollution. This contributes to breakdown of the police cars.

    If the police are on overtime, paid by the contractors to direct traffic or watch a hole, they don’t need NPD vehicles. Let them use their own cars. Surely that might help the fleet, and I bet those personal cars wouldn’t be idling all day long.

  5. JoeC

    Ah but overtime is the easily reached holy grail of police work. There is far too much of it.

  6. M. murray

    1.1 million overtime expenditures over a 200 man department at approximately $60/ hour works out to roughly 2 hours OT per week for each officer. Extra work (construction and uniformed side jobs) earn officers $57/hour. The city charges a 15% surcharge (approx $8.55/hour) for the officer whether he takes a car or not. This means that the City charges the contractor over $68 per day for use of the officer, with or without a car. An idling car uses .1-.2 gallons per hour. An idling car over an 8 hour shift would use approximately 1-1.5 gallons of gas. Municipalities do not pay taxes on gas, so their cost is approximately $2 per gallon. Generously speaking, if they used $4 of the $68 earned by the City for renting out officers, the city profits $64 per shift for officers hired. Wear and tear on the vehicles does not cost nearly that. Overall, the city makes an income off the backs of the officers working these jobs.

  7. bsmith

    Fuel efficient vehicles cost more even tho they save gas therefore police will buy SUV’s. Any numbers to support that? What about Rillings’ environmental task force?

  8. TLaw

    Is there a city ordinance that states that ‘dirt job’ has to employ a police officer? Why not – for what’s it worth – have a traffic safety course for a so called flag guy and have him work the ‘dirt job’?

  9. Ace22

    @ Longtime Resident and TLaw…very valid points!!!

  10. piberman

    “Slash” $500k out of a $21 mil budget is a bit of hyperbole even for NON.

    The obvious question is why our Mayor can’t ask our high paid administrators can’t do more with fewer resources as in the private sector. But its not “polite” to ask the obvious. It’s the New Norwalk.

  11. Mitch Adis

    I would like to know what could cost $16,000 to fix on a 2007 Explorer! Did it roll over?

  12. Oldtimer

    The purpose of having police vehicles, and officers, at construction sites is visibility. Like it or not, people drive more carefully when they see a police car, especially when there is an officer with it. More carefully equals less accidents and that is the whole point for the insurance companies that cover the construction companies. They have done the math, and the police officers at the sites save them (insurance companies) money.

  13. TLaw

    @Oldtimer That would be the point of the Safety Course. A certified safety course that is all encompassing. You’re clearly a union guy and these jobs are union jobs. Do you still live in Norwalk? And pay into the tax base?

  14. John Levin

    M. murray – the use, and abuse, of police overtime likely is far more nuanced than you suggest. Look at this eye-opening article from the New York Times about the abuse of police overtime in a neighboring town:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/business/economy/21pension.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    I can not speak directly to the practices of Norwalk’s PD, but clearly there is substantial opportunity for officers, and their supervisors, to game the system, at the expense of taxpayers. The key question: is there effective oversight of these activities?

  15. Mike Mushak

    The cars should not idle at the construction sites for hours, but be turned off if possible, to save fuel, cut pollution, and save on wear and tear as hours of idling wrecks engines faster than anything else. The question is, is there is enough battery power to run the flashing lights while the car is off? Do we need extra battery capacity when ordering the new cars to allow this so we can preserve engine wear and tear and save fuel and cut pollution all at the same time?
    .
    I also think the police presence is good to have on busy streets in more urban areas like West Ave. Wall St, or in SoNo, but do we need cars on every construction site such as on quieter side streets or in the leafy suburban areas? Why not just drop the officer off and pick him up later like other cities do it? (Thats what New Canaan does in the leafier areas of town.) Why not just have one car driving around picking up and delivering officers at the less busy sites?
    .
    Just curious, can an officer at a dirt site jump in the car in an emergency and go on full duty, or is he restricted? That would also be a benefit to having cars on site in the more urban areas where crime is higher, like having an auxiliary force on call at all times.

