I write today in response to a recent Facebook post by Alicia Hernandez Strong regarding the unfortunate and tragic passing of Katherine Colon. Firstly, I extend my deepest condolences to Katherine's family and friends. Every life lost is a profound tragedy, and the community rightfully seeks answers.
However, it is crucial to address some of the concerns raised by Ms. Strong in a balanced manner. Mayor Stewart and her team have consistently worked for the betterment of our community, and it is essential that we do not rush to judgment based on selective recollections of past events.
To insinuate that Mayor Stewart is indifferent based on her social media activity is a misrepresentation. The Mayor's Office, like many other official institutions, has procedures and protocols in place when it comes to public communications, especially during ongoing investigations.
One major point that needs clarification is the assertion that New Britain lacks a civilian review board. In fact, the City of New Britain already possesses such a board – it's called the Police Commission. This commission plays a vital role in holding the NBPD accountable and ensuring that the police department functions with integrity and responsibility.
Alicia Strong's criticism also subtly alludes to the broader Defund the Police Movement. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, it's essential to note that several communities that experimented with this policy witnessed a rise in crime rates and juvenile delinquency. While the intent might be noble, the results have shown that it is not always the most effective solution.
Moreover, the suggestion that the NBPD is an "unaccountable force" is quite a stretch, especially given the existence of the Police Commission. Police departments across the country, including ours, are held to high standards of conduct, and our officers work diligently to ensure the safety and security of our community.
I understand and respect the calls for transparency and accountability, especially in tragic circumstances. However, painting an entire administration and police department with a broad brush based on individual incidents or decisions isn't constructive. Our community needs unity, support, and understanding, especially during such challenging times.
Finally, I urge everyone to remember that discussions on public safety and policing should be grounded in facts and comprehensive analyses rather than emotional narratives. We owe it to our community to approach these matters with care, understanding, and a genuine desire for betterment.
A Voice for Balanced Dialogue