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Monday, February 25, 2013


The Suthpen Telescopic Aerial Platform (ladder truck) sent to Morant Bay , Jamaica by the Hartford City Council. Hartford Police Sergeant Andrew Lawrence of the Caribbean Trade Council, 2nd from Left.

The equipment above, including turnout gear, Hurst Tool, 3000 feet of hose, 15 Air packs and 30 spare air bottles, amongst other items, were part of the missing shipment that never made it to our Sister City of Morant Bay Jamaica as per the Council's resolution

In July of 2008, at the request of Hartford's Mayor at the time, Eddie A. Perez, The Hartford City Council passed a resolution to donate a surplus fire truck, pictured above, to Hartford's sister city of Morant Bay, Jamaica. The council resolution is below.

Through e-mails obtained by "We The People" it appears that the truck and the associated equipment was shipped to Jamaica, apparently under the supervision of Andrew Lawrence of The Caribbean Trade Council. Lawrence is also a Hartford Police Sergeant assigned to the Internal Affairs Division currently.

According to an e-mail obtained by "We the People" sent  from Hartford Fire Department Equipment Superintendent Michael Smith to , at the time Assistant Chief Edward Casares, the need to send the truck to Jamaica was questioned by Smith. He stated that "(former Chief) Teale got us into this" and states "this will cost you...I told him(Teale)the truck was to be junked". Smith further states that "this was all to make Andrew(Lawrence) look good to his peeps".

Smith also apparently expressed frustation with the demands to refurbish the truck for shipping. In the e-mail he state " I don't want to start repairing a truck we junked.He( Lawrence) thinks I can just walk away from my job and go do what I want, like he does

In other e-mails it appears that Casares tells smith to make the truck "safe" so that Hartford is not embarrassed. Eventually, it appears that the truck was shipped to a dock in Philadelphia at a cost of $3,000 to be put on a boat and shipped to Jamaica.

In addition, according to various e-mails, it appears that both Lawrence and Walter Benjamin of Caribbean Travel Agency were instrumental in getting the necessary paperwork to ship the truck to Jamaica.

Now here is where the story takes a few unexpected turns.

In the fall of last year, Mayor Marsha Francis of Morant Bay, Jamaica was in Hartford at the invitation of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. During a dinner reception, sources overheard a conversation between Segarra and Francis in which the Jamaican Mayor, made a request of Segarra for a fire truck. The source, realizing we had already sent a fire truck per the 2008 Council resolution, questioned what happened to the original truck.

Again, according to sources, the response was that the truck had been sold in Jamaica and never made it to Morant Bay. It apparently did arrive at the dock in Saint Mary , Jamaica and then was diverted to a private entity.According to sources on the ground in Jamaica as well as newspaper accounts, the truck is most likely at Ian Fleming International Airport in Saint Mary Jamaica, not Morant bay , where it was supposed to end up.

Link to article outlining the vehicle obtained by the Jamaican Fire Brigade, believed to be Hartford's donation intended for Morant Bay

In a phone conversation with Morant Bay Mayor, Marsha Francis  by telephone, she confirmed that the truck never made it to Morant  Bay, she had agreed to answer questions through e-mail regarding the vehicle. After sending the e-mails, I never received a response.

On January 15, 2013, the Hartford City Council passed another resolution to send another truck to Morant Bay. It appears that Mayor Segarra may have been made aware that the first vehicle never arrived, but that information apparently wasn't relayed to the current Council before they voted on the new resolution. Segarra was a member of the Council when the first truck resolution was approved. Councilman Ken Kennedy and Dr. Larry Deutsch were also on the Council at the time.

It appears that no one questioned the need for the second truck to Morant Bay, at least not publicly.

 The second truck has not been shipped to Jamaica as of this date. According to Police sources. Lawrence is currently the subject of an Internal Affairs Investigation into the matter and other agencies may  potentially be investigating the case.

When I realized the scope of the matter, WFSB Investigative reporter and Hartford Bureau Chief Len Besthoff worked on this also and his story can be seen on Thank you Len for your help. Click here to view the I-Team Report


Through e-mails obtained by "We The People" it appears that the truck and the associated equipment was shipped to Jamaica, apparently under the supervision of Andrew Lawrence of The Caribbean Trade Council. Lawrence is also a Hartford Police Sergeant assigned to the Internal Affairs Division currently.


Arturo Dibiasi said...

They should ship some of their workers to Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody shocked by this?

Anonymous said...

Why would you spend money that Hartford clearly does not have to ship this p.o.s. to Jamaica?
When these apparatus are no longer safe for use as a spare, they should be scrapped. They are worn out and unsafe for anyone to use.
Supt. Smith is the expert here, not a cop. If Smith says it is junk, it is junk.
Put this idiot cop in the bucket an send him up 100 feet, see how safe he feels.

