NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- Fresh off a number of shootings in New Haven, a battle is underway Tuesday night between the city and the police department over overtime.
The police union says the recent violent streak proves just how badly those officers are needed on the streets.
If you ask the union president, he says they desperately need more people on the street. If you ask the mayor, he'll say there are in fact more police on foot. But last week alone, $142,000 in overtime costs. He says there is a solution without the OT issue.
"How do you tell a family member, we have bad news your child was hurt cause we had lack of manpower," said Lou Caviliere.
For quite a while, this has been a big concern for New Haven Police Union President Lou Caviliere.
But after three shootings and a homicide this weekend, he'll say again more police presence is needed and overtime hours should not be cut. Last week, $142,000 and the mayor wants it down to about $95,000 a week.
DeStefano says these shootings do not highlight a need to keep spending on police overtime. There were two officers at the Cheetah Club homicide and three officers on the block at the Ivy Street shooting, yet the suspects still opened fire.
"What is does say is the behavior is incredibly brazen by some of these individuals," said DeStefano. "What we say is we continue to hire officers, we have very effective targeted policing that has shown homicides two years ago at the end of July, there were 22."
When asked how many now, he said,"ten. Plus one in August."
"He wants to look at charts and books and graphs on the budget, I'm talking to front line officers who are telling me it's dangerous out there," said Caviliere.
Mayor DeStefano says as of Tuesday afternoon, the department has 365 officers. Once 26 officers are sworn in at night, 391.
When asked if 391 is the lowest number since he got there, DeStefano said, "391 is not. What I would say is when we made the decision to go to foot patrols, that requires us to carry more people."
DeStefano says the highest number in the last 20 years is about 450. He says another class of 45 will also start in the police academy in February.
Caviliere says that's still not enough.
"It's a very dangerous city New Haven and this is no joke," said Caviliere.
Cavaliere is hoping the mayor reconsiders these overtime cuts, as these new officers, sworn in Tuesday night, won't be on the streets right away so, technically the number of officers is 365.
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Authorities have canceled an alert for a missing a 16-year-old Stamford girl they say ran away with her 1-year-old son.
When you hear the soothing tones of Bing Crosby you just know a Christmas tree is close by.
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