Be careful if you take I84, one of Connecticut’s main drags. You could turn into collateral damage of a war between feuding State Police troops. There might be a pizza prize on your head.
A memo, written by the commander of Troop I in Bethany, created an uproar in Connecticut and beyond. Lt. Anthony Schirillo III, Troop I’s commander, issued an “all hands on deck” email for Friday, says the Connecticut Post. “We have to issue 60 infractions/misdemeanors each shift for a total of 180 infractions, in order to outperform Troop F and Troop G,” Schirillo wrote.
“We can do better. I am asking that everyone, myself included, contribute to this effort. Based on the number of on-duty personnel, 60 infractions a shift would proportionately put us above both troops. Note, if we happen to issue 350 tickets in one day that would be stellar.”
Putting even more fire under his men, Schirillo offered, in a follow-up email, pizza to the trooper writing the most tickets.
Matthew Andrews, president of the Connecticut State Police Union, said state law prohibits quotas:
“Our members won’t comply with an illegal order or a ticket quota and will always use discretion as allowed by our department policy and the law. This wasn’t just specifically Troop I. It’s going on around the state that there’s an increased desire to issue more tickets and we don’t think it’s proper. “
Lt. J. Paul Vance, spokesman for the state’s Division of State Police, played down the incident, saying that Schirillo was merely cheerleading:
“There’s no way there were any required quotas. Lt. Schirillo was saying, `Let’s go and work and give a little bit more, work a little bit harder, there are speeders out there.’ It was motivational and maybe he needed a little polish on it.”
Schirillo lists the FBI National Academy and the University of Connecticut as places where he received education. He is Chairman of the Homeland Security Region 1 Steering Committee and the Emergency Management Director of the Town of Stratford. He seems to be polished enough.