A bipartisan effort by state and local officials has helped save the potential closing of the State Police Troop I barracks on Route 63 in Bethany, state lawmakers said today. Assembled on the front lawn of the Troop I barracks, and joined by local leaders just days after the General Assembly voted on a package of budget cuts that did not include the closing of Troop I (as was suggested in September by Governor Malloy), state Senator Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge), House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) and State Representative Lezlye Zupkus (R-Prospect) said they are overjoyed that a bipartisan and concerted effort by Democratic and Republican legislators, town and school officials, parents and others has resulted in keeping the Troop I Barracks Open.
Troop I serves 19 towns in south-central Connecticut, from East Haven to Naugatuck, Shelton to Meriden; the governor’s plan was to redistribute the 60 troopers there to other, regional barracks and to rely on smaller, local police forces, resident state troopers and constables in order to save $1.4 million annually. “This was a wonderful example of bipartisanship and state-local cooperation to address a very crucial public safety issue,ˮ Sen. Crisco said. “This troop receives 100,000 9-1-1 calls a year.ˮ
“It was universally agreed that this state police barracks is much too valuable to public safety to close,ˮ Rep. Klarides said. “I want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, and the governor, for coming together protect this vital community and regional resource.ˮ
“We fought very hard to keep this barracks open,ˮ Rep. Zupkus said. “These troopers are an invaluable asset to public safety, not just in Bethany, but to the entire region.ˮ
Sen. Crisco and Reps. Klarides and Zupkus joined together on November 19 to issue a statement voicing their opposition to the planned closure and urging residents to contact the governor’s office. “I was very, very pleased that everybody came together,ˮ Bethany First Selectman Derrylyn Gorski said. “Everyone recognized that public safety is a priority, and that Troop I needs to stay here.ˮ
“I am so grateful for the support that our government leaders showed in keeping this barracks open,ˮ said Bethany Superintendent of Schools Colleen Murphy.
Bethany First Selectman Derrylyn Gorski, state Senator Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge), State Representative Lezlye Zupkus (R-Prospect) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) outside the State Police Troop I barracks on Route 63 in Bethany on Thursday, December 10, 2015.