New London approves ordinance on minimum police staffing

New London - The City Council on Monday voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that requires a minimum of 80 officers at the police department.

The ordinance was approved without discussion, but councilors at a committee meeting last week had discussed the fact that they foresee a gradual increase in the number of officer at the department because of budgetary reasons. The police force has been reduced about one-third, to 65 sworn officers currently, due to officers leaving and retirements.

Councilors estimated last week that they will need to hire 20 new officers, at a cost of about
$2 million, when taking into consideration possible upcoming retirements. It remains unclear how much more money Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio plans to add to the 2014-15 budget, but he has expressed his support for the move.

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