The above comment was apparently made at last nights budget session by Hartford City Councilwoman
Cynthia Jennings and then tweeted by Steve Goode of the Courant.
Now I think most of us realize not to expect too much out of Hartford City Hall when it comes to leadership, but this is a new low when it comes to the Council. The actions of the Council repeatedly show little or no appreciation for HPD, but this is an insult to every good hard working member of HPD and the Dispatch Center .
The big question is why this comment now? This Council has had oversight over the budget for several years and has run the City budget into the ground year after year. Are the deficits suddenly the responsibility of Chief Rovella and HPD. This Council has shared an equal part in the recklessness and over spending for years now.
Not to mention that the "high pay" Jennings' references has all been voted on and approved by Jennings and her colleagues. Neither police officers or EST Dispatchers make up their own salaries, they are set by the collective bargaining agreements approved by the Council.. If they don't like the salaries, have a backbone and vote against them, don't bully the employees at budget time.
I am not sure how many of the Council have actually taken the time to ride with a police officer or sit with a dispatcher on a busy night. I would venture to say very few.
I would challenge Councilwoman Jenninngs to be the first one jumping out of a cruiser on Garden Street and running toward the sound of gunfire from a Tek-9 machine gun being fired in a backyard, or maybe sitting with the overpaid dispatcher taking a call from a parent whose child is choking on a piece of candy and turning blue.
See how low the threshold is as the overpaid dispatcher multitasks to hopefully save a life, entering the call for EMS and Fire to respond quickly, at the same time trying to calm down the parent who may be watching their child dying in their arms and trying to relay life saving instructions to the caller.
I have to disagree with the Councilwoman, the skill set is extrremely high, especially at those times when we as residents need to rely on our Police Officers and Dispatchers.The Councilwoman also needs to do a little more checking on the skill sets and I think she will be surprised by the number of Hartford Police Officers with advanced college degrees, including masters Degrees and Law Degrees.
No matter what the intent of the comments was meant to be, it is not what I expect from someone who should be a leader and the Councilwoman owes an apology to everyone she offended.