  16. David McKenzie

    It should be noted that the 2 people supporting this abuse of overtime are retired Norwalk police officers. Right old Timer and M Murray??? Thus they have profited from this. Also M Murray what you state has been debunked time and again. Its time we stop the waste at the NPD.

  17. David

    Mike, it’s my understanding that an office *must* respond to a call in an emergency situation. I’m prepared to be corrected on that point, of course.
    .
    With regards to your point about visibility – newer policing methods advocate increased visibility of law enforcement to deter crime. If that’s the case, then one could argue the benefit of a third party paying for that visibility.

  18. spanner

    I guess just slapping a plate on a car from Lajoies with no insurance and no reg days are over for all the abandon cars in exchange?Shame it sounded like a good program if it was true.

  19. TLaw

    @ Mike Mushak In Darien, the officers take their own cars to the dirt job site.

  20. spanner

    Who pays for the overtime at Norwalk Hospital? Prisoner hits their head in a cell and stays in the hospital a couple of days who pays Norwalks overtime,its 1 officer per prisoner per 8 hour shift overtime.Prisoner goes to court lock up hits his head unless he is seen by a judge Norwalk police goes to the hospital until he is released back to court who pays for that?Get the facts before you blame road jobs you may find big overtime in Norwalk hospital billing after all.Most friday afternoon arrests that generate a sick prisoner gets 1 officer overtime at the ER each time he needs meds etc.Look at the facts not to assume all evertime is dirt jobs.Look at the jobs that are not contractor related.Tansparent billing will tell you who pays for what correct?

  21. M murray

    I can’t speak for old timer, but I am a retired police officer. And yes, officers on extra jobs, including myself, have jumped in cars and responded to hit calls nearby, and returned to the construction sight once it was determined everyone is safe. I have also used the car to pull over people who drove recklessly through the site. Flag men could be used, but when contractors price out jobs, they use the extra job rates in their quote whether they use police officers or cheaper flagmen. Flag men also have no authority to stop or ticket drivers who don’t follow their commands or behave recklessly in the site. The city would also not receive the 15% fee if flag men were used. I cannot verify the amount, but I have heard the city made over $500,000 by leasing out police officers last year to construction companies. That may be a figure that is subject to freedom of information.

  22. It should also be noted that if an officer is on a dirt job and receives a call about “real” police work and that conversation lasts 5 minutes or more (not sure if it is 5 minutes or 15 minutes but someone should correct this because I think the time minimum is 5 minutes), the officer is considered “on-duty” and gets paid for being on the clock for the city as well as doing the side-job. So if a police officer leaves for a call and returns he is earning his regular wage on top of the side job wages…. There you have the 100 k officers.
    *
    It should also be noted that many of these “work-related” calls are just in themselves “Joe, lets talk a while about the paperwork you put….where did you put that accident report” and this drags out for 4-minutes and viola! Regular wages on top of excessive and absurd dirt job wages.
    *
    I think the Norwalk police at dirt jobs should start thinking that someone at some point will start video taping all the “work” you do at dirt jobs (and all the time you spend chatting up the construction guys or sit in your cars while traffic passes with unrestricted caution) and post it on You Tube.
    *
    I’m just surprised this hasn’t been done yet.

  23. spanner

    Fixing them is good,who fixes them?

    Fire dept was so motivated to work on outside vehicles yet nothing was ever said about fixing Norwalks police cars,that seemed to be scam of sorts.

    Details stickers and lettering all done outside of the city garages it can’t be cheaper if Norwalk has its own bay at the DPW or fire dept garages?

    Norwalk pays a lot to have cruisers fixed a simple search of cruiser related accidents in Norwalk tells us Norwalk has a lot of accident fixed vehicles on the road where are those figures?Yes insurance pays for a lot it makes sense to replace cruisers that have almost been a total loss correct?

