Round-the-Clock Coverage to Return to Conn. Troops

Monday, Mar 24, 2014  |  Updated 6:50 PM EDT
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New Public Safety Commissioner reverses previous decision to close some of the barracks at night.

New Public Safety Commissioner reverses previous decision to close some of the barracks at night.

Connecticut's new public safety commissioner wants to restore 24/7 coverage at all state police barracks across the state.

Dora Schriro announced her decision Monday.

"After careful review, I have determined that our State Police barracks need to be open and accessible to the public 24/7," Schriro said in a statement, adding that the new coverage plan will take effect immediately.

As part of a recent effort to consolidate dispatch centers, some troops were closed after normal business hours. Emergency call boxes were installed outside of those barracks, allowing residents to call a trooper.

But Schriro said she determined after a review that all 11 state police barracks need to be open around-the-clock.

In the Western District, two dispatches were rolled into a third in April 2012. Last fall, in the Eastern District, two other dispatches were consolidated with two other troops.

Last month, the newly appointed commissioner suspended any further consolidations until she finished reviewing the initiative, implemented by her predecessor.

Schriro is conducting a "top to bottom review of consolidated dispatch," according to a release from the Dept. of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

“The decision to reopen the state police barracks to the public is a good one," said State Sen. Tony Guglielmo, in a statement. "Many people living in my district which has many small rural towns rely on the state police for protection. When the barracks are closed and the only safety net is a call box – if it is working – the community does not feel safe."

State Senate President Donald E. Williams also supported the decision.

"I am glad that the Commissioner is returning 24 hour state trooper coverage to the barracks; we have discussed this issue on a number of occasions and she has heard the concerns of those in northeastern Connecticut and around the state," Williams said, in a statement.

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