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Monday, February 17, 2020

WHY IS H.P.D. AFRAID OF 29-17 ?



The City of Hartford has an ordinance on its books and has had this ordinance for some time. Essentially it gives the Police Chief in Hartford the authority to require police officers to be hired at any business, including bars , that are determined by the Chief of Police to be valid nuisance and a threat to Public Safety of the businesses "patrons, invitees, employees or the general Public.".

For some reason the HPD Administration seems to be afraid of enforcing this ordinance. There are several businesses, liquor establishments in particular, that are chronic problems when it comes to fights, shootings, stabbings and overall general violent crime. Club Majestic, the scene of Hartford's most recent homicide is a prime example. There have been numerous shootings, stabbings and assaults at Club Majestic in recent history. Yet, Club Majestic remains unscathed and continues to operate with immunity from HPD enforcement.

And make no mistake, Club Majestic is not alone in creating a public nuisance with the behavior of their clientele, These nuisances dot Hartford's neighborhoods, both North and South, East and West. The one thing they all seem to have in common is the owners that are more than willing to allow anyone in , willing to pay the price of admission and drinks. They even seem to ignore State liquor laws without any consequences. One patron shot at Club Majestic was, according to Police, a 19 year old "customer".

The solution to this behavior, apparently as shown by the HPD Administration  is to strip every available resource out of quieter neighborhoods to "babysit" the nuisance bars where the owners refuse to provide proper Security for their customers. They must be reading the articles on "evidenced based Policing"  and drinking the Texas Kool-Aid.

It is wrong to reassign Community Service Officers who should be patrolling the neighborhoods they have built relationships with to enhance the quality of life across the City. These officers, along with Patrol Officers are stripped out to sit in front of problem bars, while most neighborhoods receive far less coverage than they deserve on busy bar nights and weekends at the expense of other neighborhoods

Ordinance 29-17 should be used to force bar owners to maintain Public Safety in their establishments. The Police Chief has the power to do it and it will send a clear message to bar owners to clean up their acts before they have to pay HPD to do it.

It is a matter of Public Safety and the Police Chief can not be afraid to do his job while continuing to dance around the issue of violent crime endangering Hartford's neighborhoods. It is a handful of problem locations but they contribute greatly to Hartford's violent crime, both reality and perception.

A uniformed Police Officer at these problem locations will send a clear message to those entering to take the gun play elsewhere, we don't want it.


Ordinance 29 17  on Scribd

Sunday, February 16, 2020

HARTFORD NEEDS... AND DESERVES A FULL TIME MAYOR

Luke Bronin on the campaign trail in New Hampshire ( Courant photo)


I get tired of people that continually use Hartford and its residents as pawns in their complicated games of ego chess.

Hartford's Mayor Luke Bronin is one of the people that plays that game and thinks no one is smart enough or even cares enough to pay attention. But we do.

If you remember, shortly after his first election he went on the campaign circuit for failed Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I think the Bronin's and the Malloy's had the moving vans reserved and backed up to the front door on election night, ready for their ascension back to Washington D.C. as a reward from Hillary. I am sure there was much anger from Luke and Sara when the results started rolling in and they realized they were stuck in Hartford. I am sure they never thought Donald Trump could win.

Since that didn't work out as planned, Luke came up with another scheme. He would ride the coat tails of his Capitol godfather Dan Malloy into the Governor's Office. I guess he didn't pay attention to the polls to realize how unpopular Governor Malloy was as he was leaving office.

Regardless, he spent months criss-crossing the State of Connecticut on his campaign efforts when he should have been focusing on the promises he made to the people of Hartford to get elected.

Hartford suffered while Luke ran, but what does that matter, he had his eyes set on a greater prize.

Well, that effort also flopped and Luke was once again stuck in Hartford.

Now at a time when opioid deaths are soaring in Hartford, Hartford School students are assaulting Administrators, violence in the schools is starting to boil over. That evidenced by this weeks stabbing of a student at the Hartford Schools latest showplace, Weaver High School. And lets not forget the gun violence that has given Hartford the proud distinction of the most violent City in Connecticut and most likely New England.

Much of those things are happening under the watch of Luke Bronin, but then again, it is hard to see those disasters when you are out on the campaign trail. Whether that campaign trail was for a failed Hillary, a failed run for wannabe Governor Bronin or now his long shot support for Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg . Bronin spent much of last week out of Hartford campaigning for Mayor Pete instead of staying in Hartford doing his job as Mayor Luke, the job he was elected for.

If nothing else, if by some fluke, Buttigieg is elected, I could probably resurrect the nickname of lying Luke. Does anyone else remember Bronin's campaign promise that he was happy in Hartford and had every intention of completing his four year term as Mayor?

I can picture the conversation now from a snowy café in Nashua , New Hampshire.

Bronin to Buttigieg, "When you get elected as President,Pete  where would I fit into your Administration ?You know I am up here in the cold campaigning for you when I should be focusing on my own mess in Hartford"

Hartford needs a Mayor that cares about Hartford and can honor his (or her) commitment to make Hartford a better place, not to ascend to the next rung on their ladder of political aspirations.

So far we have not seen that commitment from Luke Bronin to Hartford.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

IS IT REALLY ABOUT THE CHILDREN ?



I think we would all like to think that the number one function of the Hartford Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres-Rodriguez is to protect and educate Hartford's children.  At least two recent moves by the Hartford BOE seem  to show that protection of children may be the furthest thing from the reality

One of Hartford's most productive programs for mentoring and nurturing Hartford's children is in jeopardy due to actions by the Superintendent.