    Its nice this time of year to watch how the process works but who determines the questions?How many accidents has Norwalk had over the last couple of years?We all realize police cars get hit more than they hit other things,this winter took its toll but where are the numbers so taxpayers can determine if more cars are needed plus officers.

    Not for nothing but all the work NPD does on the State and Federal roads and the calls to NCC and the other State run facilities inside Norwalks borders why can’t Norwalk see some money from Himes,Fluff,Morris and Perone?They all admit money for transportation has been diverted from the rail where has it all gone over the last couple of years.

    Hate to see vehicles that are less safe in accidents are purchased over the old Ford Taurus type cars ,lets hope the tax board thinks safety if no one else does for our officers.

    Dirt jobs are red herrings focus on those you then not focus on what Norwalk needs.Leaving a vehicle running comes from experience and street savy only someone green could fathom shutting a vehicle off not from the fold.What your not hearing is once you get it going dont shut it off until you don’t need it when working in all kinds of weather it may not start again.Not to mention how mnay times they get hit on a job cruisers are hit all the time your going to put your car out there so someone can hit it?

    Stick to what you know best build a city no one wants to live in.

  24. the donut hole

    everyone knows the cars are for a/c and charging cell phones. not to mention a place for a quick snooze and to grub down on a super sized bag of fast food. Yep life is good, pulling down well more than NYC cops for 1/10th of the real danger. retire at 55 and get the heck out of dodge before the city gets it back from you in property taxes if you even live here.

  25. m murray

    Not sure where you got that information from but it is totally inaccurate. While you are on a construction job you would not get paid overtime. You are technically on duty while working those jobs and any phone conversations would not change your status from extra job rate to overtime rate. On extremely unusual circumstances (ie a detective working a side job when a shooting occurs overnight when no detectives are working or a K-9 unit working a side job and needed for a track) the officer could be ordered from the job site. At that point they would be working overtime but would not be paid for the construction job.

  26. Mr Norwalk Ct

    Can someone please tell me who this 3rd party fairy godmother is paying for police at dirt jobs??
    It’s not the contractor as they figure for flagmen vs police in the bid, which the taxpayer then pays for.. Who is it????
    On a side note when a city construction job is put out for bid it is very specific as to how many hours and at what cost for traffic control. With that in mind the ones that would have you believe that the contractor keeps the difference between a flagman and police office is simply not correct.
    Also it seems that some have a case of missing the class on economics 101, as they think it’s great to get back 15 percent when we the taxpayer are putting out 100 percent, and then some when you figure the wear and tear on the car , the overtime rate ,and gas for the idling car.
    I figure that us taxpayers are putting out somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million per year in police overtime. All one needs to do is look at the city employee actual pay vs base pay.
    https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2013-Norwalk-Salary-List.pdf
    I could careless how this is hid in contracts. The bottom line us the taxpayer are paying for it.
    It has been way to many years that we have been lied to on this matter

  27. Joanne Romano

    I only have one question here…why is it that Norwalk seems to constantly blame an undermine the police department for every move they make? I for one travel to several different cities/towns on a daily basis and witness road/utility construction each and every day in each of these towns and each one employs police officers at eat site. Always reading these comments got me to be nosy and I asked several people why they had so many officers at these sites and the answer was always the same. The construction/utility companies prefer and pay for these officers to heighten safety at the sites. Norwalk is not unique in the process. Headlines are misleading most times when salaries are reported as most cities/towns report the actual salaries of the officers and breakdown the special reimbursement portions of these jobs. I further went online to see if I could find other states that enlist police officers for construction safety and found the following guideline.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/B183D00F-DD60-4DF8-974A-A8D17590E9C5/0/GuidelinesLawEnforcement.pdf.
    I just find it unsettling that instead of working with the police to assure that our work zones are safe, many would rather trash and destroy the policies in place. Perhaps if we all did our part and pay attention to signs and cautions we could make their jobs easier. When you decide to single out retired officers who kept your backsides safe for so many years as only agreeing with policy because they know what is the correct information it is just one more hindrance to those who still work daily for your safety. Why not worry about all the things happening around you that are the true problems in our society(crime, hunger, homelessness, drugs etc.) Negativity breeds negativity but certainly could be turned into positive acts that effect so many.

