Many people are asking questions regarding the East Haven Police K9 program and I would like to clarify by providing the facts.
First I would like to say that I have always been not only a supporter of the K9 program but a true ‘dog person’ myself. I remember meeting Daro when he was a puppy in some of his first days on the force and feeling lucky to have him. Unfortunately, the situation has changed in ways that have less to do with our budget and more to do with factors beyond my control.
I have attached a memo [see attached PDF files] sent from my office that verifies the true facts in this situation but please allow me to summarize them for you;
- The K9 program has not been active in quite some time due to the fact that the dog and his handler are a unique team that works exclusively with each other. The handler has been out of work due to a personnel issue for the better part of a year, therefore the K9 is out as well.
- The K9 officer expressed concerns regarding his own health and safety in the program. There has yet to be verification of these concerns or methods with which to remedy them. The safety of all town employees is paramount in any situation.
- The K9 program was not working at maximum efficiency because of the shift the handler chose, buy union right, to work. The optimal time of day for a K9 program is 6pm-2am. Having the dog on the midnight shift is a misuse of resources.
Unfortunately, these items are fully beyond my control at this point and as you can see the taxpayers are paying for a service and not receiving full the benefit. When I reach an opportunity to renegotiate the union contract and implement a K9 program that works for the people of East Haven that will be of the highest priority.
I hope that I have given you some additional information that you find helpful. Sadly, the newspaper [New Haven Register] did not do their due diligence in reporting this story. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.
Mayor April Capone
Town of East Haven, CT
250 Main Street
East Haven, CT