2 gunfire incidents at Bridgeport mental health facility have employees on edge

News 12 spoke to staffers at the Greater Bridgeport Mental Health Center and obtained letters from Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services officers addressed to Connecticut state officials, revealing their safety concerns.

News 12 spoke to staffers at the Greater Bridgeport Mental Health Center and obtained letters from Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services officers addressed to Connecticut state officials, revealing their safety concerns. (1/26/14)

BRIDGEPORT - A security officer who works at a mental health facility in Bridgeport says there are concerns about staff safety in the wake of two recent incidents involving gunfire.

News 12 spoke to staffers at the Greater Bridgeport Mental Health Center and obtained letters from Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services officers addressed to Connecticut state officials, revealing their safety concerns.

The DMHAS says its main building in Bridgeport was recently struck by two bullets. Authorities say the other incident left bullet holes from ricocheted rounds in another nearby building.

DMHAS police officers are not allowed to speak with the media, but Stephanie Bantle, the wife of an officer, spoke with News 12. She says DMHAS officers are not allowed to carry a gun while on patrol.

“[The officers] are simply not protected, and that doesn't give me any comfort when I watch him put his uniform on in the morning,” says Bantle.

DMHAS officials said Sunday they will ask the Bridgeport Police Department to increase patrols in the area.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he will be working with the DMHAS police officers to make available federal resources, including special training, that will make them safer.

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