Waterbury, Connecticut residents are invited to join a discussion about public safety and address complaints of slow police response time Wednesday at 6pmET. If you can’t make it, join our live stream at 6pm on our Facebook page.
State Representative Stephanie Cummings (R-74) will be hosting the forum Wednesday, August 30, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the gymnasium at Chase Elementary School, 40 Woodtick Road in Waterbury.
After The Waterbury Observer posted the events announcement on its Facebook page, people have been reacting to the post by sharing personal experiences. Some comments praise WBPD for fast response in emergencies but many complain of long delays for non-emergency calls. Some response times said to be as long as 10 hours.
Efrain Ochoa shared his perspective after dealing with the police for a stolen car.
“Last month my sisters and cousin’s vehicles were stolen, we found both of the vehicles let me make this clear WE found the cars not the police department..we found both around the same area..one of the vehicles found was parked right in front of a house that had security cameras all around …after calling the cops and waiting 5 hours in this bad neighborhood..a police officer arrived, said is this your vehicle? “Yes” Is there any damage?..”no”.. he said ok you could take the car and go..i was like really that’s it..and told him that the house across had security cameras and he replied this neighborhood it’s not very cooperative..have a good night…not even making the effort .. “
Jessica claims her call never got responded to: “Yuppp got attacked by a Pit bull a few months back it wouldn’t leave our yard after the cops NEVER SHOWED UP. they said “just stay inside.”
James shared his explanation sighting a shortage of officers.
“We Wtby taxpayers PAY OVER $80,000 to train each & every police officer trainee that we send to the academy. Then, after we spend all of this money & they are trained, they JUMP SHIP & go to work in our surrounding suburban towns for more money & less crime, stress & agita! Thanks to a bill submitted by Joan Hartley that was passed last year, the suburban town that steals our newly trained officer, has to reimburse Wtby for training costs if the trainee jumps ship within one year of his (or her) swearing in. But that only helps us a little! Number 1- Many officers wait the year out before they jump ship & Number 2- Even if the suburban town repays us it stills leaves Wtby short of trained officers! Do you readers see now why our count of authorized officers never can seem to reach the authorized levels?? :-(”
A big source of the problem: the department had problems getting a new contract in place, which has caused an atmosphere of uncertainty. That uncertainty is a possible reason it’s been hard to recruit new cops and retain the current force. Some officers opted for surrounding towns with higher wages. The Observer stated “Interviews with Police Chief Vernon Riddick last year revealed a shortage of manpower in the department, an issue he expected to be resolved with new recruits emerging from training academy.”
If you think this is an important issue, have your voice heard tonight.
40 Woodtick Road
Waterbury, CT 06705