Wednesday, February 6, 2019




Middletown officials stand behind city fire department

MIDDLETOWN – Following Tuesday’s arrest of a Middletown city fire lieutenant among dozens of others involved in a major two-county drug ring, the common council and mayor stood behind the fire department and its paid and volunteer members.

Mayor Joseph DeStefano said the arrest of Lt. Paul Smith made for a “very disappointing day” in Middletown.

“We do have some concerns about the protocols that are in place in the department; as you know we have a combination department both paid and volunteer and there is during certain hours almost unlimited access into the buildings,” DeStefano said. “We are going to have to look at that, how we are going to control that because one of the issues here here was that there were actual meetings being held of this gang, motorcycle group, on city property in our firehouse.”

Common Councilman Joseph Masi met with firefighters after the news broke and he had some advice for them.

“I said the best you can do is stay off of social media,” Masi said. “You idiots out there that think that this is a time to vilify all of Middletown, the hard work that our men and women do, you know what, grow up.”  

All other council members chimed in to support the members of the fire department. Alderwoman Kate Ramkissoon said the fire department is comprised of “honest, honorable people.”

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