"We believe community policing and the presence of police officers on bicycles in our community is a great thing. It sends the right signal within neighborhoods of the presence and agility of our police force, and we believe it helps our employees and contractors feel safe and secure, so they can focus on the work at hand," said David Gionfriddo, corporate security director. "Ultimately, we believe the donation of a police bicycle will enhance the ability of the Hartford Police to continue delivering superior police services to support all the business and residents in the Asylum Hill and adjacent neighborhoods."
The bike, which was equipped with lighting, strobes, Aetna and HPD decals, and a maintenance package, was presented to Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts, Assistant Chief Neil Dryfe, Captain John Betz, Lieutenant Kevin Martin and Officer Jim Barrett, in a brief ceremony on Sept. 23.
Aetna and the HPD have a "good relationship" according to Harold Even, assistant director of security and a 20-year veteran of the HPD, who retired at the rank of Captain. "Aetna is a huge partner to the police department in the district, and this bike is just one more tool the department can use to help Aetna employees and residents in the area," Even said.
The HPD and Aetna both utilize bicycle officers. Aetna, which launched this program two-years ago in an effort to go green and make their patrol officers more effective, currently has five trained officers on hand and at anytime can have two-to-three officers patrolling its campus. All Aetna security officers go through a 40-hour training regime which is put on by the HPD. Aetna Security Operations Manager Dwight Murphy said the officers are trained for everything but use of weapons.
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. www.aetna.com