  28. bsmith

    It’s the process that is being questioned. Outsource the dirt jobs, not necessary to have police there, save on out-of-control police overtime, need less cars, save fuel costs.

  29. Joanne Romano

    The city gets reimbursed by the companies that require police at their construction sites. These costs are built into the project contracts. A breakdown of the actual pay vs the construction jobs would show that these officers make their regular pay and then are paid for construction jobs after the fact…and the city is reimbursed by the construction/utility companies who hire the officers. Please someone who is an officer or administrator jump in and clear this up…I went by a site in an adjoining town the other day and there were no less than 5…yes 5 police officers at a utility job so why are they any different than Norwalk???

  30. the donut hole

    Joanne, I like you but you are wrong. CL&P, Yankee Gas, DPW (taxpayer), &DOT (Taxpayer) customers are paying for this through higher fees. And Stamford is the only other city doing this garbage. We spend almost $30 million on a palace in the hood and crime is worse. This has been going on for years. Stop making excuses.

  31. M murray

    Actually many towns and cities in CT have ordinances that require police officers be hired anytime a construction company is in the roadway. Norwalk does not, which is why you sometimes see flag men instead of officers. Because of this, companies automatically build in the police rate in their contracts for traffic control. They are required to use them in so many towns that it is just a standard part of their bid process. Connecticut State Police are required for any state highway job. That is why you see their cruisers parked within the cones and sometimes even within jersey barriers at highway sites.

  32. M murray

    I actually had a proposal several years ago that the extra job system be turned over to the union and removed from the police department. The union could use that 500,000 to pay for the extra work administrator and cars for the job, and use the profits to build union coffers for the members that could be used for contract negotiation expenses and benefits for its members. The city obviously wasn’t interested in giving up the money it earned from subcontracting out the officers. The city makes money from this and they know it.

  33. spanner

    Red herring alert! Its the budget its the overtime its not always dirt jobs.Unexpected broken gas and water pipes is overtime folks that happens.

    State road power outages cause intersection madness its not a dirt jobs that demands traffic tending.(Norwalk DPW will not give Norwalk PD portable stop signs) Let Mayor Rilling explain this,let the mayor explain why Norwalk police don’t have $400 signs of their own.Plenty of places in Norwalk you cant do without traffic lights or portable signs.

    Listen to others if dirt jobs are not always overtime then where is overtime generated?

    Shooting at 10 pm the night shift is held over for bar closing,read the contract its overtime.Bar fights at 10:45 shift is held over its overtime.

    Shooting at 11:01 detectives have to be called back in. Its overtime

    Overtime at the Hospital can be all weekend long,picking up prisoners in other towns after the shift change,the list can go on dirt jobs is the red herring.

    Why not just ask what is considered overtime,its a question you will probably want to know when it comes to the fire dept overtime as well.

    How hard is it to simply have it spelled out?

    blame an undermine? Only if you live in the war zone could you say its a sport.This time of year is a great time to do the budget shootings stabbings and robberies are not in season so its easy to forget crime when only pipes in the ground break.

    We have warmer weather coming and without shot spotter we can expect the cruisers be driven into the ground chasing nail guns,back fires and fireworks.

    I also agree lets work with the police the season for crime is upon us give them manpower and new cruisers give us back our quality of life Mayor Moccia is gone.

  34. Joanne Romano

    It’s a shame that people don’t look at the facts before condemning the police each and every step of the way!!!

