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New London To Lose 35 Fire, Police Personnel

Mayor Daryl Finizio announces major layoffs in public safety departments

The city will lose 25 personnel from the and 10 from the as a result of budget constraints, Mayor Daryl Finizio announced this evening.

The layoff notices will be issued on June 1. Finizio said the decision was made in consultation with the , Fire Chief Ron Samul, Police Chief Margaret Ackley, and Chief Administrative Officer Jane Glover.

“Public safety is the highest priority for the city administration,” Finizio said. “These cuts are draconian and particularly difficult, but under current budget levels, and current contractual obligations, they are sadly unavoidable.”

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Finizio requested $12,280,651 for the police department and $8,834,931 for the fire department. The Finance Committee , respectively, and the departments were also included in an additional two percent cut across the board.

“It is unfortunate that balancing the budget requires this drastic action,” Samul said in a statement. “We have looked for reductions in every area where savings could be found. We simply ran out of other options.”

Five vacant positions in the fire department will remain unfilled. Samul said that by laying off 25 firefighters, the city is saving the cost of their benefits. He said the staffing level of 18 firefighters per shift will remain unchanged, and estimated that the cuts will double the workload of most of the remaining firefighters.

“By laying them off, what we have to do is hire overtime to replace them for each shift they normally work,” said Samul.

Samul said that due to the firefighters’ union contract—which stipulates that layoffs will start with the most recent hires—the cuts will include Alfred Mayo, the first black firefighter recruit hired by the department since 1978. Mayo was terminated from the department prior to his graduation from the Connecticut Fire Academy but, following appeals by the NAACP and an , Finzio .

The police department is maintaining 11 vacant positions.

“These additional staffing reductions are particularly painful, but the police department will do all we can under current fiscal levels to provide the city with the public safety services required,” said Ackley.

During the budget discussions, Finizio recommended negotiations with the firefighters’ union and the potential closing of one of the city’s three fire stations to realize savings in the 2013 fiscal year. He said Glover will head a team that will negotiate with both the police and fire unions to minimize the impact of the cuts in this fiscal year.

As part of the budget cuts, the has . The mayor’s office has .

