Connecticut’s largest municipal police union threw its support Friday behind Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, even as their state police colleagues remain wary of endorsing the governor for another term.
The Connecticut Council of Police, AFSCME Council 15, which represents 3,000 municipal cops, issued a press release Friday endorsing Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. The union’s executive director, Jeff Matchett, cited low crime rates and stronger gun regulations, signed by Malloy.
“Gov. Malloy has stood side-by-side with first responders in some the deepest challenges our state has ever faced. From gun safety to disaster response, Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman have worked together with local police to ensure safety for local communities and officers,” he said.
The union’s president, Patrick Gaynor, praised the administration for maintaining municipal aid funding.
“Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman have helped to keep local police on the beat, even in tough economic times,” he said.
It’s a different story with the Connecticut State Police Union, which endorsed Malloy in 2010. Malloy’s administration was at odds with the union throughout much of his first term. The group clashed over public safety policy with state police leadership appointed by Malloy. The union also rejected labor concessions negotiated by the administration in 2011, which resulted in Malloy ordering the temporary layoffs of some troopers.
“We have done some endorsements for House and Senate races but, at this time, we’re remaining neutral on the gubernatorial candidates,” Connecticut State Police Union President Andrew Matthews said Friday.
Matthews said relations with the Malloy administration have improved this year following the departure of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Reuben Bradford and State Police Col. Danny Stebbins. He said current Commissioner Dora Schriro and Col. Brian Meraviglia seem committed to the safety of troopers and the public.
“I think finally after three and a half years, the administration has given us true leadership,” he said.
In June, Malloy told reporters he did not expect an endorsement from the state police union.
“I want the support of anyone who wants to support me, let’s be honest. I believe that union has made it clear that it intends to stay neutral,” he said.