  35. anon

    Math: 30 hours police work-regular pay. 10 hours dirt job-regular pay= 40 hour week. If officer needed for police work above and beyond said 40 hours, paid overtime at 1 1/2x or 2x regular pay.

    Dirt job = overtime or, dirt job increases need for overtime

    @Murray can see why the city wasn’t interested in giving union police work to another union police group who would make more money on the city’s dime to then use to bolster the unions police negotiations against the city. Doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see why that was a lousy idea.

  36. M murray

    My point exactly. If the city wasn’t making half a million dollars a year with this program they wouldn’t be doing it. Your math is a little fuzzy anon. Officers work 40 hrs a week at straight time. Extra jobs are worked during hours they are scheduled to be off duty. The extra job rate is 1-5 of top grade patrolman salary, no matter the rank of the officer working it. Overtime is at the rate of 1.5 the pay scale of the officer according to his rank.

  37. M murray

    And as explained earlier, the original article discussed the 1.1 million allotted for overtime. This covers the call outs for shootings and officers being held over and ordered in for coverage at hospital etc. this averages out to about 5,000 per year for each officer, or 2 hours per week.

  38. David McKenzie

    Oh Joeanne I think you may be a bit confused as people are commenting on the facts.
    FACT
    Police overtime is out of control
    FACT
    The taxpayer pays for every penny of this overtime one way or another.
    FACT
    The taxpayer has been lied to by to many for to long on this matter.
    FACT
    Survey after survey shows no justification for police vs flagman
    FACT
    We the taxpayer could save millions with outsourcing dirt jobs.
    FACT
    It’s time our elected officials start lookig out fo the taxpayers instead of the unions.
    FACT
    The police overtime needs to stop and stop now.

  39. Joanne Romano

    @ the donut hole. I beg to differ on the cities/towns who use police for construction
    Sites..if you`d like to take a ride one day
    I would be happy to do so. As far as who a tually
    Pays a these expenses, ultimately like
    Everything else we end up payng because the companies
    Raise fees and the local, state and federal government raise taxes and its a vicious circle!

  40. M murray

    Fact: no ordinance exists in Norwalk requiring companies to hire police officers instead of flag men. Several companies do use flag men.

    Fact: therefore these companies are the ones who choose to hire police officers

  41. M murray

    Fact: you could end police overtime (not extra jobs/dirtjobs) immediately. All you have to do is hire approximately 50 more police officers.

  42. Joanne Romano

    David if you think you have a better solution
    Perhaps you should run for office.
    But I certainly hope no major crime or accidents
    Happen while we are saving on overtime

  43. David McKenzie

    M Murray
    No need to add 50 more officers as we can outsource all police administrative functions as many towns have already done. This would
    put those officers back on the streets.

  44. It would be different if the cops at the jobs ACTUALLY did anything.
    *
    I hate to say that to come up on a construction site, more often or not, you have no idea what is going on and don’t know what to do – and it’s not like there is an officer in sight to direct traffic or keep an eye on the cars going by — nope. They are right there along with the construction workers staring at the hole in the ground.
    *
    I can only imagine the conversation…
    *
    More than once have I shouted back at cops when they “notice” that cars are going by and they want them to stop – Well, then – stop looking at the hole in the ground (or get out of your car) and do your job. No problem waving right back at them along with instructions on how to do their job. Wasn’t speeding or driving reckless but the cops get annoyed. Oh well , too bad.

  45. spanner

    For those who indeed enjoy it when I’m wrong enjoy this next post the victim won’t.

    Stabbing at 10:45 tonight it wasn’t a shooting it wasn’t a bar fight.

    So much for a road job causing overtime tonight.I did mention when weather gets warmer crime does happen more often.

    Just think only a few hours ago Wyman,Fluff,Perone,Morris and Rilling all probably drove within feet of this stabbing crime scene where we all live,honestly do you think anyone of them care about our quality of life?Its election time got to hand it to them,they drove into a dangerous area for a photo op.

