BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Bristol’s police chief and mayor thanked the community Wednesday for its ongoing support following the deaths of Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy.
It’s been nearly two weeks since DeMonte, 35, and Hamzy, 34, were killed in an ambush attack. A third officer, Officer Alec Iurato, 26, was also wounded.
People across Connecticut and the country have rallied around the Bristol community, hoping to help in any way. Mayor Jeff Caggiano said they’re approaching the $1 million mark in donations, which is going to support the families of DeMonte and Hamzy.
Bristol police Chief Brian Gould thanked everything for the love and support, saying it has meant the world to them as they continue to grieve. He also asked qualified officers to apply and said they’ve already heard from people who say they want to join the force.
“They are human beings so, so they are out there, and they are truly remarkable and amazing that they are getting back in the saddle and going out what they took their oath like they swore to do while they are grieving,” Gould said. “One of the things we are going to have to do is hire quality police officers and we need to do it very quickly.”
Application information can be found here.
The owner of a local ice cream shop told News 8 that even though Bristol is a city, it came together like a small town two weeks ago. That ice cream parlor, a salon, and a pizzeria held a fundraising raffle last weekend, with the money going to the department.
There’s also the Heroes Fund, which benefits the families of DeMonte and Hamzy. As for the rest of the department, 35 different agencies have responded with help, including the Southington police STARS program, which stands for Start Talking About Rough Stuff.
Mental health professionals, chaplains and service animals, have shown up to help Bristol. Experts said that getting mental help early is very important in recovery.
Flowers and notes still cover the front of the Bristol Police Department. As for a permanent memorial, Caggiano is asking for ideas. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.