Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I'll start this off by saying I like the job Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts has done and is doing. I respect the Chief's honesty and his integrity and I am sure some of his detractors that read this blog are screaming at their monitors right now as they read this.

But there has to be some days when he goes to put on his uniform in the morning and ask himself why he does the job he does. He has the time to retire and go to some small town and settle in without the callout's in the middle of the night, the constant battles for funding and staffing and equipment.He could even go to UConn and make almost double what he is making here. For anyone who doesn't know Chief Roberts though, he is all about Hartford.

Any Chief, especially in a city like Hartford has to be 1/3 cop, 1/3 administrator and 1/3 psychologist. The Chief recently had to make some tough decisions when it came to promotions, several qualified candidates and he only had two slots to fill. That's where the psychologist part comes in, and may not be the Chief's strongest suit, but he tries, I think. He has been passed over for promotions during his career I'm sure, even when he thought he was the most qualified and should have been promoted.

The tough part for any Chief is trying to keep morale up and keep the interest of those passed over, while being honest about why choices are made.

The toughest part has to be days like today though. This Chief, his command staff and probably 95% of the men and women of the Hartford Police Department are about building relationships and working with members of the community. But it only takes one officer, maybe even an otherwise good officer, just having a bad day to move that whole process quite a few steps backwards.

Who knows what Officer Kevin Brodie's day started off like yesterday. Several people I spoke with have told me he is normally a decent guy. Maybe he had an argument at home before starting his shift yesterday, maybe he had a splitting headache throughout the day. Who knows what was said to him by a 17 year old when he answered a complaint at a school on Locust Street.

Nothing though can ever justify his actions from that point on. An altercation occurred where Brodie was allegedly the aggressor. After delivering his beat down to the 17 year old, Brodie apparently returned to his cruiser and told the bystanders and potential witnesses that if anyone had a problem with his actions, come see him in his cruiser and he would wait a half-hour to deal with anyone who had a problem.

Probably not the poster child for any campaign on Community oriented policing plans.

The bottom line is that his actions that probably lasted only a moment or two casts a huge negative shadow over the entire department and erases much of the positive work that Chief Roberts and his fellow officers do every day to build relationships.

One of the most positive signs though is that under Roberts the "Blue Wall of Silence" has pretty much been torn down. I would be naive to think it still doesn't exist, it's human nature, not just in Hartford though but even in small towns like Windsor Locks, but eventually the system works itself out.

A month or so ago I posted that until we start hiring robots as cops, we still need to deal with the human issues of police officers. Our police officers still need to be picked from the same pool of human candidates and no system is perfect. What if a potential police officer candidate had anger issues before being hired and through a court ordered program eventually had a record sealed or dismissed. That legally can't be used during a background investigation , unfortunately , and the department's hands are tied.

All any Chief or administrator can hope for is that if and when such behavior occurs again, it is dealt with quickly and openly to once again begin building on the public's trust.

I think that is why Chief Roberts and almost every officer working with him continues to get up every morning and put those uniforms on. Hartford is a great City and we have a good Police Department of human beings trying to do the best they can, and most times under very difficult circumstances and conditions. Nothing is perfect, but I think for the most part we are lucky that we have the 450 or so officers that we do.

Hopefully Kevin Brodie will find a suitable career that he is fit for because this doesn't seem to be it. Luckily the problem was revealed and dealt with quickly, Brodie has been a Hartford Police officer for less than 8 months.

And just a reminder, keep your comments on point or they will not be posted.


Anonymous said...

Well you make some good points. There are a lot of good cops out there. Good cops who on some days need to talk to somebody. Didn’t the chief honestly tell you he was going to improve the EAP program? What has he done? Guess what; on this very day Officer Brodie was having a bad day, or had a headache, when he probably needed help the most, the EAP coordinator was doing his usual thing- working a private job.

The police department needs an EAP coordinator who doesn’t just have the position to work extra jobs. But this is a spot held by the chief’s buddy, so good luck. Keeping up morale at the PD left a long time ago. Promotions did present some tough choices recently for the chief.
But since when does the most qualified candidate get the position or promotion at HPD? I doubt the chief was ever been passed over when he was the most deserving candidate. In fact, he only passed the sergeants test because of a grade curve, he finished very low on his lieutenants test, and most importantly, unlike his entire command staff, he never took a captains test! Then he got made chief for the north end vote under crooked Mayor Eddie. Staying on point, to your point, morale had to be monitored every time Roberts got promoted.

