We've had some issues in town lately with a particularly rogue cop being rehired by the NHPD after initially losing his job due to some nefarious off-duty behavior in which he flaunted his status as a police officer. You can read all about it here.
I don't support the rehiring of this guy. At all. But I am also not among the legions of cop-haters out there.
The fact is, these guys and girls in blue never know what they're walking into when they respond to a call. (Drug busts be damned. Domestics can be some of the sketchiest calls to which they respond.) I will never forget the bust I called in when I lived in my old neighborhood. I watched from the window as Officer Lalli approached the "suspicious" vehicle (later found to have had more than $2k in heroin and $2k in cash in it), and I thought: "Oh my God. What if he gets shot at? What if the guy behind the wheel tries to run him over?" It flat-out freaked me out, maybe more so because I was the one who called it in. If something happened to the cop, I felt like it was my fault.
Nothing happened to Lalli. But in another New Haven Independent article today, I came across a photo that brought back that same anxious feeling I had a few years ago watching Lalli approach the car in front of my house. This photo (taken by the NHI's Zeke Miller) is of the NHPD's Lt. Velleca, approaching a residence in attempt to serve a murder warrant this morning.
Yes, some cops suck. So do some doctors. And teachers. And priests. And cable guys.
But to the cops who bring dignity to their role in (and out) of uniform, this taxpayer--and mother of at least one boy who wants to be a detective when he grows up--says thank you.