Report by Paula Antolini, October 29, 2020, 12:12PM EDT
LETTER TO THE EDITIR / OPINION
Election Day is near, and I felt the need to write and ask our local voters to return Dan Carter to the State Legislature next Tuesday.
As a first responder in Bethel for 40+ years, it is important to me to have the police there when we need them. I am concerned that the current Legislature has let all first responders down by passing the hastily-written police accountability act. This does nothing to address the issues, and only puts pressure on the police officers and their departments to alter what they have been doing and limit their abilities to do what they learn in training. I have worked along- side Bethel Police and other local agencies, and have found them to be prompt, reasonable, and supportive whenever needed. Trust me when I say their job is difficult at times, but I have admired what they accomplish when called upon. We have always worked together.
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This summer, Dan’s opponent led the defunding police protest in downtown Bethel, and then passed the law that was supposed to hold police accountable. What the law really did was put our families and first responders at risk, and increase costs to Bethel taxpayers from lawsuits and costs to store body camera footage.
According to Dan’s Bethel Police Union endorsement, his opponent ignored the advice of the local police before voting on the bill. I also sent a message urging him not to proceed with it, but it fell on deaf ears. Local Bethel police officers are well-trained, and have not had any incidents with the use of force for many years. Why ignore them a pass a law that does not recognize the differences in policing between cities and towns? Why move so quickly, rather than taking the time to get it right? We need representatives in Hartford that are looking out for us in Bethel.
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Also worth mentioning is the fact that this is not the first time that Dan’s opponent has ignored the advice of our local police. Last year, the police asked Dan’s opponent to please not support the changes to pursuit laws that have now led to an increase in stolen vehicles in Bethel. We all know that some neighborhoods have been hit several times. It makes no sense those criminals now know they do not have to stop for police, as they are not allowed to pursue them. Just let them go, it seems.
Dan Carter has the experience in the legislature, and has proven that he listens to the citizens. Dan does not put politics before our best interests. I know that Dan will work with the police agencies to ensure our safety, and so do the local police officers. This is why the Bethel Police Union has endorsed Dan. It is a rare occurrence for police organizations to support a specific candidate, but the Bethel Police are firmly behind Dan Carter, and are standing up for him. I know I will as well. You should vote for Dan Carter on Tuesday, November 3rd.
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Bruce A. Cornwell