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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT FOR HARTFORD? WHERE IS IT

NEW CHEVY TAHOES FOR HPD, ROUGHLY  $48,000 EACH PLUS, AT LEAST 10 TO 13 TOTAL NEW VEHICLES DELIVERED
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, HALF A MILLION DOLLARS IN TAKE HOME CARS FOR HPD


I am trying to figure out who is telling me the truth and who is trying to pull the wool over my eyes.

The condition of the Hartford Police fleet, it is deteriorating quickly, I guess that is what happens when you don't follow the fleet replacement plan developed several years ago. Under that plan the majority of the fleet was replaced with end of the year, actually the last year that Ford's Police Package Crown Vic was being produced and the Chevrolet Caprice. That was also the beginning of the Black and White traditional police markings coming back to Hartford.

Almost daily, HPD cruisers are breaking down and being towed or "deadlined". Deadlining is the term used when the car is unfit for use and the car has to be taken to DPW's City Yard for repairs. Many days it seems like more cars on the deadline  on City Yard than those actually operating. This is a huge problem , especially on weekends or holidays when the Patrol Division has to put officers on the streets in safe, drivable vehicles. Deadlining could be for anything from replacement headlights or windshield wipers needed or major issues like a blown engine or brakes or transmission problems

Now in many instances, Patrol Officers are scrambling to find working, safe cruisers to go out on patrol. And I think most people that know anything about modern policing would admit that there are many specialized units, but Patrol is the backbone of any Police Department. Twenty four seven they are out there facing the public and danger every day around the clock. No disrespect, but other units are left to mop up after patrol has already headed into the problems and dealt with it

You would think that respect by Police Administrators would carry through since in most cases, with a few exceptions, they all spent time in Patrol (some more than others). It is troubling to me when Officer's stop by my home to show me the deplorable conditions of their cars. I have seen cruisers with holes in the drivers floor and they had to take an old stop sign from City Yard to lay down to cover the holes in an attempt to make the car somewhat safe.

I have been assured for months now that new patrol cars were coming, Then I was told as of July 1st once the new budget kicked in. Nothing in July, Then I was told that they would be able to order additional vehicle since Governor Lamont's Budget Director, a former City of Hartford employee had found additional money to send to Hartford for vehicles.

As of today,  no new patrol vehicles. Some older cars are being recycled back to patrol use. Then amazingly I received a call from a regular reader of the blog who has read many of the comments regarding the poor condition of the HPD fleet They told me they work at Constitution Plaza and Park in the Morgan Street garage and they observed a caravan of ten Brand new Chevy Tahoe's  being parked on the fifth floor on the East side out of the view of regular traffic flow.

 I had to verify that myself in light of the stories I was being told. Imagine my surprise when my wandering eyes beheld 10 shiny new Tahoe's on the 5th floor of the Morgan Street garage,east side, exactly where my said they were parked, all backed into parking spaces complete with police spotlights mounted on them. Now I have also been told that the Tahoe's would not go to Patrol since the engines are too big and they are not economical at all for Patrol use, not to mention the excessive speed  factor and officer's crashing them.

Now lets look at the economics. The Tahoe's, even with Government discounts are probably sold to the City for between $43,000 and $48,000 any "upfit" charges like lights. sirens radio, gun safes, etc. would be additional and could add up to $15,000 per vehicle. Now also keep in mind,  most of these Tahoe's are slated to go to Command Staff and Chief's, while Patrol Officers are left on the side of the road for Corona's to tow them back for repairs. By comparison, a source familiar with ordering Police vehicles told me that the Ford Explorer, depending on accessories would sell for between $23,000 to $28,000 each, almost a $20,000 per vehicle savings over the Tahoe's and a huge gas saving cost also when figuring in mileage.

The more economical choice would of course be the Ford Explorer. Now I am told there are production issues with the Explorer's, but where is the foresight? How can the Connecticut State Police  have 250 new vehicles waiting in Middletown to be outfitted and every town around us seems to have new Explorer's on their streets, and Hartford, the Capitol City, has none? 

