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Sunday, December 30, 2018


Chief Rovella before our walk through Bushnell Park several years ago

This past week has been a difficult week. I was made aware of a secret that I had to promise to keep a secret.until it was announced publicly. Jim Rovella was being appointed to Commissioner of Public Safety by Governor -elect Ned Lamont. There probably aren't many people as qualified as Jim Rovella to rise to that position and Lamont made a great decision.

Many people were probably skeptical when Rovella was brought back to take the reins as Chief of the Hartford Police Department several years ago. It was during a very violent time in Hartford and crime was heading quickly toward being out of control. Now keep in mind, Rovella had retired years earlier from HPD at the rank of detective. From what I am told by many, Rovella had a reputation throughout new England as being one of the best homicide detectives in the business when he retired.

Again , as the story goes, after his retirement from HPD Rovella went to the State's Attorney Office as an Inspector and eventually rose to the rank of Chief Inspector, supervising the other Inspector's in the States Attorney's Office. As crime continued out of control, especially with shootings, gun violence and homicides, Rovella's boss at the time, Chief States Attorney  Kevin Kane was summoned to Governor Malloy's Office for a meeting.

The version I have been told by several people that were also in attendance at that meeting were that Governor Malloy's orders to State Attorney Kane were simple. "Do something about the crime in Hartford".

Doing something eventually resulted in Jim Rovella's return to Hartford. Rovella's ideas gave birth to what eventually became known as the "Shooting Task Force" . STF as it was called had huge results right from the start and began taking guns and violent criminals off the street almost immediately. STF was a combined effort brought together under Rovella's guidance of  numerous agencies, including State Federal and several local municipalities surrounding Hartford.

Unlike typical operations, it included agencies such as Probation and Parole, Corrections and even a Prosecutor from the Court to oversee arrests..

That is where I first met Jim Rovella. On a Good Friday evening shortly after the STF inception, I was given permission to go inside STF to put together a public access program about STF. I was meeting with the HPD Lieutenant who was supervising STF operations. At the time, one of the worst kept secrets was that STF was headquartered in an old school and all operations were being run out of there. It wasn't prime office space, but the building had heat and lights and was available.

As I was meeting with the HPD Lieutenant getting my explanation about STF, this guy walked in that I have never met before. I am not sure how to describe it , but he had a command presence and everyone in the room seemed to come to attention . It turned out that guy was Jim Rovella.. Like a proud father showing off his new baby, he walked me around explaining how and why STF was producing solid results

I remember going to the back hall that was pretty much off limits to public view. On the full length of the hallway were 8 1/2" by 11" full size color mugshots of criminals with arrows and notes connecting them to each other basically forming the nexus of Hartford's violent crime problem. It mad sense and under Jim Rovella's guidance it worked.

Eventually, when the spot became open, Jim Rovella was brought back as Hartford's Police Chief and continued producing results. After he became Chief, Rovella asked me to meet him back at the spot we first met, the School housing the STF Operations. Chief Rovella walked me through the old scholl and explained to me his vision for the dilapidated building. It was going to continue to house the HPD Police Academy, but Rovella also had visions for re-starting the PAL Program to get an early start for working with Hartford youth

Much like STF, the PAL program was re-constituted under Chief Rovella's guidance and is producing huge results across the City.

Unfortunately, despite Rovella's numerous requests to City Hall, staffing levels continued to drop to dangerous , unmanageable levels and City Hall refused to hire new officers.

Rather than accept defeat, Rovella relied on technology and kept HPD moving forward with creative innovations and the old saying "doing more with less". Under Chief Rovella's leadedrship, "C4" was born. C4, the Capitol City Crime Center is a state of the art network of cameras and fiber optic network linking video cameras across the City to HPD for viewing . The network has already produced impressive results in monitoring Hartford for crime and traffic issues.

