The race for HPD Union President originally started as a 3 way race between the current Union President Sgt. Richard Holton, Sgt. Vinnie Benvenuto who is assigned as a Patrol Supervisor, and Sgt. John Szewczyk who is assigned as a Supervisor in Booking and Detention. Sgt. Holton has since dropped out of the race and replaced by Officer Nick Trigilia.
Sgt. Benvenuto is also a retired NYPD Sergeant, having served 20 years in the Big Apple in various positions and has risen through the ranks in Hartford to become an HPD supervisor. Sgt. Szewczyk is also a Selectman in Durham. Officer Trigilia serves as an employee member to Hartford's Pension Commission.
What normally doesn't attract a lot of attention, even among their own members, has turned into a heated race with allegations and criticism being hurled from all sides.
Sgt. Holton's 8 page "manifesto" to the HPD Union membership is below. Sgt. Benvenuto has taken to the internet to explain his ideas to the HPD membership. Benvenuto and his slate's website can be found at bluechange.org
A debate among the candidates was held last night and , according to sources who were in attendance, added to the bizarre nature of the race.
The position of HPD Union President is a "detached assignment" position, which means that they are able to work as the Union President and receive their full salary paid by HPD , even though they are not assigned to a working position during that time ,plus a "stipend" from the Union. Currently that "stipend" is $36,000 for the Union President in addition to their regular salary, plus they are still available for overtime and PJ's.
Benvenuto, on his website, promises to reduce his stipend to $16,000 per year and offer a spending savings to the Union's membership. Benvenuto and his entire slate promise to return $41,600 back to the Union coffers in reduced stipends.
Holton Manifesto on Scribd