Anonymous said...

I agree with above comment. Sounds like an HPD cop wrote that and I am one as well.

The Chief should make the EAP position a non-overtime/PJ job. Advertise that fact right up front so someone who cares about the welfare of our brothers and sisters in blue takes the job and not someone who just wants a plush position to make extra pay.

Here's two HPD cops speaking out and asking for change and help and there's a lot more than us two. Will change happen and moral improved? Not very likely.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the EAP position be filled by a qualified therapist? Crisis Intervention is one thing, need cops (with special training) for that, but for normal day to day stressors EAP should be handled by mental health professionals.

Anonymous said...

The PD does have trained therapists under contract. The EAP Officer acts as a liaison between the PD and therapists. The advantage of the EAP Officer is he can personally relate to the specific stress of police work and hopefully identify personal issues in the field and intervene before they build up. At least he can when he's not working road jobs.

The sad part of this is the PD will spend more time and resources trying to figure out which two cops posted this, than they will talking about changes.

Anonymous said...

I think the so called cops that posted the last comments don't know what their talking about. Lenny does a great job and tries to help everyone in need. Just because he's EAP doesn't mean that he has psychic abilities. It doesn't sound like people are calling his phone off the hook looking for help. Just like detectives need the public to help solve crimes, Lenny needs his fellow officers to help him help those in need. That being said, if you know an officer who is under some stress you should notify Lenny and inform him of that officer in need. If you don't then your just not a real friend / brother in blue. And dont get upset when your fellow officer(s) gets fired for his actions when you could have helped.
About PJ's, everybody should be entitled to work extra for extra pay. Times are tough and cops need to make ends meet also. Don't be jealous because he's making money.
P.S. Lenny has a bluetooth so he's available while flapping his arms on Albany Avenue.

Anonymous said...

When is it a good day to be Chief, especially this one. Under his leadership this department's morale has gone down the toliet. It is true that this Chief had less than stellar test scores,ok,let's say if it wasn't for the so called "bell curve" he would not of been promoted. How do you achive a score that is well below failing and get a score of 100 on the Oral. we've all heard him speak. Acting Mayor Segarra should of gotten rid of him when he had the chance,maybe after the Robles trial and with this latest blackeye on HPD maybe someone at City hall will look at his leadeship ability. Now back to the issue at hand, Officer Brodie, if the supervisor assigned to the backgrounds division would of done his job insted of working private duty assignments then maybe we would not be talking about Officer Brodie at all. Let's not try and blame just one person but look at the whole process from the Detective who did the background check and the Chief who agreed to hire him. Utlimiatley the blame lies with the Chief the ultimate hiring authority, bad day to be a Chief, huh.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the supervisor of IAD should be fired for not doing his job concerning the Brodie case. The city is liable for this idiots actions.
HPD needs new leadership in all areas. There needs to be more oversight not just for officers they do not like, everyone, fairly.

Twila said...

Yes, the same "idiot" who has given 24 years of his life serving this country in the military. The same idiot who works hard daily to make sure that he provides for all his children. Don't forget that it is the same idiot who has volunteered to help inner city and high school kids by coaching them in track and field for many years and helping them to keep their lives straight long before the cop job. Get to know someone before you condemn them.



I went back through my post and the comments, and unless I'm missing something, no one was referred to as an "idiot" anywhere in the post or the comments.

And there were issues that should have been addressed regarding past anger issues before he was hired. Everything you mentioned doesn't mean he isn't a good person, I've never met him so I can't say. Knowing what I know regarding past anger problems, whether they have been sealed by the Courts or not, probably didn't make him the best person to hand a badge and gun to.

Twila said...

Kevin, you are right, I read it back myself and have seen that the "idiot" comment (the last one) was not for him. I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

If a thorough background check was done, Office Brodie would have NEVER made it to HPD. And he does not take care of ALL his kids--if so why would there be so many child support garnishments? Not only that, in his background check it would have come up that he was married to two women at the same time, attempted to marry a third and the Army covered it up. He hid behind the military--thats exactly what he did. Not to mention if I am not mistaken the "wife" that he may now married to come to this country on false pretenses, and get this....OFFICER BRODIE ADMITTED HE MARRIED HER TO "HELP HER OUT". So any idiot can get a job with HPD!! They should have seen this coming!