The number of take home cars issued by HPD , basically as take home family cars with free gas and maintenance is deplorable. especially when their first priority should be getting vehicles out on the street to protect the City, not provide free commuter transportation to high ranking (and highly paid) administrators. I once had a HPD Captain tell me that he refused to take the car issued to him and left it parked at the old PD on Jennings Road unless he needed to use it for Police Business. He explained to me that "No one owed him a free ride to work, especially a taxpayer from Hartford" Sadly he is retired now , but I wish more shared that mentality.

These take home cars need to be issued on a case by case basis and not just a  perk of the job .Certain people at HPD, zone Lieutenant's, The commander of the Traffic Division, the Major crimes Commander, maybe even the IAD Commander have legitimate reasons for take home cars. But to jut give brand new $50,000 SUVS to the Academy Commander, the Court Liaison, and others who very rarely get a call back or spend time on the road is a huge waste or resources. If they need to go somewhere, grab a set of keys for a fleet vehicle and head out from headquarters.

In the meantime, HPD's fleet is a disaster, I am told 5 Ford Explorers are being outfitted at the Company in Middletown that sets up the new cruisers. 5 new cruisers probably won't even cover the number of cars that break down today. (those five new explorers apparently have not arrived yet either) Maybe the City hasn't paid their bill yet.

The Financial oversight, if there is any, seems to be a joke, and half a million for PD rides home is a joke.In the meantime it would probably be cheaper to use Uber for the command staff, that's what we do in the real world 

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Check and see who is in charge of ordering the new cars and I guarantee therein lies the issue. It's usually someone with ties to the chief or some other command staff person. Then you will see those persons and their "boys" getting hooked up with new cars(Tahoes). Simple. It's been that way forever...same circus different clowns.

Anonymous said...

Great post Kevin, that’s the MOAB blog posts. You nailed it. These are the consequences of making an interim chief that still has the mindset and behaves like the cadet he once was.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised one bit based on thody’s past. He is devious and only cares about himself. He’s dangerous for our Pd, morale and the city. Also no surprise he lied straight to your face Kevin.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow! Talk about leading by example! Say what you want about James Rovella, but almost throughout his entire tenure, he drove the oldest Ford Taurus in the fleet. Have you confirmed 5 new cruisers are actually being upfitted AND going to patrol? I’d bet that’s not accurate. Also, you named certain Lieutenant’s that have “legitimate” reasons to have a take home car, all are pretty accurate. But why does a traffic commander have a legitimate reason to have a take home vehicle? Traffic hasn’t come in for a legitimate callback in forever. They aren’t subject to call backs, everything is planned. They don’t even get called back to investigate fatal MVA’s, CSD does. They don’t even get called back to block streets at accidents, crime scenes or fires. Basically, if traffic is off, they’re off and not coming back. Please tell me why the traffic commander has a legitimate reason to have a take home car or one instance in the last decade there was a traffic commander callback? The others you named are subject to callbacks, even the IAD commander, however minimally.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

7:39PM

you are correct, Jim Rovella was not caught up in having the newest and best vehicle in the fleet, he led by example. I am told last week at Roll Call a Lieutenant questioned a Chief about when he was getting a new vehicle. Not when new cars were coming in for Patrol, but when was he HIS new car? What message does that send to the rank and file? You only matter when you obtain rank? Terrible leadership.

My thoughts on the Traffic Commander are simple, although the Traffic LT does have an office at 253, the majority of time is spent on the road, whether supervising Concerts, baseball games or other events, the major portion of his or her time is on the street, their office on wheels. How much time does an Academy LT or Court LT or other Administrative LT's actually spend on the road. The other issue is that LT's only get paid straight time for all the hours they work. If you take into account those hours, that car for any LT in traffic or Zone LT's is well worth it.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think you made a “legitimate” case for a bankrupt city, but understand your point.

Anonymous said...

Pia and Bowsza under the direct command of Cadet Thody.

