This statement was issued Tuesday in response to video being released to NancyOnNorwalk through a Freedom of Information Act request, showing exterior views of State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) interacting with Norwalk Police officers on July 24, outside police headquarters.
Lt. David O’Connor is President of Norwalk Police Union Local 1727.
Norwalk Police officers serve and protect our community during good times and bad – even during pandemics. We care deeply about the well-being and safety of all Norwalk residents and visitors to our great city. As officers, we take an oath to protect our community – even when facing grave danger, illegal guns and violent criminals. We take our oath and all of our conduct very seriously.
It is unfortunate that a misperception of a recent meeting with our officers has generated such division in our community. We hope that this footage helps to clarify some of these harmful misperceptions.
Our meeting with Senator Duff was not contentious, despite statements to the contrary. In fact, our meeting was cordial. Questions about the bill were asked and answered by Senator Duff and all officers present conducted themselves professionally throughout the meeting. Video of this meeting is also available.
No officer spit at Sen. Duff. After the meeting (as seen in the footage) an officer did make a spitting gesture on the ground on his way back in the building. He did not spit at Senator Duff as is made clear by the footage.
Senator Duff was not followed out by a menacing group of people with pitchforks. What did occur was as follows. Line up was dismissed and officers, as they left line up to begin their shifts, were eager to speak with Senator Duff. These officers in line up were unable to attend his meeting and wanted to convey their opinions on the recently passed bill. These officers were standing on a sidewalk adjacent to Senator Duff’s vehicle as he departed in an attempt to speak with him on this important issue. Senator Duff left the parking lot safely and unobstructed.
We invited Senator Duff to meet with us because the recently passed legislation impacts our ability to conduct searches for illegal guns, recruit and retain officers and protect officers in harm’s way. Norwalk police officers conduct themselves professionally and continue to serve the public day in and day out regardless of the challenges of this new legislation. We hope that this footage will help begin the process of unifying our community and bring perspective to events as described by Senator Duff which we disagree with.
Both elected officials and public servants such as police officers have a responsibility to make it about their constituents instead of making it about them. Let’s all temper our emotions during a time the public relies on leaders to forge solutions on their behalf. It’s time for everyone to work together and check their egos at the door on behalf of sound public safety and protecting our citizens.