Rovella was creative in his vision to keep HPD productive though technology , but he also realized that nothing can beat the personal relationships that come from Community Policing. Rovella struggled to keep the Community Policing program intact, especially after it was recognized by the White House. Despite  that recognition, the reality of  staffing levels resulted in some of those initiatives being scaled back, but Jim Rovella was and is always a welcome addition to Community meetings across the City ( also his wife Sandy is a familiar face at community events)

Although some may say that Jim Rovella was "just a detective" when he originally left HPD, but I do know others who tested well and moved up higher, but the could never hold a candle to Jim Rovella and his leadership. Chief, soon to be Commissioner,  Rovella clearly knows what he is doing when it comes to law enforcement management and I think the results he produced during his tenure as Hartford's  Chief ,proves that. I hate to think what might have happened without  Jim Rovella as Chief and how many other people could have held the operation together under the adverse budget and staffing conditions he faced.

I could go on with more Chief Rovella stories and things he personally taught me and how he tried to teat every officer  as his own kids, but I've rattled on enough. Suffice it to say, Governor -elect Lamont made a very wise choice by nominating Jim Rovella for this next chapter in his life.

Congratulations Commissioner.

Friday, December 28, 2018


Gov.-Elect Lamont Nominates James Rovella as Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Rovella selects Regina Rush-Kittle as Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Management; Stavros Mellekas as State Police Colonel

New Haven, CT –  Governor-elect Ned Lamont today announced that he has nominated James Rovella as Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). In addition, Rovella has selected Regina Rush-Kittle as Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Management and Stavros Mellekas as State Police Colonel.

“James, Regina, and Stavros are experienced law enforcement officers, having dedicated their lives to keeping our streets and communities safe in Connecticut,” said Lamont. “I am proud to welcome these three dedicated public servants to my administration’s leadership team. Together, we are deeply committed to making sure our state remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“I thank Governor-elect Lamont for the trust he has placed in me to lead the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection,” said Rovella. “My decades in public safety have been guided by a commitment to building trust between law enforcement personnel and the local communities in which they serve. That priority will remain a focus as I work to make this state a safer home for all of our residents.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to return to public service in Connecticut,” said Rush-Kittle. “I enjoyed my time at DESPP working with the men and women who help keep this state safe, and I appreciate the opportunity to begin this next chapter of my career. Working together, we can ensure that Connecticut’s residents are safe and the criminal justice community and advocacy organizations alike are part of the solution.”

“Our State Troopers risk their lives every day to protect our communities, and I am eager to begin this new role advocating on their behalf,” said Mellekas. “Having a number of different assignments within the State Police will allow me to better support my colleagues and work with the administration to make Connecticut a safe place to live and work.”

James Rovella has devoted his career to public safety, starting as a patrol officer, then detective, with the Hartford Police Department. Rovella then served 12 years for the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, where he eventually became Chief Inspector and oversaw all Medicaid fraud, financial, and statewide criminal cases for the state's chief law enforcement officer. In 2012, Rovella returned to Hartford to become its Chief of Police. Rovella was recognized by President Obama and the White House for strengthening community relations in Hartford.

Regina Rush-Kittle has more than three decades in law enforcement and the military, including 28 years with the Connecticut State Police. Prior to her time with the State Police, Rush-Kittle served for two years with the Middletown Police Department and two years with the Connecticut Department of Correction. Rush-Kittle also served with distinction for thirty years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and U.S. Army Reserves. She is a recipient of the Bronze Star.

Stavros Mellekas has served for nearly 25 years with the Connecticut State Police, starting as a patrol trooper and rising through the ranks to eventually become a Lieutenant Colonel. Mellekas currently oversees field operations for all three state districts, each of the three Major Crime squads, and the Bureau of Special Investigations. He has been awarded several citations for outstanding police work and meritorious service.

Rovella will begin serving as the Commissioner-designate when the Governor-elect is inaugurated on January 9. His nomination will be sent to the General Assembly for its advice and consent.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


I was almost going to title this posting as "FAKE NEWS" but someone else has been using that phrase a lot lately, so I will try to stay original and just stick to the facts.

A couple months ago I received a tip about Hartford Assistant Police Chief Jason Thody allegedly compromising himself in a deposition with what the source said was perjury on Thody's part. They claimed the facts were all well documented in the transcripts of the deposition . It sounded like it was going to be a good story once it all fell into place.

Once I started looking into the accusations, it went from what I thought was going to be a potential good story to a very definite NO story and the tip as described just wasn't panning out..

Now a little background here.  just to set the stage.  I have not been a longtime fan of Assistant Chief Jason Thody. Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog or searches my archives will most likely find some very negative postings.

