October 20, 2018  |  

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First Responders Are at Risk

Published Nov. 08, 2017

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I read Mayor Joe Maturo’s political ad in the Courier’s Oct. 11 edition. To say the least, I was filled with amazement and laughter for this ad was so full of holes it was actually funny. Mayor Maturo prides himself with many projects that have happened while in office and continually spreads the same old stories.

For example, take the “new” $1.2 million 911 dispatch center. All well and good until one reads the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Oct. 4. This is where the police informed the council of serious issues with the police radio system. Calls go un-received, calls between car to car are static, and there are dead zones found around town.

If Maturo prides himself of caring about the town’s police, why has he ignored this issue? Police Sergeant Craig Michalowski advised the council members that Police Chief Ed Lennon has continuously requested a budget of $250,000 to make repairs only to see that reduced to $150,000, and that then-chief Brent Larrabee requested $500,000 to upgrade the radio system, but was only given $100,000.

Maturo continually raves about his fund balance, but he won’t use this to bring the Police Department’s radio system into the 21st century. I am sure he will have some great excuse, but in the meantime, police officers’ safety is at risk.

Being a retired police detective, I know what it’s like to grab the mic and call for assistance only to have that call un-received. New Haven had many dead areas and minimal range transmission until it finally brought in a state-of-the-art radio dispatch center.

Then again, Maturo just loves bragging about his multi-million-dollar rainy day fund.

Richard Poulton
East Haven

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