New Haven Mayor John DeStefano says he will pursue legal action against the police union for the union's Thursday protest outside City Hall.
About 200 officers marched from Police Headquarters to City Hall to protest the mayor's decision to lay off 16 officers as part of a plan to deal with the city's budget crisis. The officers blocked Church Street and demanded to speak to DeStefano about his decision.
A spokesperson for the mayor says the city is aware that many of the officers who participated in the protest were on duty -- something that is not permitted.
Thursday, DeStefano blasted the police union for calling New Haven a dangerous city and urging residents to arm themselves now that the officers had been laid off. He called the march a union-led demonstration, and plans to "take an aggressive course under the state's labor laws" against the union.
The Department is also investigating a "sickout" staged by officers Thursday night. 17 officers on the overnight shift called out sick in what the Mayor's Office called part of a continuing job action after the protest. The 17 cops accounted for 40 percent of the on-duty officers overnight.
"I expect the men and women of the New Haven Police Department to do their jobs like everyone else. End of story," DeStefano said.
Police Chief Frank Limon plans to investigate the sickouts and take appropriate action against officers who did not have a legitimate reason to report out for duty, according to DeStefano.