Sen. Guglielmo: The citizens of Connecticut should not be put in jeopardy because of consolidations.

January 23, 2014

Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) and ranking member of the General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee released the following statement today re: Trooper Response times questioned in a Windham home invasion that left two teens locked in a bathroom to stay alive.

“I am sickened over this news. The two teens in this case are to be commended for their bravery. Calling 911 during a home invasion is what we teach our kids to do. The fact that it may have taken an hour and a half for the state police to respond is troubling. I am requesting the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety investigate what exactly happened here. Was this fallout from the department’s consolidation of the dispatch centers of four troops in eastern Connecticut?

“50 towns and cities from Tolland, Windham and New London counties are part of an overall plan that will eventually reduce 12 dispatch centers to five, but it is unclear how some savings to the state, makes sense from a public safety standpoint, especially in light of recent events.

“Last summer, The Program Review and Investigations (PRI) staff shared their report concerning state police staffing levels and response times. The study found that while state police respond to at least half of their calls within 15 minutes — a self-imposed standard — the response times vary depending on geography and the nature of the emergency. Response times also have increased slightly in recent years as the number of state troopers has decreased, the study found.

“PRI is charged with devising new standards after the 2012 decision by the majority party to eliminate the requirement that state police employ a minimum of 1,248 sworn and non-sworn employees. The department of public safety is now required to employ sufficient staff to fulfill its mission of protecting public safety. I now question what is sufficient?

“The citizens of Connecticut should not be put in jeopardy because of these consolidations.”


(Attached: Full PRI study)

(Below: Summary of the PRI June 2013 study on trooper staffing and response times.)

Background Public Act 12-1 (June 12 Special Session) eliminated a statutory provision enacted in 1998 that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) maintain a minimum sworn state police personnel staffing level of 1,248 members. In its place, the Act required the DESPP commissioner, beginning July 1, 2013, to “appoint and maintain a sufficient number of sworn state police personnel to efficiently maintain the operation of the division as determined by the commissioner in accordance with the recommended standards developed” through a study by the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee (PRI). Focusing on information from the four most recent years available (FYs 09-12), the study examined how Connecticut State Police (CSP) staffing levels related to public and trooper safety, including response time to emergency 9-1-1 calls, crime rates, highway accidents, and assaults on officers.

Study information sources included employee data from the state’s centralized information system (CORE-CT), state police computer aided dispatch records (CAD/RMS), and federal uniform crime reporting data. Interviews and visits with CSP personnel occurred across all 11 troops, many of the specialized units (e.g., Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Emergency Services Unit, and Traffic Services Unit), and administrative service areas (e.g., Special Licensing and Firearms Unit and Sex Offender Registry). PRI also held an informational forum with the DESPP commissioner, various CSP personnel, and CSP union representatives.

The study found slower response times for 9-1-1 calls when there were fewer state police. Staffing levels were not associated with changes in crime rates, highway accidents, and assaults on officers. Additional factors relevant to staffing levels, however, were identified during the course of the study (e.g., contractual obligations to provide towns with resident state troopers).

Staffing Standards for DESPP to Apply

PRI recommended the following standards for the DESPP commissioner to use in appointing/maintaining a sufficient number of sworn state police personnel:

#1. Officers respond to 9-1-1 calls within 15 minutes at least 50% of time
#2. Functions explicitly stated in statute are provided
#3. CSP fully meets contractual obligations to towns to provide Resident
State Troopers
#4. There is an adequate number of troopers to staff the 230 patrols taking
into consideration the shift relief factor
#5. Patrol and Resident State Trooper supervision is sufficient based on a
1:8 span of control
#6. The two-officer minimum requirement for domestic violence, fatal
accidents, untimely death/homicide calls for service is met [at least 90
percent of the time]
#7. The use of regular duty overtime has not shown a sustained increase
[three years in a row]

Next Steps for DESPP to Implement Staffing Standards
I. Next steps related to response time/more serious calls for service:
 Activate CAD/RMS feature to identify priority calls for service, train personnel, and require staff to use this feature
 Develop a (more stringent) response time standard(s) for more serious calls for service, such as domestic violence
o Identify/implement changes to reduce response time for domestic violence calls, focusing on Troops D and K
II. Next steps related to statutorily mandated units/task forces:
 Review continued need for statutorily mandated units/task forces, and recommend legislature repeal any no longer needed
 Establish minimum sworn personnel staffing levels for (remaining) statutorily mandated units/task forces, considering such factors as backlogs, data entry timeliness, and civilianization of functions
III. Next steps related to trooper safety/two-officer minimum requirement:
 Develop and/or analyze data on: when backup arrives at scene; assault rates on CSP sworn personnel; and workers’ comp. rates
 Decide if it is realistic for the two-officer minimum to be met at least 90 percent of the time—if not, propose a different percent
 Develop policy for who may respond to domestic violence calls
 Track regular duty overtime hours (OT) for sworn personnel
o Decide if sustained increase in OT should be three years in a row—if not, propose a different number of years

During FY 14, DESPP is to provide written quarterly updates to the Public Safety & Security and PRI committees on progress made to implement these next steps