|Article Last Updated: 6/06/2005 04:24 AM|
|City police protest at parade|
|ANNE M. AMATO firstname.lastname@example.org|
|BRIDGEPORT — City police officers were out in force Sunday at the Barnum Festival's Great Street Parade, hoping to make a point.|
About 80 officers were protesting what they consider to be unfair treatment by the city administration — in particular, Mayor John M. Fabrizi — in ongoing contract negotiations.
The officers have been working without a contract since June 2004.
Officers said they hope to receive the pay raise they say was promised by Fabrizi.
"The mayor said he would take care of us this contract time," said Police Officer Frank Cuccaro, spokesman for the group. As the parade was ready to turn from State Street onto Main Street, the officers, armed with placards and wearing blue T-shirts that read "Crime doesn't pay; Neither does Bridgeport," stepped out in front of the procession and made their way to the reviewing stand.
They stood across from the dignitaries, and as Fabrizi walked by they turned their backs to him.
"All I can say is it's been a long, ongoing negotiation process," Fabrizi said after witnessing the demonstration. He made no comment about the officers' protests. Cuccaro said the officers want their pay to be more in line with other communities. Currently, the most a Bridgeport police officer can earn is $49,981 annually, while top pay for officers is $59,098 in Stamford, $57,198 in New Haven and $52,351 in Hartford.