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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It seems that Chief Roberts didn't lose my number after all. He called yesterday and we had a long talk about various issues. It was a decent and respectful conversation. I know the sport of late has been pointing out problems at HPD and I know that much of that will eventually be documented as the independent report is completed and filed. As a sidenote, I hope the City of Hartford and Mayor Segarra really try to understand the meaning of transparency and don't play games with the release of the final report. Any attempt to avoid the release will only add to the mistrust of government and undermine the community's trust in HPD and its officers (not to mention potentially political suicide for anyone facing an election).

Ok, so here is the challenge: let me know what you think needs to be done to make HPD more effective. What programs can be changed to actually produce better results, what programs can be created or made more efficient?

Let's put the personalities aside and come up with some ideas to benefit Hartford and its neighborhoods. We all know many of the key players at HPD can, and probably will, change in the near future. The residents and business people who have made a committment to Hartford will not readily change. That is where we need to be thinking. Not about who's collecting the salaries at HPD, but who is trying to make change and do the right thing.

Most of you are well aware that the Chief, Mayor Segarra and most of City Hall and HPD read the blog. So if you have an idea or suggestion, I am asking you to post it here, but please make it a positive comment that can actually be used to better our City. Now that most of the mistakes have been pointed out, lets move forward and try to make something happen.

Let me know how creative we can be as a City. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

There's too many specialized units and teams at HPD. The backbone of any police force is patrol. Also the command structure is too top heavy. Slim these areas down and put more cops on foot beats. Foot beats foster better relations, intel and visibility.

Moral needs to be increased in-house. Command staff needs to place officers who are best qualified in positions and stop picking drinking buddies. They also need to spend less time trying to screw over the cops they have personal issues with. The recent shake up of management was one of the worse moral killers HPD ever experienced, fix it.

There needs to be more social functions that combine HPD and the community such as cook-outs or demonstrations (K-9, SWAT).

Command staff needs to listen to their officer's ideas and stop thinking only they have the best answers. Ideas and improvements work best when they flow up the chain of command not just down.

Community Service Officers need to listen the the public and bring their ideas back to Command Staff, who also need to listen.

The EAP position needs to be changed to to a position that can't work OT or private jobs.

Roberts and McKoy need to retire.

Cops need to be disciplined for not doing their jobs. Maybe via performance reviews that actually mean something.

Segarra (or whoever is the next Mayor) could replace the Chief with a civilian Police Commissioner like some of the top police agencies in America use.


Thank you, exactly the type of response I was hoping for. All ideas that seem pretty basic, but maybe that is what we need, to get back to the basics and stop re-inventing the wheel for everything.

The only issue with your ideas is the Police Commissioner type civilian. A sworn Chief with full police powers is required by the City code. If you recall, when Harnett was brought in and initially didn't meet POST requirements as a police officer, Perez floated the idea of making him an "unsworn" Chief and eventually had to plead to POST to get a waiver for him.

It is a good idea though, at that level, an administrator to lead the department is more important than having a "cop". If we could find both combined in one we'd be all set

Anonymous said...

Police should just completely and fully do their jobs.

They need to enforce every single quality of life law no matter how small it may seem, not look the other way.

From noise, litter, loitering, dog leash and scooper laws, every car stereo blasting, parking etc.

In other words they need to bust balls every day, every minute they're on the clock, for every little thing.

Anonymous said...

The problem is beyond Hartford. Its a societal/politcal problem. There needs to be more accountability. It's time for the Chief to go. The fatalities and crime in Hartford is unacceptable. The police officers need to be held accountable. If they are not doing their jobs, they need to be terminated. There are plenty of eager people, who WANT to make a difference who will go through the academy and gladly join HPD. I agree with the statement that the department is too top heavy, and yes morale is certainly an issue. However, this is not just HPD's problem. The citizens of Hartford need to step up and take pride in their city and help where they can. This also comes from the top. Yes, Im talking about City Hall. The fighting within the City Council is an embarrassment. It sets such a poor example for the residents. I also agree with the article in the Hartford Courant regarding Pedro Segarro's performance. He does a lot of talking and not a whole lot of action. His comment on crime in the city of "that's part of city living" is totally unacceptable. Yes the chief is responsible for HPD, but the mayor is ultimately responsible. Hartford - pick up your pride, hold your representatives accountable, and they will hold their subordinates accountable. Remove the power hungry council members who like to hear their own voices, and take responsibility for yourselves and make change happen in your city!

