WEST HAVEN – On Thursday, the West Haven state legislative delegation, leaders from the West Haven Police and Fire Departments, and local public safety officials released the following statement condemning Governor Lamont’s veto of SB 258.
“West Haven’s bipartisan state legislative delegation, Police Department, and Fire Department were united in the quest to add this valuable asset in order to assist our emergency responder’s ability to serve and protect the public safety of our citizens and we are extremely disappointed to learn of the veto of SB 258 by Governor Lamont.
SB 258 – An Act Concerning Police Patrol Vehicles that Require Dashboard Cameras and the Acquisition of a Mine-resistant, Ambush-protected Vehicle (MRAP) is a bill that had a public hearing and passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by the Public Safety Committee, the House and was unanimous in the Senate. There were no indications from the Governor’s office throughout the legislative process that there were concerns with this bill.
This bill would have enabled the Farmington Police Department to transfer one of their two MRAP vehicles to the West Haven Police Department at no cost. This vehicle had been completely demilitarized and transformed into a rescue vehicle.
The West Haven Emergency Management Team (WHEMT) is currently preparing for the 2022 Hurricane Season that is predicted to be extremely active. The MRAP was going to be a welcomed asset for our WHEMT to protect our community during all natural and manmade disasters, including nor’easters, hurricanes, severe flooding. The versatility of the MRAP is the type of equipment that is essential for successful Emergency Management planning and deployment.
With all the challenges our state is currently facing it hardly seems plausible that denying West Haven a vehicle that can possibly save lives could necessitate the Governor’s veto. With two years of work to get this right, including bringing on board some of the strongest voices on police accountability, we as a delegation are shocked and disappointed that the result is a veto. West Haven was well served by the delegation and that work should matter here.”
State Representative Charles Ferraro, 117th General Assembly District
State Representative Dorinda Borer, 115th General Assembly District
State Representative Treneé McGee, 116th General Assembly District
State Senator Gary Winfield, 10th State Senate District
State Senator James Maroney, 14th State Senate District
Chief Joseph Perno, West Haven Police Department
Chief James O’Brien, West Haven Fire Department
Joseph Soto, Director, West Haven Emergency Management Team
To read more about SB 258: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/CGABillStatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB258