Stamford Police Association Joe Kennedy expressed SPA's support for Board of Finance candidates David Martin, Mary Lou Rinaldi, and John Louizos in an official announcement on Wednesday.
"Me and my team, we are willing to work with you, speak with you, and collaborate with you," John Louizos told Kennedy during the announcement.
"In the past, the police board had a history of being confrontational. I think that torch was kind of passed to the finance board," Kennedy said.
Kennedy stated that the Democratic team's support of hiring initiatives recommended by the chief, cordial communication skills, and understanding of a need for police overtime were among the primary reasons that the SPA decided to endorse them.
"Joe Tarzia and Bob Kolenberg have not supported this department in terms of strategy," Kennedy said, and summed up his stance on their work in one word: grandstanding.
"I don't think they've shown leadership," Louizos said.
"We'll continue to support funds for police officers," Rinaldi said.
Kennedy stressed that while overtime was not a solution to all of the department's problems, the department is faced with an understaffing issue. According to Kennedy, there is a minimum manning in place of at least 18 officers in place needed to patrol Stamford. If that standard is not in place, Kennedy feels that some might drop staffing to as few as 10 officers to keep the entire city protected.
"We're at 277 officers. Twenty years ago, we were at 275. Stamford has grown by 30,000 people since then," Kennedy said.
Besides politics, each candidate expressed genuine respect for the efforts of the SPD.
"When you guys put on a uniform, you may be standing next to your patrol car or in your office, but it says to me that you're willing to risk everything you've got to protect my family," Martin said during the announcement.