Rutigliano lays out concerns with police accountability bill
Last week, State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123), took a stand against what he called a faulty police accountability measure that he said was rushed through and did not have a full public vetting and could potentially do more harm than good for communities like Trumbull, while also opposing federal legislation to eliminate School Resource Officers (SRO) in schools.
“Yes, I support greater transparency and more accountability for our Connecticut law enforcement officers, but unfortunately, this bill brands all police officers as the problem, when we know vast majority of law enforcement officers are good, well-intentioned, professional officers,” Rutigliano said.
Rutigliano said he was disappointed he could not support the bill because it contained some “good reforms, like; 1) greater transparency when it comes to collective bargaining and public records disclosure; 2) looking to keep better data on minority recruitment of police officers; 3) studying the feasibility of having licensed social workers assist on certain calls where appropriate; 4) periodic mental health and drug screenings to make sure we are putting the best officers in the field.”
According to Rutigliano, a result of rushing the bill through to process has exposed some major flaws including the rewriting of laws on qualified immunity for police officers and some use of force standards, including a prohibition on chokeholds and deadly force except when lives are in danger, and the elimination of some proactive policing measures such as warrantless “consent” searches.
According to police, taking away these policing tools hinders their ability to keep drugs and guns off Trumbull streets.
Rutigliano also expresed support for school resource officers.
“Trumbull worked in a bipartisan manner with educational officials, law enforcement and parents to implement a school resource officer program in our local schools and I have heard nothing but good things about the program,” he said. “Trumbull should be able to make their own local decisions on SROs and not have the heavy-hand of the federal government interfere.”