A Hartford Courant editorial published today condemned the New Haven Police Department’s response to Thursday’s layoffs.

Protesting the layoffs of 16 police officers, union leaders and more than 200 rank and file officers marched from police headquarters to City Hall. During the protest, police union president Louis Cavaliere warned the city’s residents that they ought to “start arming themselves” for protection, a suggestion the Courant editorial called “outrageous” and “thuggish.”

“New Haven deserves better,” the editorial said.

The editorial praised Mayor John DeStefano Jr. for taking concrete steps to narrow the city’s $5.5 million budget gap, even though that means the pain of job cuts is unavoidable.

“Rather than using accounting flim-flam to square the books, he’s doing it honestly by paring real expenses. Regrettably, that draws blood,” the editorial said.