Anonymous said...

U give Rovella way too much credit then he deserves.

Anonymous said...

Just because the City mismanages their funds doesn’t mean the PD should operate differently. You start trying to change contract negotiated items just because the City is broke, we will lose everything! Thody is doing a good job and is trying hard with the hand he was dealt. Things will change soon and the moral will get better. Just stop complaining and attacking your own so called “brothers in blue.” Stand tall and have pride in the badge that’s on your chest! If you don’t like it, there’s plenty of local towns looking for bodies. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Look into hfd apparatus. Don’t let them fool you by saying there r 4 new fire trucks coming. It takes about a year if lucky for them to be built. If the DOT came in and inspected the fleet at least 4 of the frontline apparatus would be taken out of service. There are trucks older than half the guys on the job. Do some digging.

Anonymous said...

Start giving up benefits just because the city mismanages money and we will soon give up everything. How about sticking together and having pride for the little we have. When I first started the vehicles were in way worse condition than they are now.

Concerned CT resident said...

And why are they parked at the Morgan Street garage anyway? While we are on the subject, why are cars also parked at Aetna and various other garages and lots throughout the city? Seems a little strange doesn't it? Maybe you can find out why.....you get good results once again....keep up the good work Mr.Brookman.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Concerned CT resident,

I don't know why they are at Morgan Street. The normal procedure is that they are delivered to DPW at 40 Jennings Road and are then registered and given a fleet number and their "gasboy" number to be able to fuel up at the City's pumps. As far as the marked cruisers that are parked in various garages, such as Aetna, those are CSO's cars for the most part. Since CSO's work out of designated areas in the City, they are allowed to park their cruisers within or close to their assigned area. It also offers a level of protection for the cars to be in garaged areas when they aren't being used and less likely to be vandalized or damaged parked in outside lots when they aren't being used. Most of the garages, such as Aetna's are relatively secure and most monitored by cameras.

Anonymous said...

So Kevin, your saying because a Lieutenant spends most of his or her time on the street, but isn’t subject to call backs, justifies a take home vehicle with unlimited personal use and gas? Like patrol Lieutenant’s that have patrol Sergeants, doesn’t the traffic Lieutenant have traffic Sergeants? That being the case, patrol Lieutenants should have take home Tahoe’s. Just gave every Lieutenant a take home Tahoe, by the looks of things, there’s plenty to go around.

Anonymous said...

Kevin just heard you on WTIC with Todd Fienberg. Good job. You were very relaxed and made your point on the waste of the vehicles very well. Lets see if the Hartford Courant puts a reporter on following one of these police Bureaucrats to Fenway Park.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, you’re making a big issue on false information. Keep burning those bridges.

Anonymous said...

I could feel the tension at compstat amongst the command staff today.......you really struck a nerve with this one Mr. Brookman.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

8:32PM

What information is false? please enlighten me

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

And just so you know, I have requested the purchase orders and payment records from City Hall from 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV Release Date And Price, If they claim they are paying lees than I stated, I want to know how.

Here is information from a dealer for the Chevy Tahoe PPV-(Police Pursuit Vehicle)

And keep in mind this info is for 2019 vehicles, not the 2020.

We anticipate Chevy to get started on creating the actual 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV throughout July, meaning we ought to view it get there at some point in the past due summer season or very early drop of 2019. Considering that there will be no changes approaching. We anticipate seeing a 2019 Tahoe’s prices drop near the present model, which varieties from $48,795 to $66,495.

City Employee said...

Invoice price to the City was $37,392 each, 2019 model, from Northwest Hills Automotive, LLC purchased piggy back on the State of Connecticut Contract pricing. The Police also bought four Ford Interceptor Utility Explorer's in July 2019 for $30,770 each. There are several Police Tahoe's on the street daily especially in the Traffic division. The Police Chief has a 2016 Tahoe with 57,000 miles on it. This is far from the prices you got from a dealer. BTW the Tahoe has more safety features, more dependable, more powerful and is not a una body construction it is body on frame. Well worth the additional $6600 each.

