The simple answer is maybe, but it points to a much greater issue overall I think.
Just as a little background, accusations were made previously by a ranking HPD officer, Lieutenant Brian Foley, that Chief Daryl Roberts had made comments directed at him that appeared homophobic. Foley's claims were that Chief Roberts had stated something to the effect of his haircut "looked gay", referred to him as Lt. "spongebob" which I guess has a gay connotation and at one point questioned Foley's marriage as to whether his spouse was a man or a woman.
Regardless though, whatever Foley's orientation is, comments such as those alleged to have been made by Chief Robert's have no place in the workplace, especially if they are being made by the highest ranking officer of the Hartford Police Department.
The problem seems to have escalated in the last few weeks unfortunately. Accusations have been made against another HPD supervisor, Sergeant Dennis O'Connor after he allegedly texted a homophobic message to another HPD officer during a training class. The officer on the receiving end of the message from O'Connor was apparently offended by the tone of the message as well as the homosexual act mentioned in the message that he made a complaint to Internal Affairs. That complaint is currently under investigation by HPD.
Now the latest incident involves another high ranking supervisor, Captain James Bernier and an alleged comment he recently made to another officer. Bernier, a probationary Captain, apparently used a slang term as a retort to an officer suggesting that the officer perform a sexual act on him. The comment is something that typically you would expect to hear in a drunken party at a frathouse or in a locker room, but has no place coming from a senior officer, a Captain, who should be setting the tone for his officers, not promoting a gutter mentality.
The major problem is that there seems to be a real lack of leadership and accountability in HPD. There are many good officers there that are looking for leadership and fairness, but incidents like this, all of them by supervisors must be raising questions. If O'Connor is disciplined for his comments, then why not the Chief or the Captain?
I can remember back to the days of a Chief like Bernie Sullivan, and hopefully that is not showing my age too much. From what most people told me Chief Sullivan was a fair man and a good leader for HPD. You could be his best friend, but if it came to discipline you knew that you would receive the same treatment as his worst enemy. Right was right and wrong was wrong and favoritism played no role.
That's what "leaders" do, and once the tone is set you either fall in line with the program or else step aside. It is definitely time for Mayor Segarra to step up and show us if he has what it takes to be a leader. Will he remain silent on issues facing City government, including the issue of "homophobia" and favoritism inside HPD, or will he do what leaders need to do and set the tone. HPD, the Dispatch Center, DPW,HFD, MHIS have all had real issues, valid issues pointed out here and they can't be overlooked .
Leadership isn't always easy, but usually it becomes much easier when the rules are established and adhered to equally.