November 4, 2010
Sen. Witkos Calls For Investigation Into Improper Use Of Reverse 9-1-1 On Election Day Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) today called on State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane to investigate the improper use of the state’s emergency reverse 9-1-1 system to notify Bridgeport voters of extended voting hours. “State law is very clear that reverse 9-1-1 is an emergency notification system only. As a matter of fact, the law very clearly states that the system is to be used “only in case of life-threatening emergencies.” Not by any stretch of the imagination can notifying Bridgeport voters that they had an extra two hours to vote be considered a life-threatening emergency, or really any kind of an emergency,” said Senator Witkos. Senator Witkos noted that the issue is complicated by the fact that residents of some areas of Bridgeport were not notified via the reverse 9-1-1 system of the extended voting hours. “Since some people got the reverse 9-1-1 message and some did not, I have to ask if we are to assume that being notified about the extended voting hours rose to the level of a “life threatening emergency” for residents of some parts of the city but not others. On its face, this is appalling,” said Senator Witkos. Senator Witkos, a sergeant with the Canton Police Department, said he finds the misuse of the state’s reverse 9-1-1 system appalling. “That system exists to make sure that people quickly get the information they need in the event of a life-threatening emergency. When someone gets a message from reverse 9-1-1, he or she should know that it is important to react immediately, and appropriately, to information and directions being given to them by emergency personnel. It does not exist that so politicians can hijack it to get their message out, whatever that message may be,” said Senator Witkos. “I am respectfully asking our Attorney General and our Chief State’s Attorney to look into the improper use of reverse 9-1-1 in Bridgeport on Election Day, and take whatever action is appropriate. The most important thing, from my point of view, is that we protect the integrity of the reverse 9-1-1 system and ensure that it is never again misused,” said Senator Witkos.