Anonymous said...

Really Trooper Thody? First Sgt. Spell and Sgt. Bremser had this fleet at its best. To put the blame on them for the current condition of the HPD fleet is irresponsible. They also had a great relationship with DPW and got repairs done faster than that fraud of an Officer, Jose Rivera. You hardly ever saw a spare vehicle on the road because the line cars were in great working condition. It’s time to bounce Jose Rivera back to midnights and hire a real fleet manager. Or will you keep him in the fleet office as a Sergeant? Can’t wait for those grievances to drop. You and your “inner circle”just continue to drive this department into the ground. Sadly, no one wants to wear the Hartford patch anymore. You have Officers leaving this department faster than you can recruit them. But lets continue to screw with the rank and file, as long as you and your command staff get your new comfort vehicles with heated seats and plenty of cargo space for your groceries. Let’s not forgot those expensive light packages for Coates, Long, and Rendock to have so that they can look special when they are working their PJ’s and dirty traffic hires. If you guys really wanna be troopers that bad I’m sure Rovella will hook you up. He hooked up “SpongeBob” aka Brian Foley, another HPD fraud. The primary is a few weeks away. Eddie Perez isn’t a great choice but look at what we have to work with here. Can the city really survive another four years of Luke Bronin?

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

3:50 PM

A little off topic here but let me just say I was disgusted to read the story this morning about the discipline for Michael Flynn. Officer Flynn has always been very professional in my dealings with him and was a great ambassador for HPD as a mounted Officer when he was on horseback

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

3:332PMN

It might be a little more transparent if you actually posted that as a press release from HPD. So you are trying to convince me that Chevrolet has dropped the price almost $10,000 since we last ordered the Tahoe's in 2016 for $42,250 each, Also your facts on the Explorer's are incorrect. It was Five Explorers ordered on March 21, 2019, not FOUR in July. They were ordered on City of Hartford Purchase Order 20193085 (I can send you a copy if you need to check your facts). They also apparently have not been delivered yet. You must be part of the second floor propaganda machine if you happen to know the mileage of the Chief's vehicle at 57,000. Good effort though

Bob Killian said...

Another coup for Brookman! Good work, Kevin.

Anonymous said...

2 cruiser crash today, patrol needs the Tahoe’s!

Anonymous said...

Never mind all the fleet issues and the attacks on your character Mr. Brookman. Whether you want to face reality or not, simply put, Jason Thody is failing miserably. He is unequivocally the worst chief in Hartford’s history. HPD is in complete disarray. Jason Thody has been a habitual liar and scam artist since day one. Mayor Luke Bronin is a very intelligent individual, a Rhodes Scholar as a matter of fact. How Jason Thody pulled this fraudulent scam of the century is mind boggling. Agreeing to retire, come back and collect a pension check and a weekly pay check, for complete and utter failure at all levels. Is there more to this? Are we all missing something here? Hopefully relief is on the horizon. Please help us Mayor as November is eon’s away. Vote of no confidence in discussions now.

Craig T said...

Kevin, you do not know what a purchase order is. it is an agreement between the parties to purchase goods at a set price. The City bought 4 explorers and another vehicle on that purchase order in July, I have the invoices that were paid, and it was paid with one check. Also I am not defending thew HPD purchase of Tahoe's, but just making it clear on the purchase price. If you are going to try to be a reporter, then confirm what your saying to the people on Hartford.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Craig,

I am well aware of what a purchase order is. But I am becoming confused as to what a City Auditor does. By Hartford's Charter, my understanding is that the Office of the Auditor is supposed to be independent of party politics ( I think autonomous is the word they used) and the position is supposed to be free of political influence and monitored by the Internal Audit Commission. So what is in it for you to suddenly become the spokesperson for the Bronin campaign. Maybe if you were being honest and tell the people what it actually costs to put a Tahoe on the road, you might stop being the mouthpiece for the Mayor I think your time might be better spent auditing the fleet and questioning where these vehicles actually travel to and addressing the City policy which the Council had set "for business use only" not as a personal family car for high ranking Police officials. P{lease do your job and stop trying to discredit me. The public is smart enough to see what is going on without your tutoring.