    Lets give the oficers a thank you,it seems by all the action going on they may have caught someone, more men and more cruisers are needed,it was a Norwalk mayor who once said more cops make more arrests none of us will argue that.

    In fact there seem to be a lot of police on Woodward ave last couple of days.

    @ Dave thats a fact

  46. Joanne Romano

    @ Spanner.. you’re beating a dead horse here. No matter what you say the conversation will continue to undermine what the cops do on a daily basis. And you are correct, a stabbing last night is true, I have a scanner which allows me to hear basically what happens in this town. I hear calls for shootings, stabbings, robberies, rescues etc. …my question here to everyone is how do you expect the police to prevent a stabbing, a shooting or any other crime other than monitoring each and every person day by day minute by minute? They would have to move into each and every home and watch every move a person makes. No one knows why people commit crimes, no one knows why people do half of what they do. Is it the police’s job to babysit each and every citizens? No, it is there job to protect the law abiding citizens and put the losers behind bars. It is their job to rid the streets of these criminals. Should we set up monitoring of everyone? perhaps each citizen should wear an ankle bracelet and the cops can carry a scanner that monitors our every move and then perhaps they can become psychics and read each persons mind when they think of committing a crime. Or perhaps we can allow them to do their jobs and expect our citizens to obey the laws? In an ideal world we wouldn’t have crime but I personally prefer to live in the real world. Police officers are here to protect us, may it be at a crime scene, a construction site directing traffic or negotiating a situation that may be harmful not only to the person in the situation but also those around them. In order for them to do their job properly it costs time and money. But again, there will always be nay sayers and that’s part of the real world. This isn’t Mr. Rogers neighborhood. If anyone cares to find out what really goes on in the daily routine of a police officer perhaps you should spend one day in their shoes.

  47. spanner

    With respect Joanne the city and our State reps need to step up to the plate.

    A helpful witness’s account of a reported stabbing at a South Norwalk grocery store Saturday evening resulted in the arrest of two alleged members of the MG’s gang.

    The public did what was asked,not only here but many times and those who want these grand plans in Norwalk have been shown the door before by those of us who have said clean up the city and what you want and what you to build will be great.Textbook planners don’t get it, its pro study pro what other cities have just don’t get it.

    This last round of crime probably has sent overtime into a coma! Most hospitals like Bridgeport and Stamford now require 24/7 police protetction when a victim or a suspect is admitted so far it seems Norwalk has taken that stance with the amount of cruisers parked at the Norwalk Hospital all overtime since the stabbing minutes before the shift ended.Even the Hour is playing the Overtime game saying around 11 it was much before 11 we all know that we live here.They also are keeping Woodward ave out of the mix poor reporting or political maneuvering?

    Its not helping the city its causing anger among those who this morning saw the crime scene on the way to Church.What kind of picture is that knowing the river loop is planned for those who want,not those who havn’t got simple quality of life.We want our money to go to crime fighting more officers more cruisers what do you think Bridgeport is going to do with 60 cruisers?Kick the trouble out of Bridgeport to Norwalk ask Metro police those crimminals take the train its pure logic by the numbers.

    Overtime naysayers have no clue,city planners have no clue and the tax board simply don’t care.Its all about saving the dollar this year voilence has started early.We now have a gang have to hand it to Harry he knows he was put into office by south Norwalk.I think its good there is no room for denial I actually like the guy he is now running around paying back political favors knowing any moment summer is going to blow the under control city up that is enjoyed with trouble free snow on the ground.He isn’t stupid he has a calender marked like the rest of us in S Norwalk.