Anonymous said...

Due to the continued flow of negative comments there is a mentality of doing nothing in case it stirs up another hornet's nest. Combine that with the lack of decision making as to who is or is not going to be employed come July 1st and there is no desire to embark on many positive moves that could be made to improve the department. If this cannot be dealt with IMMEDIATELY the downward spiral of this department will continue.

peter brush said...

They need to enforce every single quality of life law no matter how small it may seem, not look the other way.
A couple of years ago, meeting a cop in his car at an intersection over there, I asked if it weren't illegal to drive ATF's or motor bikes through Pope Park. Response; not enough cops.
A few years back, I complained that no arrests were made upon police intervention in midnight drunken melee in our back alley. Response by a street-weary cop after he'd put me in cuffs; we can't arrest everybody.
Anonymous 10:05 has approximately the right idea.

Anonymous said...

so Kevin, what did DKR have to say? He went around telling people not to read your blog but he is responding to your last post? Did he appologize for his comments about you? Did he admit to acting unprofessionally? What did you ask him, was your conversation "off the record"?

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with anonymous 10:25. As a city employee nothing is more heartbreaking than all the little quality of life issues that envelop our great city. Litter. Noise from car stereos or mufflers. Motorcycles/go carts/scooters driving on roads with complete disregard for laws and others. Drug dealing. Start handing out citations and lets see how quickly most of this activity dries up. Fix the little stuff first and some of the big stuff will fall into line by itself.
Whats the simple solution to all this? More patrol officers. And not 2 to a cruiser driving by with the windows up. Foot patrols. Bikes. Motorcycles. Horses. Lets get officers out in the open where they are more likely to hear things around them, and citizens are more likely to approach them.
Just my $.02.

Anonymous said...

How to better the City of Hartford is kind of a broad question, but it's not impossible.

In my immediate neighborhood(Sheldon/Charter Oak) there are certain groups of people that are rude in their behavior (i.e. slowly crossing the street impeding traffic, acting like they own the street -almost "daring" drivers to hit them.

Also, the behavior I see in Colt Park is just as bad - throwing beer bottles and dirty pampers on the ground.

I mention this to make folks aware and realize that until we as a society go back to being respectful of others and taking pride where you live, not much will change.

I lived and worked for the City of Hartford for 14 yrs. until 2001. I left and returned to the city in 2008 and couldn't believe my eyes.

HPD cannot teach manners and respect to people - that's the job of the parents/guardians. Quality of life issues is an important part of any city, and until we get a handle on that....well, you know the drill.

I hope the Mayor and Chief Roberts understand that until Hartford has jobs for its' young people the city will continue in a downward spiral with crime getting worse.

If NYC found a way to improve its' quality of life issues, maybe it's time for the Mayor and the Chief to check out their handbook.

Anonymous said...

Effective and meaningful prisoner reentry programs are needed.

More attention should be given to the views of the CSOs given their connection to the residents.

Prosecutors must prosecute, not nolle cases.

A real commitment to encouraging block watches that integrate businesses.

Give up on the that the clergy can be an effective source of social change.

Clean the streets.

Engage the city and school board, and its teachers and social workers in what should lead to transforming each school into a full service center for, including evening hours.


Effective parents.

peter brush said...

Effective and meaningful prisoner reentry programs are needed.
Effective de-entry mechanisms much preferred.

Anonymous said...

