Connecticut State Police Union Clarifies Stance on PIO’s Reassignment

Via NBC News

A day after the Connecticut State Police Captains and Lieutenants Union expressed outrage over state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance’s reassignment to the State Police Traffic Services Division, another union released a statement saying its members do not take issue with the news.

The Connecticut State Police Union issued a statement Sunday to clarify that its union, separate from the captains and lieutenants union, does not take issue with Vance’s upcoming transfer to the traffic division.

Union Outraged Over Reassignment of State Police Spokesman

“The Connecticut State Police Union does not have any concerns with the decision to transfer Lieutenant Paul Vance from the State Police’s public information office to the traffic services unit. Our Union, which represents 1,076 troopers, sergeants, and master sergeants did not issue the statement criticizing the decision to transfer Lieutenant Vance,” Connecticut State Police Union President Andrew Matthews said. “That statement was issued by CSEA SEIU Local 2001, which represents the 36 State Police captains and lieutenants. The Connecticut State Police Union, Inc. rarely addresses internal State Police transfers publicly and we had no intention of addressing Lieutenant Vance’s reassignment except to clarify that we did not issue the earlier statement that was released by the captains and lieutenants union.”

While the state police captains and lieutenants union criticized State Police Commissioner Dora B. Shriro’s management style and said that the “manner in which Lt. Vance was removed was inappropriate,” Matthews said that “is not reflective of the opinion of the Connecticut State Police Union membership.

“The troopers, sergeants, and master sergeants of the Connecticut State Police Union have a great deal of respect for both Commissioner Schriro and Colonel Meraviglia, who made the decision to transfer Lieutenant Vance, and for Lieutenant Vance himself,” Matthews said.

He went on to say that state police leadership “makes difficult decisions about staffing and assignments every day and that the task is made more difficult by the fact that the State Police is short staffed at nearly every rank.”

“The fact that the agency remains as effective as it is with its limited resources is a testament to the leadership of Commissioner Schriro, Colonel Meraviglia, and Lieutenant Colonel Hyatt,” Matthews said. “Simply, our agency is trying to do more with less and the traffic services unit, which has historically been run by a lieutenant, has gone without a lieutenant for an extended period of time. We are confident that Lt. Vance will provide the leadership that the traffic unit needs.”

No replacement has been announced to serve as the new state police public information officer.

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection spokesman Scott DeVico previously said the change will happen on or around March 20. He could not give a reason for Vance’s reassignment.