    I know what people have done for our kids who know Norwalk streets the Y closing or cutting back was a deep blow but so far nothing from our new Mayor,those who helped this city never got any thanks of course none of those you included(know who you are) ever did it for thanks or for money its was done for our kids.I don’t want to go out on a limb or outside the sandbox but those who think your helping by planning a city and spending free cash on self promotion,please stop we need a safe city not a prize winning come to Norwalk its a textbook award winning prize. Its GANG filled with tragic display of political back stabbing and social undermining to those who think Norwalk is their sandbox.The door has been shown by those who profit from Norwalks confusion,the door has been slammed on those paying for things at the train station that now has 24/7 metro police standing by like this morning at 6 am for voilence.I don’t let the wife drop of the kids for work for them its out of Norwalk on the rail for work.

    Crime is at all hours folks just like in all the other 5 cities in Ct where State reps understand a handout at election time no longer cuts it for its residents who like Norwalk fight crime.In Norwalk needs politicians who are elected to fight with us not against us.

    The city needs a lot those in the past who did great things never got the funding it was not savy to admit the city was hurting it was bad for tourism,stabbing last night is good for those wanting to come to Norwalk? Today for the aquarium crime makes headlines and Norwalk made headlines this morning for just that.

    Woodward ave was highlighted by our politicians,the crime last night was on or near Woodward ave it will get more headlines than a democratic picture op stunt any day.

    I will continue with respect fight for what I think is right but those going to all five churches near the crime scene I’m sure are from all over the city and it effected more than a handful of voters who have had enough in South Norwalk.

    I am pro police I’m not pro procrastinating officials who know the deal and refuse to help us.

  48. Piberman

    So far no one is asking why the BET is singling out the Police Dept for 500k out of a 300 mil. City budget. Aren’t there any other budget possibilities where the illustrious BET could examine ? Or is their choice of the NPD the best they can do ? A BET worthy of the name would identify several areas of the submitted budget for careful review, areas in the millions. Unless it wants to further establish the BET’s long standing reputation as an “amen chorus”.

  49. Joanne Romano

    @ Spanner, I fully believe everyone has good intentions but fail to move forward with concrete solutions. There’s no real quick fix here, it takes time and money along with the proper resources to remove crime from our streets. I’m sure this next statement will get some negative response but I am all for boot camps and scared straight programs. Kind of a “walk a mile in my shoes” approach. Lets see just how many wanna be gang bangers and future criminals react to a day in the life of a lifer! Unfortunately the future is looking bleak because the would be criminals are learning and recruited at a much younger age. I don’t want to hear that these kids are all minorities because if you believe that I have a bridge I can sell you cheep! These kids are as young as 11 and are fed the garbage of the almighty $$$$. They are led to believe there is glory in being part of a gang/”family”? What family? No one cares once these kids are recruited and it never realized until after the fact that there is no glory in going out in a blaze of gunfire!! There are no rewards and there are no do overs in death. What we need is more community involved programs that aren’t run by politicians/city workers but include police, clergy, parents and grandparents. They need to be run by those who are affected by the outcome. People who have no agenda other than doing what is best to preserve our kids for the future.. too many will never see life past their teens and too many are innocent bystanders who become the victims. We can’t leave the upbringing to the police/teachers, it must be a community effort!! I tried but was thwarted at every turn, others have done the same. Its time for everyone to become involved. No community problem belongs to any one group.. But we can’t enforce the laws without the proper funding and resources. How about giving our officers a little helping hand and allow them to do their job. Cutting their budget isn’t the way to go.

  50. spanner

    The Y was always a great place the city had,it didn’t fit into the grand plan of Norwalk social planning yet we see politcians and city planners try and mimmick grant money funding for the kids that once cost the city nothing.People who see the flow of grants coming into the city for what they consider nonsense should be understood not called angry or nuts.

    The ATF was in Bridgeport a few hours ago they found some more guns,the answer is enforcement cut the budget and the gangs will come to Norwalk where its safe,it happens each year.Big article on crime its down in Ct in Stamford and Bridgeport you dont see them cutting the police budget?

    Maybe the tax board should start meeting at one of the churches in South Norwalk I’m sure they would find a host in a heartbeat,they too could use some security.

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