I also think we could make better use of the tips line as a tool for residents to report suspicious activity. Unfortunately, many fear retaliation, so asking for a caller to give their name, address, phone number, etc. then having a cruiser pull up to their house isn't going to make the person who reports the behavior feel safe. Other cities have used tools like this as a way to keep their ear to the ground, Hartford should be able to do the same. I also strongly agree that citing people for breaking the small laws will lead to bigger busts. How many times have we seen cars speeding through red lights in Hartford and nothing happens? In most cases, I'd bet those drivers are uninsured and sometimes on under the influence.

Anonymous said...

Save Chief Horvath!


Anonymous 11:45am:

Ok, let's hear some reasons why

Seeing right thru the BS said...

Mr. Brush, u make many good points, but as far as the ATV/motorcycle issues, there is HUGE liability in addressing those things. Many of the operators don't have valid licenses to begin with and their immediate response is to flee. It's almost a game to these guys. Then after they flee and T-Bone an innocent law abiding citizen driving home from "work" (there's a novel idea)and kills him or her and possibly himself, it opens the city up to huge lawsuits from the ATV/motorcycle riders family as well as the "work" victim's. Then comes more negative press. So, in essence, our hands are kinda tied on that front, unless a well coordinated effort by a few officers are lucky enough to have the ideal circumstances to capture them in an a not so densely populated area.

The perception throughout the department has taken away the focus of doing "the job", PATROL. So many of the newer officers want to wear football jerseys and cannot even complete the basic paperwork and thus, there reports are rife with errors and lacking in PC when they make their trespassing arrests for a person who lives in the building he was "trespassing" in front of[sic]. The standards are being lowered as a result of the department being so young now. WE gotta get back to BASICS!!!

The most recent Sergeant's Exam had two officers with less than the 4yrs(Hartford time) that used to be required. In order to be a detective, an officer used to need 5yrs experience and that standard has also been lowered. The idea that we should get back to is RAISING THE BAR not lowering it. The "Good Ole Boy" network is still thriving and doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

Morale is down and with the impending changing of the guard that is inevitable by year's end, it won't change anytime soon. Just ask the guys who were candidates to fill those anticipated personnel vacancies.

Getting assistance from CSP is a good idea in theory at least, the perception in the community is that they're gonna come in and save the day but in reality, we have a strong enough core of HARTFORD supervisors and officers that can carry out plans from the "smart guys" on the second floor and are willing and capable to do what it takes to make Hartford streets safe for the citizens. Instead of paying a Hartford officer OT to work with a CSP, use the $$$ to pay Hartford guys to work with another Hartford cop. This would be more effective and builds confidence, trust and camaraderie within HPD, what's the saying? Service, Relationships, Safety
Let's build it within HPD before we invite other folks in to do the job WE signed up for. That means ALL of us NOT the SAME 5 or 6 guys. There's a lot of wasted talent because of the perception of guys who have done very little, but their opinions are taken as gospel and cops with untapped potential are left to "rot" in patrol.

Let's make it a career again for everyone who wants it, not just a job.
Kevin, when is the last minute meeting and announcement to let everyone know that some $$$ was found (prob in someone else's fund) to save at least one of the A/C jobs? DKR tell ya that???

Anonymous said...

HPD is so tied up with meaningless calls for service where the same domestic comes in with the same old song and dance that we cannot handle the mountains of paperwork involved with the heavy volume of calls for service vs. the proactive police activity where we can actually make a difference. I know several officers that have a wild hair for motor vehicle enforcement... they write numerous summons, tickets, make motor vehicle arrests etc etc yet everything gets dropped every time. And even if the case is prosecuted, they find some way to get their sentence released after a short time served. HPD does a lot of proactive policing yet it has little effect because the suspects know how to play the game, cheat the system and get over on the law. HPD does their part (even if it is only a select few on each shift) many citizens don't realize it because they are not feeling the difference on their streets.

Anonymous said...

