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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It seems like it will never end, but once again, the deck chairs are being re-arranged on the sinking Titanic known as HPD. In a city suffering from extremely violent crimes this year, I'm not sure anyone on the command level at HPD gets it.

When approving this years budget, the Council seemed to send a clear message that they thought the Hartford Police Department was top heavy with "leaders". The Council cut $300,000 from the budget specifically from the Chiefs Office and , again, seemed to make it pretty clear that they wanted two Assistant Chief positions cut. As of tomorrow, one position will be eliminated and resulted in the termination, retirement,resignation or whatever you want to call it, of Assistant Chief Lester McKoy.

Now as a result of that, one other Assistant Chief position that the Council wanted cut remains still filled by Assistant Chief John Horvath, the lowest in seniority of the two remaining Assistant Chiefs.

In reassigning the tasks that Chief McKoy was responsible for prior to his termination, retirement, resignation or whatever you want to call it, it has resulted in a full scale shake up of the Chief's Complex.

Not only was Chief Horvath's position "saved" through the efforts of Chief Roberts, it also resulted in two new police officer positions being cut from the new recruit class to find the money to save Horvath. If that wasn't bad enough, Assistant Chief Horvath has now been assigned a Lieutenant to serve as his "Executive Officer". From what sources are telling me, this is the first time that an Assistant Chief has had an executive officer assigned to them.

If the Council was trying to send a message to the Chief, it seems like the message isn't being heard. The two remaining Deputy Chiefs have also had their assignments redefined. Since the creation of those positions at the start of the "Neighborhood Policing Plan" several years ago, one Deputy Chief was responsible for the North half of the City and the other responsible for the South half of the City. That will no longer be the case.

Also, at least two Lieutenants have had their responsibilities increased in addition to the Lieutenant who has been assigned as Horvath's executive officer. Lt. Mac Hawkins, who was supervising Major Crimes for the last few months, has been assigned as the "XO" to Horvath. Hawkins played a key role with his performance on the Pawtucket Street shooting video.

Lt. Brian Foley has been assigned as the new Commander of the Major Crimes Division and the Evidentiary Services Division. This move seems to make sense as the two divisions typically work hand in hand after almost every major crime incident. Foley is a capable supervisor that will hopefully take full advantage of the opportunity. Foley comes from a family with a long line of law enforcement professionals.

The interesting part is that Foley currently has a lawsuit pending against Chief Roberts. It might be hard to prove any discrimination on the part of Robert's against Foley now that Foley has been given what many would consider the prime assignment for a Lieutenant at HPD. Foley's claim was that Roberts had made homophobic and unprofessional comments publicly directed at Foley.

Lieutenant Lance Sigersmith, who had commanded the Major Crimes division until recently when he was transferred to the Intelligence Division will also apparently take on the responsibility of the Crime Analysis Division. Sigersmith is also a very capable and professional supervisor and probably one of the most well educated members of HPD, having attained his Masters degree.Lt. Sigersmith would be one of those at the top of my list if I had a choice for the next Chief at HPD.

I think the expansion of the areas of responsibility for Foley and Sigersmith make sense in streamlining the Department. The assignment of Hawkins to shadow Horvath does not. Supervision and uniformed bodies on the streets are what we need right now, not another layer of management to prop up an Assistant Chief.

City Hall should really look at the issue of cutting the two new police officers to save Horvath's position. Horvath will most likely retire and be gone in a couple years, the two new recruits who were cut would be serving the City, quite possibly for the next 20 years or more. As the numbers of officers continues to drop, we need every body on the street possible. Although the number of Officers came close to 460 with the addition of a new class last July, the numbers are now back to around 428 officers.


Anonymous said...