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NewLondonSource May 18, 2012 at 01:21 AM
It is a known fact that the Fiz knew that there'd be layoffs anyway (the budget cuts were well realized when mayo was rehired), so why not save face and put on a show knowing you're going to get your way in the end? Finizio may be a deceptive and terrible leader, but he's not dumb.
Michael Casteel May 18, 2012 at 02:41 AM
This is blatant political grandstanding by Mr. Finizio. How can a reduction of $600K in the fire budget result in 25 layoffs? It is time for Darryl to resign. Failing that citizens need to physically remove him from the city. Tie him to a rail with Dr. Fischer and ride them both out of town. Fischer's sudden embrace of a state takeover of the school board is a desperate attempt to save his job, as the board would almost certainly not extend his contract next year. The bottom line - pity the fool who owns property in New London, because this is all about squeezing more money out of taxpayers.
Sue P. May 18, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Michael, Praise the lord you speak the truth. We own property here and are now stuck. I have a child that is about to attend high school and have no idea where she is going. It's all just a huge shame on the liberal democratic' s part. We have idiots running our city , our state and our country. But who are the real idiots? The people that keep voting these people in.
Alan Green, Jr. May 18, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Mr. Casteel - Where are you living? Are you in some sort of bad 1950's western? This is a human being you're talking about. How would you like to be on the receiving end of such violent suggestions like "physically remove him from the city". That is just plain nasty. You should really think about what you're saying with things like that. Is this what you get for winning an election in this country? Physical threats? Who would ever run? And Sue, imagine yourself having been elected and people constantly calling you an 'idiot'. Sure, disagree with him all you want, but your words really do not represent a pretty side of New London (though I'm sure YOU are lovely). It's a shame we have all this beautiful art going up around us and we're bombarded by ugly hatred in these 'community' forums. Well, I'm one of the idiots that voted the guy in. And I'm rubber, you're glue. :D
jjmjr May 18, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Police and firefighters are more important than mayors aids and executive director, lay them off and save alot of money, never had them before sure don't need them now! don't need to pay two(2) deputy chiefs either.
jjmjr May 18, 2012 at 09:38 AM
This is a plot by the Mayor Police chief to weed out who they don't want, Mostly Todd Lynch. that is how they came up with the number of lay-offs, it is said that it would include anyone since 2000. How convenient is that, i hope the unions can see thru this as well as the tax-payers and VOTERS. This is solely political!!!
Jim May 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Getting rid of Lynch would be a good start
Mike Liso May 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM
I'm sure the Mayor and other officials can find other ways to cope with the budget other than layoffs of public safety personnel. How would they explain if a catastrophic fire occured and, due to a lack of personnel, people lost their lives? Or, how about if the crime rate increased because of patrols in areas become infrequent due to officers being on other calls. I'm sure there are other positions,like middle management, that could go without jepordizing public safety.
Jim May 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM
You sound so intelligent...you have a way with words
Amanda Holt May 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Its going to be great when there aren't enough cops to back up each other or not enough fire fighters to save people... cant wait to see this circus..... FIZ didn't even finish his term in westerly he definitly isn't going to finish his term in NL. hey lets put more murals on buildings though!!!!!!!!!!!
Alan Green, Jr. May 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Amanda - Take a deep breath. Are you saying you can't wait to see firefighters not be able to save people in New London? I don't think that's really what you meant to say, but it sure did sound that way. There are circuses that have caught on fire, and one was in Hartford in the early 40's. My Mother happened to be in that fire. It wasn't fun for her. She's not gone back to a circus since. Sometimes it's good to think about what you're writing. You never know how words might be taken.
NewLondonSource May 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
@alan: It's also good to - once in awhile - take a break from twisting and manipulating peoples words; I suspect, however, that you will disagree. Regardless, there were more savings to be had in the mayors office. Fire Tammy and use the secretary that was first offered to you, mr mayor (after all, the city still employs her), get rid of Zak and trim Jane's salary even more. Lead by example, Mr. Mayor - instead of cutting much needed public safety.
loves animals May 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM
You are right just when i thought the little mayor had stopped his stupid games of I am a big mayor I can do anything for no reason. He is back at it. Get rid of all the new positions and bring the people who are already working up to speed to get the jobs done.Is the secretary to the Mayor still at 70,000.00
Anita Miller May 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Without public safety in place, New London will go back to being the drug and violence center (which go hand in hand) that it once was. Downtown businesses will NOT continue to grow. Everything good that has happened to our waterfront and business districts will be for nothing and the crime will migrate throughout the city. This is a bad move.
citygirl May 18, 2012 at 01:01 PM
the circus is in town! Unbelievable! City Council or somebody please start a grassroots organization to take our city back!! Finizio is destroying our city and Fischer is destroying our schools! Get them both out! I can't take this anymore and I can't sell my house!!!
rob May 18, 2012 at 01:03 PM
It's ashame that a school system that has failed this city for decades still gets the funding. Are most of the councilors sending their kids to New London Schools??? Money does not make things better. I really don't know the answer to that puzzle(guess private school) but I do know that crime and fires need immediate attention and New London has the potential for serious consequences should these layoffs happen. The men and women of the NLPD and NLFD do their job and do it well every day they go to work. Just look at some of the recent fires, rescues and the excellent police work that was done to solve the crimes. And to all you volly lovers, turn on a scanner and listen to thier cries for manpower needed when a call comes in, not just fires but medical calls too. Waiting 15 minutes for people to show up is why your house burns to the ground folks, one guy on a fire truck is not going to help, stick to the parades. People have to work, not one job -two. Cancel Opsail, cancel all your activities for this town, lay off his staff and lock your doors people, it's gonna get ugly. Since Norwich has stepped up to the plate and made a push on getting rid of the drug dealers, they are coming back to New London - and that's a fact.
David Irons May 18, 2012 at 01:33 PM
William, the savings would be in the cost of benefits that will be saved. While they will have to pay overtime for the extra hours to cover shifts, many benefit costs remain the same no matter how many hours are worked. As for Mr. Mayo, I have wondered the same thing myself.
