Towns Will Fight Trooper Plan

Many small towns have a resident state trooper instead of an independent police force. Gov. Rell now wants to have small towns shoulder their cost entirely as part of her budget cutting plans, and small towns are not happy.

It’s hard to blame them. The state’s share of the cost of the troopers has dwindled to 30% from 50% when the program began six decades ago, but that’s still a good chunk of money. The towns, of course, would have to raise taxes to pay for them.

The alternative seems to be having a patrol come by from the nearest barracks, wherever that might be. Not a great option, really.

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6 responses to “Towns Will Fight Trooper Plan

  1. I don’t know all the facts involved about how this program works, but here are some thoughts. First, if a medium or large town/city has a police force, do they have to shoulder the entire cost of police protection themselves? I assume so. If so, why should the state pay for 30% of the costs for a small town police “force” (well, it’s the trooper so assigned) but not for the larger towns?

    Shouldn’t this strongly encourage very small towns that are too small to have a police department to either merge with another local town or at least to have a joint police dept with a neighboring town? If a town is too small to provide basic services, should it really exist as its own entity given that we have no county governments?

  2. It is grossly unfair that the State has to pay anything for resident state troopers because it is essentially the rest of us taxpayers paying for a local police force. These towns have been getting this handout for a long time and it needs to change. Let them pay for police with their property taxes like the rest of us.

    Not that I blame those fighting for the program to remain as-is, but I am certain that they must realize that the system is inherently unfair.

  3. Not that I blame those fighting for the program to remain as-is, but I am certain that they must realize that the system is inherently unfair.

    Eh, you’re never going to find anything that everyone agrees is inherently “fair” — Union gets a discounted police officer, Hartford gets millions in ECS funding. I’d leave it be.

  4. Eh, you’re never going to find anything that everyone agrees is inherently “fair” — Union gets a discounted police officer, Hartford gets millions in ECS funding. I’d leave it be.

    matt…that sounds uncharacteristically apathetic of you. And though we will almost never get everyone to agree on ‘fairness,’ that is what we elect representatives to decide by majority.

  5. matt…that sounds uncharacteristically apathetic of you. And though we will almost never get everyone to agree on ‘fairness,’ that is what we elect representatives to decide by majority.

    It just seems that if small towns feel really ripped off by what amounts to a pretty small subsidy being removed, then why do it? Direct aid to towns was not cut in Rell’s initial proposal, and it sounds like removing this particular subsidy could amount to pulling a major support out of the consensus that holds the big-picture budget together.

    From a political perspective, I think Rell should go for it, and Dems should go hardcore against it. She’s talking about, effectively, canceling police protection for 1 out of every 3 shifts in more than a third of the towns in the state.

    But I’d rather see public services categorically *not used” as a cudgel to beat people with than see public services used as a cudgel to beat *Rell in particular* with. Hope that makes sense.

  6. But I’d rather see public services categorically *not used” as a cudgel to beat people with than see public services used as a cudgel to beat *Rell in particular* with. Hope that makes sense.

    It does.

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