Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett


When the name Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police is announced on any newscast or reported in any newspaper, it comes with a level of credibility that may well be unequaled throughout the state of Connecticut. The reassuring sound of his voice, and his candid, yet well-chosen words, have come to symbolize the best in public service and true transparency in government. He represents law enforcement and the uniform he wears with distinction.


The high regard that the citizens of Connecticut hold for Lt. Vance became even more apparent recently when he was reassigned by the new commissioner from the high profile position of  head of public information to traffic control – a position he is slated to begin tomorrow. One speculation has been that it was a budgetary decision. However, not only citizens but members of the media quickly cried foul; an on-line citizen’s campaign was begun calling for Lt. Vance to remain in public information. Lt. Vance has served the Connecticut State Police for 40 years, the last 16 of those in the Public Information Office. The regard held for Lt. Vance extends beyond the state lines to members of the national media.


His reassignment took the state by surprise because of the tremendous level of trust the public has in Lt. Vance, who has conducted himself with professionalism and compassion, and consistently has treated those with whom he interacts with respect. This has been seen time and time again but was especially poignant in the aftermath of the December, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT which took the lives of 20 children and 6 educators.


A few years ago in a lighter moment, I interviewed Lt. Vance when he was with a state police contingent at the Connecticut Building at the Big E – Eastern States Exposition – in West Springfield. MA. He was cordial and professional.


A piece written by WTNH producer Joyce Ogirri and posted on the station’s website March 17, includes a statement released by Lt. Vance as he prepares to start his new post.


He wrote, “I am asking everyone to work with and welcome my replacement … If I can be of any assistance to anyone please feel free to contact me at my new assignment.”


Lt. J.Paul Vance – a man of integrity.


See the tweet below to read the WTNH piece and Lt. Vance’s full statement.