New London Mayor Will Veto K-9 Ordinance

By Josh Chapin and Ari Mason
|  Monday, Aug 19, 2013  |  Updated 6:58 PM EDT
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The city council members voted to keep the city's K9 units in the police department.  Mayor Finizio still needs to sign off on the legislation.

The city council members voted to keep the city's K9 units in the police department. Mayor Finizio still needs to sign off on the legislation.

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The New London City Council voted unanimously to keep the police department's K-9 unit, but Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said on Tuesday that he will veto the ordinance.

According to the mayor's office, Finizio believes the ordinance is "unnecessary" and "legally out of bounds."

The mayor has 10 days to veto the ordinance, which would require the city to maintain a four-dog unit. The City Council can then overturn the veto, if six out of the seven coucilors vote to override it.

The city is facing big money problems, but residents and council members alike say the police dogs are worth the price tag.

"We lost it once, please don't let this happen again," said Carl Lee of New London, who along with other residents, feels the K-9 unit has become a tool of the trade. "Don't deprive our city residents of the importance of the work they do for us."

"We do have a demonstrated need for it," said city councilman Adam Sprecace. "We've had the K-9 division in the city for a great number of years and when it is operating properly, I think it does everyone in this city a service."

Mayor Finizio was outspoken Monday night about his opposition to the ordinance.

"Four dogs in 6.46-square mile city. A four-dog K-9 unit. Why four? Why not two? Why not three?" Finizio said at the meeting, adding that the city has already lost more than $2 million in its public safety budget.

His concern is patrol strength and new technology for law enforcement.

"Do we want to put our limited resources toward more dogs instead of starting the hiring process?" Finizio asked.

After the mayor vetoes the ordinance, the city council will have 15 days to overturn the veto.

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