FROM :Sgt. John Szewczyk
President, Hartford Police Union
June 9, 2017
This statement is a formal response to the negative comments made against members of the Hartford Police Department by State Representative Minnie Gonzalez on the floor of the House Representatives at the State Capitol on June 5, 2017.
I would like to start by recognizing the amazing work done by the hardworking members of the Hartford Police Department. Every day the men and women of the Hartford Police Department serve our capital city with honor and distinction. Despite this fact, Representative Gonzalez made a conscious decision to publicly ridicule, demean, and resort to nasty name calling on the floor of the CT State House of Representatives by referring to Hartford Police Officers as “cowboys who shoot young kids”. She also made totally false and inaccurate statements such as Hartford Police Officers receive paid lunches and dinners.
Members of the Hartford Police Department have positive and meaningful relationships with the community. Representative Gonzalez has attempted to drive a wedge between the members of the Hartford Police Department and the residents of Hartford. However, she cannot and will not break our bond and loyalty to the community we serve. We will continue to build these positive relationships with the residents of Hartford regardless of her actions.
I would also like to recognize the families of the Hartford Police Officers who provide tremendous support to their loved ones. These family members are the true backbone of support for our police officers. They are forced to endure the good and the bad that our officers experience on a daily basis and yet continue to provide the support we need.
Thank you to the many members of the public who have reached out to me and other members of our police department offering their support and praise for our work. This includes numerous state and local elected officials, from both sides of the political aisle, and most importantly numerous residents of Hartford, including those in the 3 rd District that Representative Gonzalez represents. They have all been thoroughly supportive and have either contacted me personally or made public comments through social media denouncing Representative Gonzalez’s unprofessional and undignified actions.
Lastly, I would like to offer Representative Gonzalez the opportunity to spend time with the amazing men and women of the Hartford Police Department. Whether you visit the police station, speak with officers in the community, or participate in a ride-along, spending time with our officers may help you understand and recognize first-hand the positive relationships that our officers have with the community.