I hate to inform you Kev but the Executive Officer thing for A/C's is nothing new at HPD. Lt. Manson was the last assigned to "b*tch duty". Horvath is going nowhere but that's ok. He's a very capable leader, although very autocratic (read: bully). He can probably do a good job of turning HPD around or at least get it back on the right track. If only he can stop taking care of is Intel buddies and spread the wealth. There is so much unused talent at HPD and for whatever reason, the same ole folks keep getting the high profile jobs. (Ask Lt. Sigersmith how he feels about his involuntary transfer.) This breeds dissension and kills morale but DKR and Horvath don't give a f***. DKR knows his time is limited and now is just going thru the motions until his time is up. So many guys are just there now for the money, when it used to be for the love of the job. This attitude is a direct result of having doors closed in faces with no explanation. Another wasted spot is having a civilian PIO and a SGT and an officer essentially doing the same job. This used to be the role of a "uniformed" SGT or higher. I guess the computer/blue page component requires two extra bodies.(Really???) When the idea of putting the SGT back on the street arose, she conveniently forgot how to descend a stairwell and got injured. The place is better than "Days of Our Lives", "Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns". It's the best free show going. You take a couple days off and you can't believe what you've missed when you return to work. I also disagree with what you said about Lt. Foley, because he has been given additional work after he filed a lawsuit only strengthens his case against DKR. LT "used" to be the best job at HPD. Now we have compstat responsibilities in addition to call back responsibilities as well as our daily miscellaneous zone duties. Not all of us have Mack's relationship with JHo. When have you seen a probationary Lt have 3jobs in 8mos? NEVER! All because his "boy" is the A/C. At least try to disguise it a little bit. Jeesh!!! The whole idea of cutting the two cops is understandable. They havent proven themselves and JHo is for the most part a proven company man and valuable commodity and he's destined to take over the throne. THAT is why he's here for the long haul. Love it or hate it.

Anonymous said...

Lance Sigersmith, A true "Fallon-ite" would run HPD the right way. The city would be a safer place with Sigersmith in charge... Smart, Nice, Tough, Fair, Leader... True Qualities of a Great Police Chief

Christene Mertes said...

Dear Lt Anonymous,
Before you write or say anything derogatory or hateful about another person, you should have your facts straight. The implication that I would break my hand to avoid working in patrol is outrageous.
Have you forgotten that as a lieutenant you are a member of command staff? Perhaps if you spent less time complaining, and more time acting like a commander, morale would improve. Do you not realize that your unfounded, jealous words and hateful comments contribute to low morale and false rumors? Have you forgotten your oath as a Hartford Police Officer; this job is about helping the Hartford community, not about spreading rumors and innuendos to make yourself feel better.
I challenge you to step up to the plate. Put aside your hostility and lets work together to make Hartford safer and to improve the quality of life of its residents.
Lastly, feel free to stop by anytime to talk with me in person about my responsibilities and the quality of my work. I am always willing to hear constructive criticism.
Christene Mertes

James brown (good god) said...

Hey that's tough talk from the first female sniper who has been shot while on the job, as well as many others accomplishments you have claimed since being here at HPD. How about you doing some time in the streets as a supervisor before you can talk about morale. You are an overpaid newsletter editor who isn't that good at her job. You still never addressed your tumble down the stairs coincidenetly the day you were informed you were going back to patrol.

Robert Lawlor said...

Robert Lawlor Says
Finally! Christene you are the first to put a name with a statement. That is a beginning, I tip my hat to you and have but only one request, who might this fine Lt. be? So other officers and rank and file can be ware of his or her reckless tactics.
Former Hartford Police Detective
Robert Lawlor

Anonymous said...

Hey Bobby! Good to see your still paying attention to some of the acts at the three circus, otherwise known as HPD. But just to let you know, SGT Martin Miller was the first to put his name with his posting. Be well.

Anonymous said...

Hummm ummm I feel the love

BB said...

I can't believe that I completely overlooked this thread on the blog. Its old news now I realize and most likely no one will read this a month and a half after the thread started, but I've got to comment on Sgt. Mertes' post.
What a bunch of crap! Just because you yourself go on the blog and attack someone else for attacking you doesn't justify your ridiculous rant. Have you ever heard two wrongs don't make a right? I'm not suggesting what Anonymous said is incorrect, but you obviously did and chose to reply like a fool. It proves this board all that much more credible. It proves that what people are saying about corruption at HPD is true enough that it's scarring the people who have something to be scared about, and want to defend themselves. What happened to Honor, Integrity and Brotherhood? It went down the john with DKR and his buddies. Click here for a photo of Christine Mertes and DKR