The ACLU said that for the first time, information about police contracts and commissions has been collected online in Connecticut.
Some say the access will keep law enforcement accountable, while critics think it’s too soon to judge if the information will help or hurt police.
The ACLU of Connecticut has been working for years to collect and analyze police contracts. It's the details of those contracts that they say allow bad cops to continue to stay in the job.
The website is called Project Flashlight. Aside from police contracts, it also includes information about the approximately 50 police commissions in the state.
“We shouldn’t allow them to be unfireable and beyond discipline,” Dan Barrett, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut, said.
Barrett is hoping citizens can hold their local officials accountable for what’s included or not included in these contracts.
“They seem to be saying there’s some secret language in police union contracts that protects bad officers. That’s not the case,” Brian Anderson, legislative director of AFSCME Council 4, said.
Anderson who represents more than 2,000 officers, said the ACLU's new website will do more harm than good for the profession.
“I think this report will have an adverse impact against police officers. Sadly, I think there’s been a lot of demonization of police officers,” Anderson said.
Anderson thinks there’s nothing special about these contracts for the ACLU or the public to worry about.
“Our police union contracts mirror our other municipal worker contracts,” Anderson said.
Barrett said he doesn’t think this new website will have a negative impact on recruitment or an officer's ability to do the job.
“I’d be a little surprised if people who are thinking about a career in policing were surprised or turned off that there are certain rules,” Barrett said.
Anderson said police in Connecticut are subject to some of the strictest employment laws in the nation. Barrett said making it convenient to look at these contracts shouldn’t be a concern.