Alan Green, Jr. May 18, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Sorry, NLS - just call it as I see it. It's funny how people are expecting to micromanage our first 'strong' mayor. And then if he capitulates people say, 'see? he's weak! I told ya so'. In a no-win situation like that, an elected person, in my view, just needs to do what they think is right. It's not the Mayor's staff budget causing our city's financial woes - as much as those who brought us to this point would like us to think so.
lion king May 18, 2012 at 01:58 PM
i believe yesterday around 230pm in the afternoon the nlpd was looking for a k9 ,we have three k9 handlers and three dogs and not one was on duty for the first shift.one handler is union president so you would think that his job is to make sure we have a k9 on every shift ,if a k9 is not working and the city calls one out i believe the cop gets 4 hours of pay ,ride the program till we can get a handle on the love lost within the nlpd and the union and maybe revisit it down the road,take that money and save one cop from being let go
Michael Casteel May 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
The removal of incompetent and corrupt leaders by force has a long and proud history in the United States, beginning with the founding of this nation and more recently the over throw and execution of Saddam Hussein. Mr. Finizio has proven to be beyond merely incompetent. His creation of a large and tremendously overpaid staff is the worst sort of corruption. He most certainly did not run on a promise to hire Jane Glover and pay her $100K per year. Well, he did, but that promise was made in secret - and only to Jane and other party hacks. I too supported Mr. Finizio, seeing him as a chance for New London to break free of the infighting that has crippled it for generations. I was wrong...at least about Mr. Finizio. He is just plain an idiot, with the worst political instincts I have ever witnessed. It is clear to me that at this point his intent is to loot New London as much as possible over the next three and a half years - if he is allowed to remain as mayor. and Sue P. - I feel your pain. I saw this nightmare coming for years and spoke out, to be ignored or mocked. So I sold my properties in New London and got out. My advice to you and others is - sell, take whatever you can get now and flee. Walk away from your house if your mortgage is underwater. This nightmare is only going to get worse. Or be prepared to pay $8000 per year in property taxes on a home valued at $100K.
Michael Casteel May 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I am curious - what good has happened on the waterfront and business district? Downtown is a pit. NL Main Street may hang up a few flower baskets, but there are vacant stores everywhere. The city looks like hell. Get away for a few weeks, then look at downtown with a fresh eye. It looks like a shanty town, with boarded up buildings and empty storefronts..and empty sidewalks. Once a year the carnival comes to town for Sailfest, other than that I doubt most New Londoners set foot in downtown.
Debbie May 18, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Mayor wanted a reaction to city budget cuts. So give each resident a gun and water hose for their own protection. Public safety concerns and needs would remain intact if we eliminate the third fire house and recuite more volunteer (unpaid) firefighters for the remaining two. As for police services, we can reduce crime by carring our own weapons, intimate other people along the way, draw a weapon (shoot if needed) especially if you fear for your life and safety, and stand your own ground. Peace and blessings.
Sue P. May 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Please don't be surprised on Monday when Finizio and Ackley swear in the new Deputy Chief of police. Monday night the city council are suppose to go over the Deputies contract but Finizio will swear him in before the meeting so that if the council does not give the new deputy what he is asking he will be able to sue. This New London show is not even a comedy any more it's a very scary horror show and the monster never really goes away.
Alan Green, Jr. May 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Michael - People who discuss overthrowing an elected government by force here in the US have a proud history of going to jail. I'd suggest you think about your words. What you see as a joke, others might not think is so funny. Just sayin.
Alan Green, Jr. May 18, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Sue - You've just earned your own pair of the feetsy pajamas. :D You're watching too many movies, my friend. And not the good ones!
rob May 18, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Debbie please go to the store purchase a scanner and see how well the volunteers and understaffed departments are really doing in this area. If you've noticed, its getting harder to retain active volunteers due to family obligations and the committment to training. If I'm correct, to be come a certified EMT, it,s over 220 hrs of training. I do however know many senior citizens that volunteer at local hospitals that could do office work for the mayor. Im sure you could eliminate many of those positions and fill them with volunteers. I can think of a 70 k job right now. When you dial 911 you expect a well trained and adequatley staffed vehicle to show up. That next press release of the mayors can be put off till tomorrow, well not on a friday please.
jjmjr May 18, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I agree with NLS, get rid of Glover period,the mayor can be his own executive director, get rid of Levy, n.l. did without a boy toy for years we don.t need one now, get rid of tammy, she make more than Malloy's secretary. at this point we need cops and firefighters in new london, not grant writters and mayors aids and big staff. We certainly had a compitent deputy police chief but he was not liked by the new politicians so now we pay two of them, bring the last one back and forget the new one. NOT TO DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH!!!!! but it is all political, it is a way of ousting the few that are not liked and/or wanted! at the n.l. residents exspense.
Jim May 18, 2012 at 11:47 PM
@JUNIOR that would be jjm JUNIOR...perhaps you should get into politics..Why, because you moved here from Groton a little over a year ago, have been in this city less time than Finizio, and yet you know all the answers. You dont even begin to understand the corruption in the police dept nor the financial position that previous admins have left the city in and obviously dont have an MBA or for that matter..any business experience. My guess is you rent rather than own. I would suggest that you come up with a better name than jjmjr when u get your campaign posters printed. Thank God u moved to NL, all our problems will be solved now
jjmjr May 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM
@ George Lazarre, I see you did some of your homework, to bad i think your dog ate the rest, I do in fact have a couple of degees, I don't pay rent, i have been in property management for years, even in new london. So, grow up and lets keep the issues where they are and not resort to personal attacks on peoples credibility when they post comments. these comments are oppinions by people venting and the last time i heard, that is one executive order Not given yet that we in new london still have the freedom of speech.
Donald M. May 31, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I've read this type of comment numerous times in the past couple of weeks. I admit, it has made me rather curious. Are Waterford, Montville, East Lyme, Groton, Mystic and all the other surrounding towns without paid fire services experiencing horrific loss of life and property due volunteer fire and/or ambulance services?! I've searched for information about the local tales of tragic deaths that could've been prevented if an all paid department existed within that town. I couldn't find one! Odd. I wonder why the residents of those towns don't explain to their own city governments that they'd like to rid their firehouses of volunteers and replace them with union firefighters so that they could feel safer in their own homes? Of course, it would mean more money....... Hmmmmm......

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