Sen. Kissel: State Police Troop Merger Must Ensure Bradley Airport Security [Journal Inquirer ]

March 8, 2012

Article as it Appeared in the Journal Inquirer

Journal Inquirer
Published: Thursday, March 8, 2012 11:48 AM EST

State police Troop W at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks will be merged with Troop H in Hartford effective Friday, the state police commander has announced.

The merger of the two barracks will result in a reduction of administrative and clerical staff as positions are merged, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, the state police spokesman.

But Vance said today that there will be no effect on the number of troopers in the field.

“The public will see no change,” Vance said. “There are no changes in staffing.”
He also said the same troopers will continue to staff the airport and the highways and towns now patrolled by Troop H.

The merged troop will be called Troop H, Vance said. Lt. David Rosado, who now heads Troop H, will continue to command the consolidated troop for a time, Vance said.

But he added that Rosado is scheduled to be reassigned to the FBI National Academy. When that happens, Lt. William Baldwin, who now heads Troop W, will take command of the consolidated troop, Vance said.

Col. Danny R. Stebbins, who is commander of the state police and deputy commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, disclosed plans for the merger of the two troops in written testimony submitted last week to the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee.

Stebbins said in the testimony that the merger will allow “significant personnel redeployment.”

Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, whose district includes Windsor Locks, issued a statement Wednesday seeking assurances that, after the merger, Connecticut will remain in compliance with the federal Aviation and Transportation Security Act.

Kissel said he understands that the federal government could close Bradley Airport if it fails to comply with the act, which was passed after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“We need to be absolutely certain that this merger will not hinder security operations at Bradley International Airport,” Kissel said.

Vance appeared to offer the assurances Kissel was seeking, stressing that there would be no changes in staffing levels in the field or in the “safety and security” provided at Bradley or in the traditional Troop H area.