Anonymous said...

What is it that Kevin doesn’t know what a purchase order is? I must be missing it. And what is it that he hasn’t confirmed what he’s said to We the People? And just so your not confused, I believe Kevin is a blogger (and a good one), not a reporter. Len Besthoff would be a reporter (and a good one). Very big difference between a blogger and reporter.

Craig said...

Kevin this is my last post on the blog ever. This Tahoe issue is not about politics, it is about getting facts correct and not making statements that have no basis. IE. How can you say I am a spokesman for the Mayor? This is the kind of statement that has no place here and is so far from the truth. I have no political ties to anyone in the City and never did. I do not even vote in Hartford. Have fun with your blog and I hope your followers enjoy. And being honest, I presented the cost of a vehicle compared to the cost of a similar vehicle. Both would have the same fit up cost so that was irrelevant. I can assure you that you will never see a post from me again.

Anonymous said...

I was indifferent about Thody. Not anymore. How could a leader order all new high end vehicles for command staff while patrol officers are driving death traps that break down every other week? Their excuses are laughable things children tell eachother. We have patrol cops doubling up and standing around at HQ while the Lt tries to find them a cruiser that barely runs. I for one will be pushing a no confidence vote. Kevin, keep pushing this so more and more of the public can question why Bronin allows Thody to get away with this.

Anonymous said...

Thody and his crew do not care about anybody. Thody doesn't care about anyone but himself, just look at the choices he has made so far. Why did he put a stop to the new uniforms Gabe worked so hard to try and get. Lets let patrol guys look professional in an almost Class A uniform, while getting out of old crusty broken down cars. No much of anything makes sense at HPD anymore. All I know is, Bronin doesn’t have a chance to get re-elected.

Anonymous said...

Hartford PD has a long standing proud tradition of having some of the sharpest uniforms for a city police department. It needs to stay that way. That’s probably the only decent decision he’s made. If you want to wear cargo pants and wear uniforms with sewn on badges and name tags and look like a bag of sh%#, go be a corrections officer, DMV inspector or New Britain PD.

Anonymous said...

Now that’s BS! You wouldn’t know what sharp is, if you got cut with a razor. There’s other uniforms that look exactly like ours, only more practical and comfortable. Thody shot them down as soon as he took over. And it’s not the uniform, it’s the officer wearing the uniform. I see plenty of our current uniforms that looks like sh%#!

Anonymous said...

No it’s not.....it’s the officer out of shape in the uniform. You have no idea what your talking about, probably a few years or less on the job. A lot has gone into the HPD uniform, long before you were ever on the job. Before your time rookie, roll calls consisted of uniform inspections which included having polished shoes/boots. Something you obviously have no clue about or pride. It didn’t matter what kind of crusty old car we got out of or what foot beat we walked. HPD is a mess because of officers like you. Thody is well aware of this. Thody made the right decision on the uniforms. Thody was one to always keep his uniform on point and squared, even if he only wore it at the Walmart PJ. Don’t back down to these clowns Jason!

Anonymous said...

Why did Thody put a stop to the new uniforms Gabe worked so hard to try and get?! Really??? Let’s keep it real here. Gabe has absolutely NO business being on any uniform committee. He shouldn’t even be on the public works uniform committee! From day one his uniform has always looked like sh$#! He has never taken any pride in his uniform and rarely looked acceptable. There is not one person that can ever say he came to work with a squared away uniform even once. So knock it off already. The only thing you do know that is accurate is that Bronin doesn’t have a chance to get re-elected. Now take your iron out, if you have one, and crease your patch for the first time, the crease line goes between the R and the D.

flowery said...

