To the Editor:
Less than three minutes after the first 9-1-1 call was placed to the Newtown Police Department on 12/14, nearly every Newtown Police Officer on duty including the chief, his second in command and his fourth in command, whether working regular patrol or private duty, responded to the school. Three teams of three Newtown police officers were the first to enter the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary. Those three teams did the initial “sweep” of the school and found the shooter dead. Two of those officers carried or helped carry two of the children from the building while the others continued to search for more shooters.
In the minutes that followed, police from every surrounding town and an unprecedented response from the Connecticut State Police soon answered the call for mutual aid. In the hours that followed the four detectives from the Newtown Police Department including their lieutenant were the first to begin the long and overwhelming task of processing the crime scene. When the magnitude of this investigation became apparent the Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Division relieved the NPD of the burden.
Police officers from all over Connecticut volunteered to help the NPD patrol the streets and secure the schools. Departments outside of Connecticut, from as far away as Canada, offered to help. As brothers they realized the need to help a department that witnesses an unimaginable crime. Their support is greatly appreciated.
At the memorial service on December 16th, President Obama, the leader of our country, recognized the Newtown police officers publicly. He took the time after the memorial service to meet with them and acknowledge their service.
Governor Malloy, the leader of our state, has also taken the time to meet with the Newtown Police Officers. He listened to them, offered words of appreciation for their service, compassion for their hardship, and respect for their service and dedication to Newtown.
The Newtown Police officers, who were the first inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, have experienced the worst imaginable: six brave women and 20 innocent children senselessly slaughtered. Their quick response to SHES prevented the horrible incident from being worse. They don’t want to be called heroes; they were just doing their jobs. They will live with the sights, sounds, and smells of that morning forever. They now struggle to find normalcy. They hope to find peace.
First Selectman Llorda, leader of the Town of Newtown, has made plenty of time to meet with President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Governor Malloy, and other dignitaries. We’ve seen the pictures. She’s traveled to Hartford and Washington D.C. Her office is less than two miles from the Newtown Police Department and yet Mrs Llorda has not taken the time to reach out to the Newtown Police Department. No phone call. No letter. No e-mail. There may not be a photo opportunity for her if she decided to meet with the Newtown police officers, but it would be the right thing to do.
Linda M. Haas
767 Old Waterbury Road, Southbury March 26, 2013