See Kevin even when challenged to bring a reason forward to save Horvath they can't. That blogger must of been from the command staffs minions. Just like the command staff they can't defend or back up a position other than "because I said so."
The real intreseting thing will be come July 1st who will be there and who won't and if DKR goes againt the Mayor and the Council then he'll be gone sooner than later. It's amazing how most of the command staff can take vacations at this critical time of year, with cuts looming to command staff and violent crime on the rise great leadership we have, no wonder this dept. is in the mess it's in.
Positive change would be to allow the individuals with ideas and are forward thinkers who actually care about the city and the dept. they work for implement these ideas to build a sense of pride in what they do. Stop the seperatist division within the dept. Everyone needs to share info. and work together and not worry about who gets the credit because in the end if they work together then everyone can take credit for the good results.

Anonymous said...

So Kevin, what did the chief have to say about everything going on around him? What did you ask him? Why did he call you? Did he ask anything of you? You called your conversation "decent and respectful" what else did you expect?

Your silence is rather uncharacteristic of you. Oh, that's right, you have a political further to start thinking about.

Bill said...

Anon @ 9:50,

I'd be careful with what you post, because based on what you write it's obvious you're one who's gotta go.

Anonymous said...

"The backbone of any police force is patrol."

"Cops need to be disciplined for not doing their jobs. Maybe via performance reviews that actually mean something"

"Command staff needs to listen to their officers and stop thinking only they have the best answers"


NUFF SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill said...

I've gotta say, the first post from Anonymous at 9:25 is somewhat contradicting. I agree with just about everything mentioned excluding the first paragraph.

They said there are too many specialized units and teams, then later mentions how HPD needs to do more K-9 or ERT demonstrations. What would they be demonstrating if there weren't those special units?

They also mention how patrol is the backbone of any police force, that statement is true as well it is true for HPD.

I completely agree with putting more walk beats and bike patrol out. There is a mounted patrol but you wouldn't know because you never see them out, they need to be more visible in more areas.

The Traffic Unit needs to be significantly larger, that means not just in Downtown and spending all day on click-it or ticket campaigns and commuting distracted driving violators. They need to be stepping out on every traffic violation they see, that means in the residential areas where most drivers don't know the meaning of a red light. Then maybe that 9 year old wouldn't have been hit by a car on Garden St. tonight if people knew they will actually get a ticket for speeding or other traffic violations within the City of Hartford.
Why was a 9 year old on Garden St. at night is beyond me. Regardless of the horrible parenting skills there have been many pedestrians struck, in fact Hartford is the most dangerous City for pedestrians in the entire North East. I have a feeling those numbers could be persuaded by the amount of jay walking that goes unpunished all over the Capitol City while there are perfectly good crosswalks at every intersection. That's another thing that any officer regardless of their unit can step out on, even if it's just to check ID and a verbal warning.

Everything that I've mentioned goes hand in hand with increasing the size of the department. The days should be over for bleeding Federal grants and State money and showing as little as possible for it within the Police Dept. all while at the same time keeping the department at the bare minimum of sworn officers.

I think the idea of a Police Commissioner at HPD is a fantastic one.

peter brush said...

Mr. Brush, u make many good points, but as far as the ATV/motorcycle issues, there is HUGE liability in addressing those things. Many of the operators don't have valid licenses to begin with and their immediate response is to flee.
Hell, half the guys in cars don't have licenses/insurance. But, they aren't required, it seems, for these dirt bikes, atvs, mopeds...
I understand the concern about liability, but if that prevents enforcement of prohibition of motor vehicles in parks there must be a need for a legislative fix. Suppose a kid gets clipped by one of these jerks zipping through Pope Park; is there not a shyster who will claim the city has liability?
Also, the behavior I see in Colt Park is just as bad - throwing beer bottles and dirty pampers on the ground.

I mention this to make folks aware and realize that until we as a society go back to being respectful of others and taking pride where you live, not much will change.
Agreed. And, don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

Year to date there have been 86 Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. 35 of these heroes brutally murdered by gunfire (up 21%). It's time to take Law Enforcement resources away from politics and realize that this is a record year for Line of Duty deaths.

Anonymous said...

lets talk about all the racism in HPD the blacks are so called inferior hits superior and hispanics uhhhhhh who knows this last cass a black nd asian fired but officer lassen three off duty incidents no punishment wow i say we all start wearing white sheets and pointy hoods with a nazi symbol as our logo

Black Dynamite said...

