A Hartford City Councilwoman posted on Facebook earlier this week that a police officer who helps people is rare in the city of Hartford and she is defending the comment that has sparked several angry responses.
The post was in reference to a ceremony at city hall in which a police officer was recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Councilwoman RJo Winch posted a photo of the officer on Monday night and wrote, “A rare sighting. An officer who helps. Congratulations.”
The post generated several angry reactions and the Hartford police chief plans to address the Facebook comment, police said on Wednesday morning.
Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley, the spokesman for the department, has sent out several Tweets since this morning with photos of police providing assistance or doing positive things with the hashtag #HPDOfficersHelping.
"We object to this type of comment," Hartford Police Chief James Rovella told NBC Connecticut. "Those comments are unsettling. They're obviously under-informed and it has a negative impact on the morale of any police officer."
“The chief knows my number and when he’s upset about anything I say he can come to me and have a conversation,” Winch said.
She told NBC Connecticut that she is standing by the post.
“I was expressing my feeling about the individual officer who had done right things inside City Hall and if he’s upset about it, then more of his officers need to be the same. They need to do community service, they need to work for the residents who employ them,” Winch said.
She said she feels too many police officers aren’t helping people and many can do more to help.
“They can be upset but the reality is, we have more issues with police officers not doing what’s right than police offers who do, so those who do things that are right they should be celebrated for the things that they do,” she said.
When asked if she really thinks that a police officer helping people is a rare sighting in Hartford, she said that is what she thinks.
“I think it’s absolutely a rare sighting in Hartford. I mean, look at our statistics like who gets arrested in crimes in Hartford and how police sometimes excite things that sometimes should not be excited,” she said.
Winch had said she no plans to take down the post but later on Thursday she put up a revised version: