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.


Police sources are confirming that Hartford Police Officer Kevin Brodie was arrested shortly before midnight last night for an assault he allegedly committed while he was on duty. The assault apparently occurred at a Hartford School during the day shift while Brodie was working in the patrol division.

The Hartford Police Department spokesperson Nancy Mulroy said that an official statement will be released later today.

Sources have also told me that Brodie has been a police officer less than a year and graduated from the HPD academy on July 2, 2010 and is still on his probation period. From what the police sources told me, the assault by Brodie was revealed when the victim sought out treatment for his injuries and apparently the assault was also witnessed by school staff members.

No report of the beating or any case report was made by Brodie after the incident. Although Brodie has already been arrested for the assault charge, HPD Internal Affairs is continuing their investigation.

Chief Roberts was unavailable for comment at this time.More on this as I get it.



For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 16, 2011


(Hartford) - Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts has suspended without pay Probationary Officer Kevin T. Brodie. The suspension was precipitated by his arrest following an incident that occurred at a Hartford alternative education school at 245 Locust Street, Hartford, on March 15, 2011, that involved a 17 year old student.

As a result of that incident, Brodie was charged with strangulation in the second degree, second degree unlawful restraint and assault in the third degree. He was released on a written promise to appear with a court date of March 24, 2011.

Brodie, who joined the department on December 14, 2009, and graduated from the Police Academy on July 2nd, 2010, has been a probationary employee since graduation seven and one half months ago.

The Hartford Police Department's Internal Affairs Division has begun an investigation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm still toying with putting video on the blog, so here are a few clips from this weekends St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hartford.

Everyone knows the parade is on the way when you hear the rumble of the HPD Harleys as they lead the parade, and the bagpipers are always a crowd favorite.I think the float that wound the crowd up the most though was the XL Center's Stagehands Union and their confetti cannons and the orange white and green confetti raining down along the route.

It was a great day for the parade and after this winter's weather, I think people welcomed the opportunity to get outside on snow free streets.

Here's a little video from the parade.


After months of hearings and delays, a decision is expected any day now in the Labor Board hearings into the wrongful termination complaint of former Hartford Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Nolan.

Once the decision is rendered, all of the hearing transcripts become public documents and will be posted here. I'm sure they will provide some interesting reading. As a side note, five of the key players in apparently orchestrating Nolan's termination are no longer employed by the City of Hartford. Fire Chief Charles Teale, gone, Assistant Fire Chief Michael Parker, gone, Attorney Ivan Ramos from the Corporation Counsels Office, gone, Corporation Counsel John Rose, gone, and most importantly former Mayor Eddie A. Perez, gone.....and convicted.

Wouldn't it be ironic if a favorable decision is released on St. Patrick's Day?


Sometimes it seems that Saint Patrick's Day is a holiday to celebrate crazy green wigs, outrageous headgear and of course alcohol. Anyone who has experienced Irish hospitality or has had the opportunity to actually visit Ireland realizes that there is so much more to the Irish warmth.

One of the things I remember most about growing up with an Irish grandmother was when you would walk into her house to aroma of fresh baked Irish soda bread. The first few years after I was born, I actually lived next door to her and my grandfather, in the same house my father grew up in.

After we eventually moved to a new home I looked forward to the overnight stays at their home since it almost always meant fresh baked "Irish bread". After "Grammy" passed away in 1974, the Irish bread became a thing of the past except for the occasions when my mother would make it.

A few years ago, my mother gave me my grandmother's "Irish Cookbook" after she found it out at a tag sale that my sister was having at her house. Inside the back cover was the handwritten recipe for "Grammy's" Irish Soda Bread.

It wasn't half bad the first time I made it, but something wasn't the same when I took it out of the pyrex cooking dish. I eventually found out that the only way to cook "authentic" Irish bread is to bake it in a cast iron frying pan. That made a huge difference in the texture and crust.

I bake the Irish bread regularly, especially this time of year, and I have quite a few people that begin asking about the beginning of March when the Irish bread will be ready.

Recently I had a conversation with Governor Malloy and we somehow got on the subject of Irish soda bread. He asked if I made it with or without caraway seeds? When I told him with, he asked me to be sure I saved some for him. I have a few in the oven now, if I can get by his security detail I may share my Grandmother's Irish heritage with our new Governor, that would surely make Grammy's day if she knew that.

I don't believe in "secret" family recipes. What good it is if you can't share it. So here is my grandmothers Irish Soda Bread recipe. If you want to be real authentic, the easiest place that I have found cast iron frying pans have been at Target, in case you don't already have one.

Enjoy fresh out of the oven with butter


3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a greased cast iron frying pan or glass if you don't have a frying pan.


This is a posting that needs to be filed under "you can't make this stuff up!".

I picked up the Hartford Courant this morning and after reading one of the columns, I had to go back to the video I recorded at the Legislative Office Building recently. That meeting was called by Representative Kirkley-Bey regarding the bonuses handed out by Hartford's Board of Education.

During that meeting, 3rd District Representative Guillermina "Minnie" Gonzalez made some sharply worded comments toward the Board of Education that were critical of their hiring process and spending money "like it is Christmas". The clip of Gonzalez's remarks can be seen below.The interesting part really comes at about 0:40 seconds into the clip.

Gonzalez questions the appointments to the Board and members of the Board "are they putting family members to work at the Board of Education? We have to be very careful of that". She went on to say that if they are doing that "they are not for the kids, they are for themselves".

Video is a wonderful thing when it comes to preserving peoples comments. Second only to the Freedom of Information Act which provides the paper trail to many of our elected officials less than stellar actions.

Although it is pretty common knowledge of Representative Gonzalez's employment efforts on behalf of her family members, Courant columnist Kevin Rennie did the legwork and dug into the hiring of Gonzalez's son, Ivan Maldonado, at both the Legislature and at the MDC. Rennie also points out the blatant lies and omissions on Maldonado's employment application.

One glaring omission was Maldonado's arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a twelve, yes you are reading that correctly, a twelve year old girl. Those charges are currently pending. You can view those charges on the Judicial website by clicking here

You can read Kevin Rennie's column by clicking here

In the meantime, if we were to follow the reasoning behind Gonzalez's remarks directed at the Board, elected officials who get jobs for family members may need to be questioned as to whether they are there for the people who elected them, or are they there for themselves. Especially when those family members are hired under very questionable circumstances.

And if this is the way the MDC typically hires, you might want to think twice before you let an MDC worker into your home, ask them if they have ever been accused of a felony, like sexually assaulting and threatening a 12 year old girl. Somehow I think this might be an isolated incident resulting from a political favor.