A website claims that CT is the best state to be a cop. Gubernatorial candidates have different opinions.

The latest topic of debate in Connecticut’s increasingly contentious gubernatorial election: a listing from the WalletHub website.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and his Republican challenger, Bob Stefanowski, have exchanged tweets in recent days about the personal finance site’s finding that Connecticut is the best state in the United States to be a police officer. Lamont touted the study, while Stefanowski criticized the governor over a measure passed in 2020 to increase police accountability.

“Our historic investments in police and crime reduction programs are paying off,” Lamont’s campaign account tweeted, along with a news story citing the study. “We are making our state a safer place to work and live.”

Quote-tweeting Lamont, Stefanowski questioned the finding.

“For you to take a victory lap on this is insulting to the officers of our state,” he tweeted. “If law enforcement is so happy, why [the Connecticut State Police union] vote “no confidence” in you and your leaders? Why are police forces understaffed with more retirements and fewer recruits? »

Stefanowski then reaffirmed his promise to restore qualified immunity, the controversial legal provision that makes it extremely difficult to prosecute police officers. In Connecticut, the state legislature voted to limit qualified immunity following the 2020 George Floyd protests, with many Democrats seeing the measure as key to preventing police violence, especially against black and black residents. latinos.

During the early stages of the gubernatorial campaign, Stefanowski cited the bill, which Lamont signed into law, as an example of the governor demoralizing police officers and not prioritizing public safety. Lamont countered by highlighting his efforts to include millions for state and local police as part of this year’s state budget.

That dynamic was turned upside down last week when WalletHub, a site known primarily for its personal finance advice, released a state-by-state analysis of the best places to be a cop, based on 30 “relevant metrics.” Connecticut ranked 18th among U.S. states in “opportunity and competition,” first in “law enforcement training requirements,” seventh in “occupational hazards and protections,” and first overall.

WalletHub also cited Connecticut as the state with the fourth lowest violent crime rate.

When Lamont tweeted the story last week, he included a link to a Fox Business article with a caption the governor was more than happy to share: “Law enforcement may consider moving to Connecticut.”

Lamont wasn’t the only Democrat proud of WalletHub’s discovery. At a Monday press conference in Norwich, State Senator Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, welcomed the study, while noting that many Connecticut towns are currently looking to hire officers.

“We have set high training standards and expectations, and the officers are living up to those expectations,” Osten said. “They are well paid to protect the public and work in a state with a relatively low violent crime rate.”

Osten was joined on Monday by Patrick Daley, chief of the Norwich Police Department. While police unions have strongly opposed accountability measures, including new limits on qualified immunity, Daley said Connecticut was “a great place to work as a police officer.”

“This study that came out the other day really touched on what some of us already knew: Connecticut police officers are highly trained, they’re well paid, they have good job protections and crime rates violent are good,” he said.

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