Connecticut police chiefs prohibit acquisition of surplus military equipment for 90 days

Police Chief Keith Mello.

MILFORD — The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association has agreed to a 90-day moratorium on the purchase of surplus military equipment, according to a release from the Milford Police Department.

The association “represents over 100 Municipal and University Police Chiefs that lead over 8500 municipal police officers in our state,” according to the release.

Members include the police chiefs in New Haven, Hamden, Bridgeport, Stamford, Greenwich, and Yale University, according to the association’s website. The moratorium refers to surplus military equipment acquired under the Federal 1033 Program.

Keith Mello, chief of the Milford Police Department, is also the president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

Gov. Ned Lamont prohibited the purchase or acquisition of military and military-style equipment from the federal government by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection “until further notice” in an executive order Monday .

“Here at the state level we have an indefinite pause,” Lamont said Tuesday. “I hope their pause is a lot longer than 90 days.”

The move comes as protesters across the country call for reform and justice in the wake of the death of George Floyd as the result of a Minneapolis police officers kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Mello previously called the Floyd’s death “beyond disturbing,” in a statement, saying it “cast a stain over the law enforcement profession.”

Mello said the behavior of the officers involved reflect “failures in police tactics, judgment and training.”

“Of equal concern is the lack of intervention by other officers on the scene,” Mello said. “We are reminded that we are leaders in our communities, especially during a time of crisis. Our oath and our ethics require us to act whenever we are witnessing an unjust act, even by another police officer.”

He said these actions by officers in Minnesota “erode the layers of trust, confidence and goodwill” so many law enforcement officers in Connecticut have built within their communities.

Connecticut Media Group