One of the first moves made by former Hartford Police Chief James Rovella (now Public Safety Commissioner for the State of Connecticut)  when he took over at HPD several years ago was to rejuvenate the PAL program. Rovella modeled the program after the very successful Waterbury PAL program. Now retired Deputy Chief Neville Brooks was tasked with researching the Waterbury program, and those successes were built into Hartford's program.

Hartford PAL was rebuilt as a 501c3 non profit with an energetic Board of Directors to move the program forward. Under Rovella and the new Board, hundreds of Hartford's youth have had a very positive mentoring experience as well as very positive interactions with Hartford Police Officers and others while providing very positive character building.

I remember originally when Rovella was fighting to find and establish a permanent home for Pal, he had expressed his frustration to me  in trying to fight budget cuts that would threaten PAL, the Cadet program and the explorer program which essentially formed the basis for his future minority recruitment programs for HPD officers by working with the youth at an early age.

Chief Rovella  eventually was able to secure a home for the program in the old Quirk School at 85 Edwards Street. That building was on the western side of two buildings making up the school. The eastern side was eventually renovated and re branded as the Global Communications Academy.

The Hartford PAL program has been so successful that their Board of Directors was able to propose and secure $7.5 million in State funding for renovations to the PAL facility for the initial stage of improvements to the building.

PAL, in preparation for meeting their facility needs had worked out an arrangement with the Superintendent of Schools for temporary usage of  space in the Eastern school building, the recently renovated Global Communications Academy.

Now that the time has come to relocate the PAL Programs, the Superintendent has apparently reneged on her promise of space usage for PAL. This apparently came as a surprise to the PAL Board , who felt that they had been dealing with the Superintendent in good faith to protect the future of the program to continue serving Hartford's children.

The Superintendent apparently backed out on her promise to move forward another initiative that  also may prove to be shortsighted and harmful to Hartford's Children. The Superintendent and the BOE will be moving the Adult Education programs into the Global Communications Academy building soon.

This makes no sense to house the adult programs in a building for children. What protections will be put in place? Will full background checks now be required for any adult using the Adult Education programs? How will the facility be divided to make sure adults taking classes will not be interacting or in way have their behavior influencing the children entrusted to the buildings? Will there be separate bathroom and cafeteria facilities?

A check of HPD calls for service to the current Adult Education facility at 110 Washington Street will show that the program is not exempt from problems and those problems are not fitting for a school with children attending.

The PAL program is too valuable to Hartford's Youth for this to be allowed I don't want to paint Adult Education  users with too wide of a b rush, but if there is any interaction between adults and children, it is the responsibility of the BOE and the Superintendent to take every possible step to protect the children as well as finding temporary space to house the successful PAL program

I think the parents as well as the staff at Global would agree.

To l;earn  more about the Hartford PAL program , click here 
https://www.hartfordpal.org/



Thursday, January 16, 2020

AMATEUR HOUR WITH THE HARTFORD CITY COUNCIL

With the state of politics both nationally and locally, I think many of us are hoping for a glimmer of hope that some politicians actually realize why they are in Office.

Well, we can rule out the newly sworn in Hartford City Council for being able to look at the bigger picture. With all of the problems facing Hartford, apparently the Hartford City Council feels that the greatest problem facing them is being able to silence Former Minority Leader Wildaliz Bermudez. The City Council under the "leadership" (and I use that word loosely) of newly elected Council President Maly Rosado is already becoming mired in the quicksand of Hartford's party politics.

To waste time on the issue of Minority leadership shows that they just don't get it. The minority leadership position has no real value other than having the title on your name plaque. A good Council person can form and build consensus with or without the title to do what is best and needed for Hartford's people.

I am told that years ago, the late Nick Carbone played similar games with Bob Ludgin , also a former Councilman. When Ludgin's title was not recognized, Ludgin moved his "office" into the pay phone booth outside of the Council Chambers to show that he would function and do his job with or without the trappings of a ceremonial title. I think eventually Nick Carbone, who was a master of Hartford Politics negotiated a truce and the Council Business moved forward.

Today , I am told, Bermudez's reserved parking space at City Hall was also taken away from her. This is ridiculous and Council President Rosado needs to remedy this issue and stop the amateur gamesmanship and show that she really understands what leadership is about. If this behavior continues, Rosado's Presidency may start to mirror another Presidency that has been in the news as of late. It doesn't serve anyone , especially the residents of Hartford. Grow up and act like adults

Thursday, December 19, 2019

SO WHAT IS PLAN B?

A severe cold snap is upon us and there will most likely be more this winter. Last week the Office of Mayor Bronin announced the opening of a new/consolidated warming shelter at the former Milner School.

It seemed hopeful that at least Hartford's homeless would have a place to go other than under bridges and overpasses.

It was very disappointing last night to hear Hartford's Police dispatchers telling Patrol Officers over the HPD radio that as early as 10:30PM last night , the warming shelter was full and not accepting any new arrivals.

Is this the best Mayor Bronin and the City can do? I thought that school was a little bit bigger than that or is it that our homeless problem is bigger than that?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

CITY OF HARTFORD ORDERED TO PAY UP FOR POLICE CONTRACT VIOLATIONS

The City of Hartford has been ordered to pay 5 Police Captains an estimated $100,000 dollars in back pay.

 The award resulted in the City's loss due to a grievance filed in October of 2018 by Hartford Police Union President John Szewczyk, Jr. on behalf of his membership, specifically the 5 recently promoted Captains.

 According to the union contract, Szewczyk claimed, that wording required the City to promote the five Captains at the time the vacancies actually became available due to retirements that started to occur almost as far back as March of 2017. The City failed to fill the positions, an apparent violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for over a year. The positions were actually filled on September 23, 2018 , when five Lieutenants were promoted to the rank of Captain.

The actual Arbitration Award decision is below.