The dog fight in New London is over after council unanimously blocked the mayor’s veto on the police dog ordinance on Monday night.
The vote put an end to this debate that saw a united council face Mayor Daryl Finizio, who was determined to stop this ordinance, which simply requires a minimum of four police dogs for the police department.
Those who supported the dogs say the vote was an important step in keeping the city safe.
It was the second time this month the New London City Council members voted unanimously in favor of having at least four trained police dogs working for the department.
Despite their agreement the first time around at the Aug. 5 meeting, Mayor Finizio vetoed the ordinance, sending it to a vote requiring that each council member support it again, which they did.
“I think it’s important that we keep that many dogs in the police department,” said Councilman Anthony Nolan.
“There’s been strong community support for the K-9 program. It’s existed in the police department for 25 or 30 years,” said Council President Michael Passero.
While Mayor Finizio wasn’t at this meeting, he has previously argued that the K-9 program was too expensive and not what officers wanted.
He suggested spending the money on tasers or hiring more officers.
The K-9 program had been whittled down so much, it appeared in jeopardy altogether.
“Without the ordinance, the mayor had unilaterally started to dismantle the program. We were down to one dog with no assurance that we would even be able to maintain that dog,” Passero said.
During public comment, every resident who mentioned the ordinance was in favor, many mentioning importance for public safety.
Now, after weeks of controversy, New London Police will have their dogs.