A few months ago I received a call from HPD's new Police Chief David Rosado. He was well aware that I was not a fan of Jason Thody. Chief Rosado was planning on appointing Thody as an Assistant Police Chief as he built his management team. Chief Rosado asked if I would be willing to meet with Jason Thody and discuss our differences and get things out in the open. We did, we met and after roughly three hours of talking and discussing our differences, I left with a very different  opinion of Jason Thody. Times change, people change.

I could understand what Thody  brought to the table and completely understood why Chief Rosado wanted Thody as part of his team. I also had a much better understanding as to what led up to some of the incidents I had been critical of Thody for in the past.

I don't intend to post everything we talked about, but as an example, the bar fight. Thody was very open to anything I asked about that incident and he fully took the blame for the incident. Thody explained he had been dealing with a death and essentially was going out with a couple buddies drinking to blow off steam. He readily admitted that it wasn't one of his best decisions to go to a bar in the same City he was a Police Officer to drink , and under the circumstances it didn't end well for Thody.

He became involved in an altercation which eventually involved HPD officer's responding, which led to an Internal Affairs Investigation and Thody's eventual demotion back to Sergeant from Lieutenant. But rather than play the blame game, Thody accepted his demotion and committed to rebuilding his reputation and once again move upward.. Thody eventually regained the title of Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Captain before retiring earlier this year.. A Lieutenant who has since also retired said that after the demotion, Thody was assigned under him and he stated that Thody was one of the best and hardest working Sergeant's he had the opportunity to work with..

Now fast forward to the recent incident,

Thody had apparently signed off on training forms  for Hartford Police Officers that attended classes at Hartford's Training  Academy. According to several sources familiar with the process, for years the Academy had processed these forms by "photo-copying" the instructors signature on the form and then duplicating for all attendees. Probably not the best process, more of a sloppy shortcut, but as far as I can tell there was no intent to defraud the system or claim training that was never taught and that allegation or any criminal conduct has not been made..

As soon as I received the original call from the "source", I began looking into the matter. I attempted to contact Hartford's Police Chief David Rosado. Chief Rosado was in Florida at a Police Chief's Conference and promised that he would look into the claim as soon as he returned. Chief Thody was also at the same conference and was scheduled to return a few days later..

Once Chief Rosado returned, he did advise me that the matter was being looked into and the process of "photocopying"  signatures on training forms would cease immediately.

Chief Thody also responded to my inquiries after he returned from the Florida trip and answered my questions regarding the matter. Apparently the issue arose during a HPD Union deposition regarding a Hartford Officer that was terminated after a recent DUI arrest, off duty in the Town of Plainville, in which the officer was on video using the "N" word several times during his arrest.

Although the DUI arrest and "N" word incident were recent, the issue of Thody and the photocopied incident dated back over 3 years. That was one of the things that raised the "red flags" for me and made me wonder why it was being brought up now as a single incident when the process had probably involved hundreds of HPD Officer's  and maybe thousands of training forms.

The more people I asked about the matter, the more I was told by numerous sources that the agenda behind the complaint was to discredit Thody and an attempt to open up an Assistant Chief slot for someone that others were lobbying for.

It is also unclear why this matter is arising at this point in time. Is it supposed to be a "gotcha " moment for the HPD Union and its attorneys to expose an alleged corrupt practice in a deposition in an attempt to jackpot an Assistant Chief or the bigger question, if the practice was so corrupt, why did it take three years for the HPD Union to bring it to  light? And wasn't Thody actually a Union member at the time (while still serving the rank of Captain) when the practice was in place, and weren't there numerous other HPD Union members assigned as instructors at the Academy photocopying their signatures on training forms? Shouldn't they be drawn into the complaint and the IAD investigation if all all things being equal?

Apparently the Connecticut Police Officers Standards and Training Council claimed that Hartford's practice was unacceptable and claimed to NBC Connecticut that the photocopying was not permissible.

Yet, despite the comment from POST's Executive Director mentioned in the NBC Connecticut report,, POST instructor's appear to deviate from that same policy by typing the instructors name on POST required training forms as documented and reviewed by "We the People"


At the current time, all parties involved in the investigation are under an HPD "Gag" order until the investigation. Once the investigation is complete the IAD Report will be posted here in its entirety. Chief Rosado, Chief Thody and Chief Medina, the author of the report have also agreed to discuss the investigation once it is complete.

