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New London House candidate contends Day editorial unfairly villainized her

I'm writing to you to regarding The Day’s Sept. 30 editorial, "Endorsements: a reverse factor, trifecta, and historic marker." It attributes the New London Police Union's endorsement of my candidacy to its anger at New London officer and state Rep. Anthony Nolan over his vote on the police accountability bill and my "sympathy" to officers facing civilian complaints.

We would be ignoring the elephant in the room by failing to acknowledge feelings of distrust and betrayal as part of the reason Nolan didn't receive the endorsement, but that isn't the only reason. Union leadership has made it clear that I sought its endorsement and was selected based on my background and qualifications. I didn't just appear out of thin air, I've been serving not only southeastern Connecticut but in other states working in the area of police and community relations since 2004 through work with my former company and various professional organizations and city agencies. This work is volunteer. And while you continually laud Nolan for his efforts, he gets paid to perform them while I do it to serve my community.

The editorial also stated that I have "been sympathetic to officers facing civilian complaints for alleged misconduct." I'm not sure what criteria you've based this statement on, but you are only partially correct. A Freedom of Information Act request of emails between Police Community Relations Committee members and myself, as well as emails between the mayor and I, will turn up a clear pattern of my advocacy for reviewing cases for equal resolution for accused officers, aggrieved complainants and the general public. I've been fighting for this since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down city buildings and restricted how we were able to review the internal investigations.

It's true that I often vote "adequate" on the outcome of internal investigations. If The Day Editorial Board understood the role of the PCRC, it would also understand that a vote of "adequate" or "inadequate" is in reference to whether the investigation was performed properly, and not whether committee members are sympathetic to a police officer or complainant. That issue is exactly the crux of the argument for community members fighting for a civilian oversight committee with more authority. My "adequate" votes are a testament to completed packets of paperwork, and not sympathy for officers accused of misconduct.

Finally, I'd like to address your statement that I opposed "An Act Concerning Police Accountability." As I was not asked about my opinion on the matter, I'm not sure how the editorial could make such a statement. I've gone on record many times saying there are aspects of the bill that are good and necessary, and others I'm displeased with and that should have been amended before passage.

Unfortunately, the law was passed as a whole, and so those undesirable parts will serve to make our communities less safe. Do I support public safety? Yes, I do. Do I support accountability in policing? Yes, I do. Both of those working in symbiosis is what makes safe communities.

I'm disappointed that The Day, in its editorial, chose only five words, without anyone having ever spoken to me, to sum up my feelings on such an important bill.

The editorial’s agenda was clear from the start — to paint Nolan as a hero and villainize me for receiving support of police unions. The fact remains that I serve my community faithfully and have been doing so for years. I don't do it for a paycheck, but I also don't do it to get beat up in the paper. I won't be the recipient of your vitriol for earning recognition for my accomplishments. So, I kindly request the next time you print my opinions on issues that someone call and ask for said opinions first.

Kat Goulart is a candidate for state representative in the 39th House District of New London. She also is chairwoman of the New London Republican Town Committee and the New London Police Community Relations Committee. She is a member of the New London Economic Development Commission and vice president of the FBI New Haven Citizens Academy Alumni Association, a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI.

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