Anonymous said...

That truck sat in the rear yard of 709 Windsor St (The old HTFD Mack) for the longest time, as of a few years ago. I'd bet that it never made it to Jamaica. Probably sold for scrap metal.

Marcus A. Garvey said...

Hartford has a high Jamaican population, and I think that they would appreciate donated life saving equipment. Fire trucks are not the only items that are sent to a island like Jamaica, ask yourselves where do all unused police equipment goes (yes even guns). They are sold for a lower fee or traded for some other sort of services, (I am not talking only Hartford, nationwide).
The sad part is that something good was done for a "poor" island, and someone finds fault. The article published in the courant does not detail that the Fire truck did arrive on the island, but this blog does clarify that. If the fire truck is on the island, then why don't they just go pick it up.
If the documents are all in correct order from the City and all involved, then it is a problem with the shipping company not doing it's job correctly.
If the vehicle is unsafe then shame on the City for sending such an item to a country struggling with its own infrastructure who are indeed trying to improve on there public safety.
Now back to used equipment, third world countries do get used items for there public safety, old police cars, protective vest, guns, fire apparatuses, fire safety equipment, even taxis. So lets not cast stones because this happens all over the united states with used equipment.
So lets see how many distasteful comments will be made about all involved in this mishap. Lets see who will make comments about others and there careers.
Mr.Lawrence from what I have been told is proud Jamaican and even more proud to be a Hartford Police Officer, of Jamaican nationality. Lawrence provides the bridge between the Jamaican consulate and the City of Hartford. So lets see how many co-workers begin throwing knives in his back.
So what is the crime, or the issue besides the truck not getting to the correct destination? Did anyone profit from this in, a, international black market way?

The Rock said...

Will it ever stop? Will it ever end? Will these assclowns ever get their act together? Answer: No!!!! All of these incompetent, so-called leaders, dept. heads and council members are what's wrong with Hartford. They are like having a zit on prom night, a total embarrassment. Pedro hope you liked being Mayor, because your like an 80's song, a one hit wonder. Don't you understand you have done some good things, but your being overshadowed by all of these misfit toys you keep in your sandbox.
This latest episode is a total embarrassment, you deferr to the fire dept. for an interview, who approved or suggested that move, that illiterate director, Maribel "lack of communication" La Luz. Maybe when the Fire Chief is done with his treadmill desk we can donate it to "Globo Gym" too. All of these mis steps lately and you have a case that smacks of corruption on an international level and you still approve another fire truck. Maybe if the Mayor and The President of the Council didnt get along like the Hatfields & McKoys this second truck wouldn't even be a discussion point. But, I guess when you have a council member who doesn't even live in the city and suggested a 90k salary plus expenses and a discretionary spending budget of 15 k each, you can understand why the council is in the state it in. Trying to get the council to work right is like trying to roll a toy car around with square wheels. The only suggestion I can make that's positive is to advise all of these assclowns at city hall and that includes you too Andrew "HOV Lane" Jaffe to work on your résumés because I am sure the next Mayor is going to donate these misfit toys right to Unemployment Blvd. & Pink Slip Lane,,,,If you smelllllll what the Rock is Cookin.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

I have 2 suggestions;

1. The recent Council resolution giving another truck should be recinded.

2. All information concerning the truck and its disappearance should be handed off to the FBI for their investigation,since it involves a possible out of state crime.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, can you please post all emails related to this? It would help to determine who knew what when and exactly what role people played in this

Anonymous said...

Hartford should send them our snow plows, we don't use them. They probably know how to use them better. Heck, they have a bobsled team, it's not that far of a stretch!

old beef patty said...

the truck is probably being used as a taco cart or playscape> why not send more down there and honestly nothing will happen to lawrence and if they do send members of ia down to jamaica to conduct the investigation then im sooo jelous bring suntan lotion elliot>>

Anonymous said...

If the truck is able to be used, and it sounds like it is, or the equipment is able to be used, and the city wants to help someone out, give it to one of the truly needy Fire Departments here in the US, keep the charity here.

Many departments in the south and west that operate on 6k a year. Jamaica is talking in their news articles about spending millions on fire stations, who do you think can use it more?

Blake Bowers, Chief
Lanton Fire Department
Lanton MO.
6,500 a year budget, 200 square mile response area

vinay singh said...

The Hudler is nice in that I seem to see just the blue road Expos unis on cards. The whites looked much nicer. Here's the puzzle piece and the back for old times sake. Almost as orange as the wax.
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