Monday, December 24, 2018



If only we could pair the good things happening in Hartford with the violence that seems to always attract the media.

I guess that probably sounds pretty sarcastic, but there are a lot of positive things going on that get no coverage, but the media trucks swarm when someone is shot or killed.

One of the areas where positive things are happening regularly is at the Hartford Police  PAL (Police Activities League) program serving Hartford's youth with Police Department and Corporate mentorship.

Last Thursday PAL held its Annual Holiday Party for the kids. It was a great event with probably well over one hundred youth attending.

The night included a tractor pulled hayride through downtown Hartford with Christmas Carols being sung by everyone and waves and greetings from the riders and people on the sidewalk alike, and drivers waving and beeping at the kids as they enjoyed a safe and respectful night hosted by HPD.

Santa Claus was present and handed out gifts to all of the young people in attendance and a buffet dinner was also served in  the second floor gymnasium


Friday, December 14, 2018


If Branford can do it, HPD should be able to do it bigger and better.

Maybe we can get Assistant Chief Medina to don his Santa Claus outfit for the lip sync video.

 I am also told by HFD Chief Reggie Freeman that the Hartford Fire Department Fire House lighting competition should be coming to life this weekend as decorative lights will be illuminated on Fire Houses across the City.

 And a genuine thank you to0 all of our first responders who attended the Maple Avenue NRZ Christmas "Get-together ".

Both HFD and HPD have a great working relationship with the NRZ and last night showed that once again. The HFD Fire Cadets were extremely helpful carrying in the numerous donations collected for the Saint Augustine Food Bank, It is encouraging to see the future of HFD learning the importance of community service early on. Many HPD officers , CSO's and others also attended and interacted with community members who attended.

Chief Rosado and his son Esai , direct from hockey practice, worked the crowd and Assistant Chief Thody also attended accompanied by his new fiancee showing off her Christmas present weighing down her ring finger. (It is possible the engagement was moved along by comments made by Deputy Chief Buyak at Chief Thody's swearing in recently to make it official)

Congratulations to Chief Thody and Vicki.

And finally a sincere thank you to Hartford's version of the energizer bunny, my good friend Hyacinth Yennie. I don't know where she gets her energy from, but she never stops working to make her community a better place and seeing everyone coming together last night just shows her tireless and endless love for this City.

Last night is an example of why I choose to live in Hartford

And a great job by Branford PD.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Search Warrant Execution/18-37287


On 12/8/18 at 1213 hours, Officers were dispatched to HPD Headquarters on a report of a serious domestic related incident. Through his investigation, probable cause was developed and an arrest warrant was drafted for Rashid-Thorpe, Yusuuf (DOB 7/25/70) for violating the below listed charges. The arrest warrant was approved by a judge of the Superior Court, with a judge set bond of $250,000. A search and seizure warrant was also drafted based upon information received by Officers and approved by a judge of the Superior Court.


The accused turned himself in at HPD Headquarters without incident on 12/11/18. The search and seizure

warrant was executed by patrol officers on the same date at 2044 hours and several pieces of evidence were

secured, tagged, and submitted to the Property Room. CSD Detectives assisted in the processing of the

apartment. During the execution of the search warrant, ammunition and a firearm holster were recovered.

The accused is a convicted felon that was arrested by VCU Detectives on 4/5/18 for firearms related charges.


Arrested - Rashid-Thorpe, Yusuuf (DOB 7/25/70) 777 Main St. Apt. 1705


Charges - Sexual Assault 1st, Threatening 2nd, Assault 3rd, Disorderly Conduct, and Possession of

Ammunition by a Felon




On December 11, 2018 at approximately 7:15 PM, officers responded to 53 Sharon Street for a report of slashing. Upon arrival, officers initiated an investigation and determined a group of individuals attacked an adult after inflammatory words were exchanged via text message. The adult retrieved a knife and slashed one of the attackers, later determined to be a juvenile. The other attackers fled. Officers collected the knife as evidence and transported the adult to the Major Crimes Division for debriefing. The juvenile sustained a non-life threatening slash wound over the right knee cap and was treated at a local hospital. With the assistance of Major Crimes and Special Investigations Division detectives, the adult and juvenile combatants were arrested and charged accordingly.