Its only those who don't do real police work who are against new uniforms. xray that "Hartford PD has a long standing proud tradition of having some of the sharpest uniforms for a city police department" nonsense. The job has changed and with that, the uniform should too. Yeah it worked well 80 years ago when all you were carrying was a pistol. With all the gear that's carried now, tactical vest and bdu's are the way to go. Oh I forgot, the city is reactionary, and will only change once half the dept goes out on sick leave due to back injuries. How do you even have a uniform committee thats not mainly comprised of those who wear it day in and day out? This place is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Gabe has done more work in a single week than all you babies have done combined!

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

10:57am

Agreed, a crisp uniform and polished shoes are only one part. Gabe has been responsive to the Community and appreciates and respects the people working under him from what I can see

Anonymous said...

Only thing flowery is your demeanor. CT State Police carry the same gear as you turd, actually more due to three pouch magazine holders. You haven’t been around long enough to know how the job has changed. Go work for UPS or be a mechanic if you wanna wear BDU’s.

Anonymous said...

Nobody questioned Gabe being a hard worker and being responsive to the community. Along with that, he was always a proactive good street cop and definitely did do more police work in a week than all the cry babies combined, no doubt. The point being made is that he never wore a crisp uniform, it always looked like he just grabbed it from the bottom of the hamper and threw it on. That’s all. Doesn’t make him a bad person by any means.

Unknown said...

CT state police also sit in a cruiser all day and carry one extra Mag (oh wow so much more). Patrol is running more and just as busy as street crimes. It can’t be ok for one division but not the other.

Anonymous said...

You all want to talk bad about everyone why don’t you talk about all the scams coming out of the PJ Office? Why doesn’t anyone question all the unethical scams coming out of that little office. From calling up new officers that didn’t sign up to work and forcing them to agree to work so they don’t have to pay everyone overtime. Once you order in one person you have to pay everyone overtime. Or how about all the bribes to get easy road jobs that they know usually don’t go the full 8 hours. Officers taking payment and or gifts for short road jobs is not only unethical but also conduct unbecoming! Not only do these lieutenants and Captains have take home cars with free gas they also have the scammers in the PJ office saving road jobs for them so they can keep their spots in the PJ office. If the FBI investigates that office guys would go to jail.

Anonymous said...

Accepting a number 1 ranking on the lieutenant's test that everyone knew he didn't earn or deserve is what makes him a bad person. All that other stuff... he's just like every other cop that does his or her job.

Anonymous said...

Don’t be a hater! All you have to do is take care of them and they will take care of you. Very simple just bring them some pastries or iced coffee every morning and you will get the best road jobs.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a new kid that gets the 0700 to 1500 CJ Fucci jobs on the Ave! Once you earn some respect, have more than 2 seconds on the job and have paid your dues working years and years of pjs then you'll get "hooked up". In the mean time no one is forcing you to sign up and answer your phone. Be grateful for what you get and keep your mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

No way! That’s not how it works! I don’t care if I’m new or a 20 year Vet. Road jobs are supposed to be fair. I’m taking notes and remember that there’s a camera right in front of the PJ Office. Case closed!
- Saving jobs for certain LT’s and Captains.
- Hooking up guys for Gifts.
- Accepting gifts for good jobs.
- calling New Officers that didn’t even sign up for private jobs and instead of ordering us in you scare us in to volunteering for the job so then you don’t have to pay everyone at the overtime rate.
- Conduct unbecoming You’re FIRED!
- Stay tuned you lazy Vets! The eye in the sky has it all recorded. You know who you are!

Anonymous said...

No one cares about your note taking. Go file a FOI inquiry for the cameras if your so unhappy about your crappy PJs. No one cares your feelings are hurt and your not getting treated fairly. Take all the notes you want. Hell, I'll even get you a chair to sit in in front of the pj office. Quit your whining. If you are so upset I'll help you out and refer you to EAP. Suck it up butter cup new guy. Pay your dues like the rest of us. The pj office has been operating the same way the last 30 years. You thinking that you can change it is laughable to say the least. Sounds like your the one that needs to leave or just fire yourself. Man up.