New Haven, Connecticut Mayor Toni Harp has become America’s first mayor to recognize future veterans of the future Space Force, with a law that will provide pension buybacks to encourage Space Force veterans to become police officers and firefighters.
It’s a notable achievement for an anti-Trump mayor presiding over a sanctuary city. Trump even once called her out during a speech: “We have some hardworking people in this room,” he said, referring to mayors from around the nation who were visiting the White House. “Toni Harp. Where’s Toni? Uh oh. Can’t be a sanctuary city person. That’s not possible. Is it?”
The sanctuary city mayor typically opposes everything Trump supports. She even accused one opponent of conspiring with the Trump administration to have the FBI subpoena documents from her office. That charge proved baseless, and contributed to her loss in November’s election.
However, as one of her last acts in office, Harp took action to back the president’s Space Force. New Haven was the most unlikely city to legitimize this new branch of our nation’s Armed Services. Harp aside, the city government is made up entirely of Democrats.
The new law states, in part:
Any current sworn firefighter who has served in a branch of the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, or Marines) prior to becoming a New Haven Firefighter, shall have the opportunity to purchase pension time for each year of active service (1 year of military service = 1 year of service for pension purposes) and have said time credited for pension purposes, up to a maximum of four (4) years.
Public safety jobs are ideally suited for our veterans. As a chief and instructor at the Fire Academy and Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), I have seen firsthand the benefits of hiring and training our veterans. Their life experience adds value to any public safety department. Fire and police departments around the nation should follow New Haven’s lead in supporting veterans, including the future men and women of the Space Force.
History has taught us that we should look to the future. The Air Force faced the same criticism the Space Force faces today. Today, no one can deny the USAF’s contribution to our liberty.
President Trump should be commended; even in the face of adversity, he has stayed the course and is working to put America first. The president’s vision, including his Space Force, recognizes the changing threats that our nation must face.
Frank Ricci (@RicciSCOTUS) was the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Ricci v. DeStefano. He is an advisory board member for Fire Engineering Magazine, and a battalion chief and union president in New Haven, Conn. Ricci’s opinions are not related to and do not reflect those of his employer of the professional organizations in which is involved.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.