Senator Hwang Supports Police Recruitment & Public Safety Legislation, Laments Removal of Funding Provisions

May 3, 2024

HARTFORD – Senator Tony Hwang (R-28, Fairfield/Newtown) spoke at length of his steadfast support of law enforcement and public safety against crime, and his innovative support for providing educational and financial incentives to recruit and retain police officers in Connecticut during his exchange with Public Safety & Security Committee Chair Senator Herron Gaston (D-25, Bridgeport) on Senate Bill 421 today. The bill, when originally passed out of committee unanimously, contained multiple provisions to provide funding for training programs and various recruitment incentives. However, after extended debate and negotiation by Democratic leadership, it was amended to remove these provisions with costs to the state attached to them, much to Senator Hwang’s dismay.

“I am disappointed that we missed an opportunity to make a strong and bipartisan statement that law enforcement and crime prevention should have no fiscal barrier to ensure the safety and protection of the people in our community,” Senator Hwang remarked.

Despite these challenges, Senator Hwang ultimately supported the remaining provisions hoping to reiterate a commitment to implement those provisions next legislative session. The passed amendment included a section to analyze how certain state college courses can augment police basic training, a section requiring the Board of Regents to develop a pathway to assist police officers in obtaining higher education degrees, and others.

“I fully support the provisions in this bill to assist our law enforcement in their education and training. I want to reiterate my commitment and belief that when we invest in our officers, the dividend we receive as a society comes in the form of better-trained, more effective police officers who can provide enhanced safety and law enforcement to the community. I look forward to reinforcing in future debates the need to place police training funding and financial police retention incentives as budgetary priorities,” Senator Hwang added.