The following is a press statement made by the East Haven Police Union regarding civilian dispatchers being hired at the Police Department.
Here is their statement:
The East Haven Police Union Local 1662 has some serious concerns about the new civilian dispatcher program that this administration of the Town of East Haven has put forth.
These dispatchers are hired and are being trained as we speak. They have benefits and are being paid.
Question? Who hired these people? The two hiring bodies, the Police and Fire commissioners did not.
Question? Who is paying for this program before it even goes to a public hearing for a vote?
Question? Why is there hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of electronics already at the police department being installed when again no vote has been taken to pay for this?
Question? Are the citizens aware that millions of dollars are being spent on this program, and again this administration wants to bond more money to pay for it?
The selling propaganda to the public was that it would put more police officers on the street, and relieve the overtime issue at the police dept. This is untrue. The overtime was created by this administration because they did not hire officers as they left the police department. This has been over years of this administrations neglect of the police department. When we are at full staff the overtime will correct itself. Note: full staff is still only replacing what we have lost. I won’t go into numbers; I don’t think the bad guys should know our manpower stats since that would be a safety issue for the officers.
Another untruth is that the civilian dispatch program will put officers on the road. This again is false. When the union negotiating team asked the Town, “So you will put that dispatch officer on the road?” The Town’s answer was “we cannot commit to that.”
So the reasons the Town conveyed to the people of East Haven for this very expensive civilian dispatch program was not true.
The Police Union and the Town agreed in 2007 to negotiate the impact within 180 days of implementing civilian dispatchers. The 180 days came and went, with the Town’s reason being, they felt there is no impact on the officers, so there is nothing to negotiate. This is so far from the truth.
Meetings have been conducted for several months, planning this program. These meetings were conducted by high ranking officials from Police and Fire and included Town administrators and finance. Not one union official from the Police Department of Fire Department was invited to any of these meetings.
So we have 6 new dispatchers with pay and benefits currently employed and going through training. We have a new dispatch room loaded with all new expensive electronics, and the Town plans on spending millions of dollars to complete this project.
The Town’s administration is now telling the citizens of East Haven to take out another bond to pay for it. This bond will total $1,225,000. This was originally going to happen at the Town Council meeting scheduled for July 8, 2014. This item on the agenda was tabled until next month. Why? Now this bond will be considered at the next meeting on 08-08-2014. This is just days before the dispatch center is scheduled to ‘go live’. How can the Town Council make an objective decision on whether they believe they should finance over ONE MILLION dollars when all the work is completed and all the employees have been hired?
Give the Police dept. a fraction of that money to hire more police officers and not only will the overtime budget be reduced, we can truly bring this dept. into the 21st century.
In closing, the East Haven police union members of this department have always looked out for the best interest of our citizens. We urge you to make an informed decision when this is put before you. Do you want police when you come to or call the police station? You decide.
Please attend the Town Council meeting on 08-08-2014 to ensure you have a voice on where your tax payer dollars are spent.
Robert Nappe, President, East Haven Police Union Local 1662