Accused Adult: Wynter, Janice (B/F) DOB: 4/15/00 53 Sharon St.


Charges: Assault in the 2nd Deg. (53a-60)

Friday, November 30, 2018


On 11/29/18 at approximately 1941 hours, HPD dispatch received a call from the complainant of an armed robbery on 11/27/18 (Crossroads Supermarket). The complainant stated that two people matching the descriptions of the armed suspects from that robbery were back in front of the store. Officers from the Street Crimes Unit responded to the scene to further investigate the complaint. During the course of their investigation they engaged in a foot pursuit with the suspects, one of which was apprehended, armed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol. During a post Miranda debrief by MCD Detectives, the armed suspect confessed to the robbery on 11/27/18 at the Crossroads Supermarket. A warrant is pending for the robbery. Mondo, Jasonte (12/20/99) of 156 Oakland Terrace Hartford, CT

Charges: Carrying Pistol w/o Permit, Interfering with police


Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Come out Saturday and help Officer Jim Barrett from HPD as he continues his efforts to provide footwear and proper footcare for Hartford's homeless population


During the month of November 2018, Detectives from Hartford Vice & Narcotics developed information that narcotics were being sold from 27/29 York Street. An investigation was conducted, which led detectives to obtain a search warrant for 27 York Street, 2nd floor. On November 26, 2018, Hartford Vice & Narcotics, assisted by Hartford ERT, conducted the warrant operation. As a result of the operation, (1) Pistol/Revolver, ammunition and narcotics was located. In total, (4) persons were arrested on narcotics related charges. (2) of the arrested suspects, both having felony dis-qualifiers with one on parole, faced additional charges for criminal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Parole was contacted and responded. The suspect on parole was remanded by parole without bond, pending court appearance.

Warrant Operation Arrest 11/26/18

A1) Alexis Torres DOB: 04/04/91 LKA: 71 Blue Hills Ave. Hartford, CT (Felony Dis-qualifiers/Parole)

Charged: Criminal Possession Firearm, Criminal Possession Ammunition, Possession Narcotics (2cts),

PWITS Narcotics/Controlled Sub. (3cts), Drug Factory, Risk of Injury to Minor.

A2) Suelanie Concepcion DOB: 3/17/90 LKA: 27 York Street (2nd floor) Hartford, CT

Charged: Possession Narcotics/Controlled Substance (3cts), PWITS Narcotics/Controlled Sub. (3cts), Drug

Factory, Risk of Injury to Minor.

A3) Eduardo Burgos LKA: 4/22/87 LKA: 1686 Broad Street Hartford, CT (Felony Dis-qualifiers)

Charged: Criminal Possession Firearm, Criminal Possession Ammunition, Possession Narcotics (2cts),

PWITS Narcotics (2cts), PWITS Controlled Substance, Drug Factory, Risk of Injury to Minor.

A4) Travis Eason DOB: 12/29/88 LKA: 46 South Whitney Street Hartford, CT

Possession Narcotics, PWITS Narcotics, Possession less than 1/2 ounce Marijuana.

A5) Alexis Torres DOB: 04/04/91 LKA: 71 Blue Hills Ave. Hartford, CT (Felony Dis-qualifiers/Parole)

Possession Narcotics, Sale of Narcotics, Operating Suspended License, Possession Marijuana.


On 8/25/18, probable cause was developed and an arrest warrant was drafted for Roberto Mejias in regards to the assault of a 7 month old infant. DOC PO Pawlich was notified, and Mejias' parole was immediately revoked. Through a concerted effort between Hartford Police Patrol Units, New Britain PD, and DOC Parole, intelligence was obtained that Mejias was present at 174 Maple Street New Britain, CT. On 11/25/18 at approximately 3:43 PM, Hartford Patrol Units and New Britain PD located Mejias, and took him into custody without incident. Mejias was debriefed by HPD Special Investigation Detectives and later remanded to the CT Department of Corrections.

Mejias, Roberto (8/21/88)

Remanded to Custody of DOC (Arrest warrant pending for Risk of Injury to a Minor, Assault 3rd under HPD case 18-35740)