Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
March 5, 2008


             By John A. Danaher III, Commissioner
Department of Public Safety

My term as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety began on March 5, 2007.  It has been an interesting, sometimes challenging, and always inspiring year.

In the past year, we have identified and tried to address critical infrastructure needs.  Governor Rell has wholeheartedly supported those efforts, fighting for Bond Act funding to replace flood-damaged range buildings, to move forward on a new Emergency Services Unit Facility (a project first conceived in 1995!), to purchase new radio equipment, to rebuild the Sex Offender Registry, to institute a troop study that will lead to the replacement of antiquated troop headquarters, and to pursue many other essential projects.  She has backed the upgrade of the COLLECT system, an electronic record information system that is critical to state, local and federal law enforcement across Connecticut.  And she supports the growth of the state police by a total of one hundred additional troopers over the next five years.

I have met hundreds of Department of Public Safety employees, from the Fire Marshal’s office, the Building Inspector’s Office, the Forensic Laboratory, the Toxicology Laboratory, the Office of Data Management, the Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications (which maintains the state’s E911 system), Fiscal Services, Labor Relations, and, of course, Connecticut State Troopers who work twenty four hours per day, all around the state.  I have yet to meet everyone, but there are at least two dozen other specialized offices and units carrying out public safety functions, day in and day out.

The Department of Public Safety is a large, complex agency that performs hundreds of public safety functions, often brilliantly, day in and day out.  Every morning, I read reports of outstanding criminal investigation successes by our Troopers.  I read of lives they have saved, often at risk to themselves, and I marvel at their quiet humility as they carry out remarkable tasks in virtual anonymity.  When one Trooper found himself alone at the scene of a house on fire, and rushed in with no protective equipment, and succeeded in bringing out the invalid homeowner, we practically had to order him to speak with the media.  When he finally did speak with reporters, he spoke only of his admiration for the challenging work done by firefighters!

Some members of the Agency have raised questions about certain issues relating to recruitment, assignments, and promotions.  When these concerns are brought to my attention they are all, without fail, the subject of careful review, evaluation and, where appropriate and feasible, addressed.  Some concerns will be addressed in appropriate legal forums.  Other issues can be resolved internally; some can be addressed readily and others, more complex, can be time-consuming to resolve.  It would be truly unfortunate, however, if anything were to overshadow the heroic work of the 1,700 employees of the Department of Public Safety who persevere, who put themselves at risk to protect people whom they do not even know, and who have dedicated themselves to challenging, stressful, and exhausting work – all because they believe in the principles of honor, integrity, and public service.

You probably don’t know the names of the Troopers who have saved Connecticut citizens from death in the past year.  You don’t know the names of the many Troopers who assisted at an accident scene where a tractor trailer overturned with its cargo of 25,000 pounds of highly explosive hydrogen.  You don’t know the names of the Troopers who responded to over 600 accidents during a recent snowstorm.  You probably don’t know the names of the Troopers who spent this past Saturday helping Special Olympians, or the many Public Safety personnel who spent this past Sunday running a fundraiser in order to send school supplies to Afghani children.  This list could easily continue for pages.  

In the next few weeks, we will be promoting a number of Troopers.  Among those who will be promoted are men and women from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds.  They will be promoted because of their accomplishments, their education, their experiences, and because they worked hard to rank high on promotional tests.  It will be a tragedy if anyone believes, and unfortunately some will, that those minority Troopers who worked so hard are being promoted for any reason other than their merits.  Make no mistake – the men and women who enter, and graduate, from the State Police Academy do so based on their qualifications and their hard work.  The upcoming promotions will, in the same way, recognize men and women of ability, dedication and integrity who earned their promotions.  To conclude otherwise would be flat wrong.

I have had a wonderful first year with the Department of Public Safety.  I regret that the magnificent work of 1,700 dedicated people is so often ignored.  My job is to recognize and support those dedicated people.  I recognize that responsibility and pledge to meet it.