Early on the question was asked of me if I thought Frank Rudewicz was being "set up for failure" when he was contracted to investigate HPD. I'm not sure if he was "set up", but the answer seems clear that the report was pretty much a failure no matter how you look at it. I responded to that question that I guessed the report would be the only answer to that , one way or the other. The answer to that now seems pretty clear, the scope of the report was so limited that it really won't change much, other than maybe the Chief of HPD.
The questions that drew the report into question for me, and the agenda behind the report, are more in what it didn't say and maybe the way that it seemed to present one sided facts.
I had hoped from the beginning that the report would be legitimate and a hunt for the facts. Once I heard that the report was sent back to Rudewicz a couple weeks ago for "changes and clarifications" I began to lose hope. The report should have been submitted as completed without any interpretations or "corrections" submitted by the City or Mayor Segarra. That was not the case.
Rudewicz took the report back to make the changes requested by the City. What those changes were we will probably never know. Shouldn't it have been up to the City and Mayor Segarra to present their side if they thought the report was inaccurate or if they wanted to make clarifications?
And it also seems odd to me that depending who was being discussed, they almost went out of their way to "bury" certain individuals, while giving others a free pass.
Why is it that out of over 45 people interviewed the only one that seems to be clearly identified and actually quoted through documents he submitted was Sergeant Gabe Laureano? Was there a need to identify Laureano as the "IAD snitch" to add emphasis to how bad IAD supposedly was? Where is the record of the other 45 interviews? If IAD was so bad, was Laureano the only one who felt it?
I know I mentioned this in my original posts, but where was the mention, other than here on the blog, that Lt Brooks was battling cancer during the period that they called his attendance into question? Without all of the facts it paints a negative picture of Brooks. It also seems quite ironic that Lt Brooks was just given an "Exemplary Service Award" for the period 2000 to 2010, in part for his excellent work attendance record.
Why were the Dryfe's, both former Assistant Chief Neil Dryfe and his wife, retired Sergeant Cindy Dryfe, just brushed over as "former officer" who removed reports from HPD. Might it have been noteworthy that Chief Drye was a previous Commander of IAD and should have known better. If Dryfe was so concerned about the operations of IAD in his memo to Chief Roberts, shouldn't he have returned the missing files first?
And just out of curiosity, the files that the Dryfe's removed from HPD pertained to what? Whose cases were they and what were the allegations? Were they friends of the Dryfe's that were being protected from investigation? And from what sources are telling me, the reports still have not been returned. Is there another investigation into that matter now or is it just water over the dam?
The mention of these missing reports in the Rudewicz report was so brief it seemed like a "non-incident" . To me though, files removed by a former IAD commander, who would later become an Assistant Chief and eventually the Police Chief in Cheshire is more troublesome to me than any personality conflicts Sgt. Laureano may have had or how many times Lt. Brooks scanned his keytag to get into the office.
The issue of access to the IAD complex is also a red herring. It is pretty much wide open, but that is not the doing of Lt. Brooks or anyone else in IAD. I have gone to look at FOI requests and they took me into IAD each time at the conference table in there. Security at HPD has never been a priority and until something drastic happens, it most likely never will be, IAD is no exception.
Back in 2006 the City contracted another report on HPD by a buddy of then Chief Patrick Harnett.m Gordon Wasserman was hired for a study entitled "POLICE DO MATTER" which was submitted in July of 2006 to former Mayor Eddie Perez. It was a more wide ranging scope of HPD, but it touch briefly on IAD.
One of the objectives mentioned was the "IAD Steering Committee" and stated "in keeping with the Department's new emphasis on accountability, the entire complaints investigation process, including the various time limits, is now monitored by a new IAD Steering Committee, which meets twice a month. Chaired by the Chief of Police personally, the committee includes the Chief of Detectives, the Chief of Patrol and the Lieutenant in charge of IAD and his investigators. The meeting reviews all open cases and monitors progress in much the same way as COMPSTAT meetings monitor progress relating to crime in the streets. The IAD investigators are held personally accountable for the status of their investigations and for ensuring that these are handled expeditiously, fairly and professionally.".
If that was the case, the blame seems to be much more wide ranging than just dumping on LT. Brooks. Where was the Chief of Police, the Chief of Patrol and the Chief of Detectives during the time period that IAD, according to the Rudewicz report, became such a mess. When was the last time the "IAD Steering Committe" met. And if they were meeting regularly as the Wasserman report states, shouldn't any management issues have been identified in weeks, rather than months?
Also, according to the Wasserman report, on January 1, 2006, "IAD upgraded its computer systems significantly by implementing a new software package, IAPRO, which both the New York City and Philadelphia Police Departments use to handle their inernal affairs cases." The Rudewicz report does mention IAPro and its "red flag" component. To the best of my knowledge, Lt Brooks was not the IAD Commander in 2006, and it might have been interesting to note if thjose "red flag" components were ever enabled at the time. If not why and who was the Commander at the time, and if they were enabled, who disabled them, or were the "red flags" just being ignored when they popped up?
If nothing else, maybe it is time to start listening to people who have suggestions inside the HPD, rather than shutting them down as "malcontents". If all of these things just happened to slide by all of those on the Command staff, do we really need all o those positions on the second floor. The Wasserman report, if I remember correctly, was well over $200,000. The Rudewicz report probably will be in excess of $100,000. It might be cheaper for the City to just commission an "outside independent investigation" every couple years and eliminate a few Chief's positions. It looks like the reports keep identifying the same issues and nothing changes, so why the top heavy command staff.
Add into that amount the money being spent by the City defending poor management decisions as well as the likely six-figure settlements that come out of these complaints and lawsuits, and you have to definitely question the management decisions, or more likely their inability to make decisions.
Maybe it is time for a position of Public Safety Commissioner who has management experience and can run the Department as a manger , not as a cop. Daryl Roberts is someone I consider a friend, but you have to look at the facts. He went from the rank of Lieutenant to Assistant Chief and then Chief. The size of the organization does not allow for little or no management experience, other than maybe a squad of 10, 15, or even 20 officers. It requires knowledge of budgets, labor laws, community issues, purchasing requirements, FOI laws and the list goes on and on. Quite frankly, there aren't a lot of people that have that wealth of knowledge, Daryl Roberts included.
The only saving grace would be someone that was smart enough to surround themselves with the best and the brightest they could find, and even Daryl Roberts has admitted to me he hasn't done that.
The report was a disappointment, but in the end, I think it accomplished the original goal. Mayor Segarra won't have to terminate or refuse to renew the Chief's contract. Daryl Roberts will be gone as of December 31, 2010 as he retires.
The next big test will be the choice for "acting" Chief and the new permanent Chief. I have some ideas for the Mayor, but since I encouraged him to give Chief Roberts a chance last year, I'm not sure how well my suggestions will be taken this time around. I still stand by giving Chief Roberts a chance to run with the leadership of HPD, unfortunately he didn't come out like I thought he would and make a difference.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.