Im voting Stan Mcauley fo mayor Dynamite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peter brush said...

i say we all start wearing white sheets and pointy hoods with a nazi symbol as our logo
From a public safety pov I'm ok with the logo, but the sheets are very inconvenient when driving, bicycling, or having safe sex.

Anonymous said...

Hartford needs an intervention. If they don't accept it, Let hartford hit rock bottom. Rebuild after.



As you know I hardly ever do not post a comment. I almost didn't post your last comment, and most times your comments add to the discussion, but I have to say that in this case, whether sarcastic or not, to find anything acceptable about "nazi logo's" or any place for them or KKK symbols in our current society is way off base.

Although I know you were responding to a previous comment, there is no place to find such comments acceptable

peter brush said...

It's your site, and thanks for your work. Do what you want.

green lantern said...

I don't think we need an organized bully squad like the kkk or natzis. I do think more cops, and also give the police the green light to drop the hammer. The only thing the chief and mayor are scared of are nonsense complaints against officers because the citizen did not not get their way or because their personnel feelings were hurt. In reality, until the police are given the ability to do their job, the less desirable non- tax paying citizens of hartford will continue to throw trash and drive unregistered vehicles.......quads too.

Anonymous said...

Kevin have you heard anything about the command staff who's stating or who's going? It's the new fiscal year and DKR had to make a decision and was it what the council recommended under the direction of the Mayor?

Anonymous said...

Everyone with the Rank of Deputy Chief and Above need to leave... Frankly, their strategies aren't working and we've seen the proof with the recent homicides. The following need to be promoted ASAP: Officers Morande, and Peleski, Sergeant Bremser, Lieutenants Rodriguez, Sigersmith, and Brooks, and Capitan Long. They are the backbone to Hartford Police and display this in their work each and everyday. They've been taught and trained how to protect the city we all love, the right way. It's only a matter of time until something happens that we cant fix or cover up. Promote these officers so Hartford can be the great city it once was.

Anonymous said...

Hartford needs a new Police Chief! Getting rid of Chief Mckoy is just the beginning. Im surprised Mayor Segarra has not seen that yet! I want to know why is he blind to this fact? The dept is in the worst shape than it has ever been before. Officer moral is very, very low. The prejudical and sexiest conduct within the dept. has gotton much worst under DKR regime. The civilian staff is treated like garbadge, with little or no regard or respect! Internal issues are making it difficult to effectively run the dept. Until internal issues are properly and fairly dealt with, how can HPD be effective? Also if the City needs money definately look more closely at the HPD overtime.

Anonymous said...

HPD has too many officers sitting at desks performing clericl duties. At least two in the Chief's office. Three or more at the window when you first walk in 50 Jennings Road acting as reptionists. Soon all supervisors will be entering their own payroll. Why? Just take a count of how many officers are sitting at desks within HPD performing clerical duties, you just might find a new police force to help fight the crime on Hartford streets. Isnt that what they were hired to do in the first place? How much money are they paying thse officers to perform clerical duties? Im asking Mayor Segarra what has Chief Roberts been selling you?

Anonymous said...

Its amazing that the last comment has to do with officers who work with the overtime riden traffic division that does not take accidents. Just hire whoever they want. It must be nice to be given stuff based on how much you drink with someone. .........

Anonymous said...

All the names mentioned are correct. Bremser , Sigersmith, are good dudes. Fair to everone. But i Think Long needs a refresher course on how to treat people. It will be funny when his derogatory comments made to officers are recorded one day and put on channel 3. Good way to earn respect from your troops.

Above all, Make Capt. Buyak a Chief. Now that is a real leader!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Traffic Cone said...

To cronie 4:29, Really..promote asap. what are you smoking. long, morande, pileski? Really When was the last time they took an accident report for Patrol. They are overtime junkies that only care about their paychecks and how much overtime they get scheduled for. when was the last time Long was thrown out of the Mardi Gras in Springfield. He had to tin his way out of a beating.