Thursday, September 26, 2019
I would normally advocate for hiring from within to fill administrative vacancies, but I think one key position needs to be filled from the outside. I would encourage Mayor Bronin to conduct a national search to fill the position of Police Chief. That goes contrary to what I have believed, but I don't think there is anyone p0resently at HPD capable of providing the proper leadership to move HPD forward. Morale at HPD, especially among the rank and file is probably at the lowest I have seen it in several years. One person that I thought was more than capable to lead the Department and actually had "Rovella style" vision to build and kick HPD out of neutral (or even reverse) and into overdrive was Deputy Chief William Long. Chief Long was driven out, I mean retired, yesterday.
One other person I think would be a good choice is Assistant Chief Rafael Medina. Medina is a retired CSP Lieutenant and came in with Chief Rosado. I think if Medina put together a good team around him, he could do the job . I think his heart is really in the Patrol Division which is sorely needed right now.
Patrol is the backbone of any Police Department and Medina is not afraid to talk to Patrol Officers or even go out on Patrol with them and more importantly, he respects everyone, no matter their rank. Medina also is a strong believer in accountability and following policy. Now isn't that a novel idea?
I have to admit, I was very disappointed when Chief Rosado left. I felt that Chief Rosado was moving in the right direction and I would have loved to see where HPD would have been after another couple years under his leadership, but we don't always get what we want. I think HPD was culture shock coming from CSP and encountering the HPD culture. I think Medina had the same issues, but he has proven to be fair and consistent in dishing out discipline, something long overdue at HPD.
The first night I met David Rosado, before he became Chief, we had gone out privately and had a great conversation. He asked me what I thought HPD officers were looking for in a Chief. I told him the number one thing Officers had told me was that they wanted accountability. If they did something wrong, they expected to be held accountable and they expected discipline to be fair. I think Rosado did that during his short time here. I still say that Medina was brought in as Assistant Chief to act as Rosado's "hatchet man" someone that could set a strong tone of accountability as well as showing common sense and fairness.
Much of Medina's time here has been occupied with discipline issues, hearings and internal investigations. We can only hope that if he became the permanent Chief, that tasks would lessen for the next Assistant Chief as the rank and file would realize they had to get with the program and the days of game playing were gone. Don't get me wrong, I am not painting the picture of a Department full of rogue cops, a small minority can cause the majority of the problems which paint the Department in a poor light. Proper leadership would eliminate many of those problems.
Many of my readers might be asking "where is you support for the Interim Chief?" It has dissolved for several reasons. One is truthfulness and honesty.. It is just not there in my opinion. A simple example, OK. When I asked the current interim Chief why HPD was not buying the Ford Explorers for Patrol vehicles rather than the higher priced Chevrolet Tahoe's, he told me the Explorers (all wheel drive vehicles) would require mandated 8 hours of mandated driver training for all Patrol Officers operating Explorers.
Mandated by who? No other town or agency I contacted was aware of any training requirements besides the initial training given in the Academy. I asked one Officer from another Department who I knew was driving an Explorer. I asked him what "mandated" training he received before being allowed to drive an Explorer. He laughed and said "NONE, they just handed me the keys". There are other examples, but once you lie to me , you lose my confidence quickly.
The Department is also a disorganized mess. People are more concerned trying to figure out who my sources are and where I get my information instead of admitting the information is correct and doing something to fix it. When I knew there were 20 cars deadlined (broken down and inoperable at the DPW garage) there was more of an effort to figure out who gave me the accurate info rather than putting a push on DPW mechanics to get the cars repaired and back on the street in the Patrol Division ( as a side note, there are 21 cars on the deadline tonight and not enough vehicles for every officer in Patrol to have a cruiser). But on the positive side, all of the Command Staff have , or will be getting brand new vehicles for their daily commutes
Despite the highly touted use of body cameras, many officers still have not received training in the use of Body cameras, nor have they been issued. Many uniformed officers still are not wearing the body cameras and with the exception of ,I believe, traffic Supervisors, no Supervisors are wearing body cameras, detectives are not being issued or trained in the use of the cameras, even though many of them work private jobs or road jobs where they come in contact with residents. At the very least, every Supervisor should already be trained and wearing body cameras since they are the most likely to be involved in situations where the body cam footage would be very helpful when any complaint might be made.
To show more mismanagement, very few cruisers, if any, have dash cameras in operation. Oh, they are here, they have just been sitting on a pallet wrapped in plastic in the basement of HPD for months, un-installed, collecting dust. You might be given the same excuse I was given when I asked the Interim Chief about it. They were waiting for new cars to come in before they installed them. Were those the new cars the Interim told me would be arriving in July? I guess I'll have to give him a pass on that one because he didn't say July of which year. No new cars have arrived yet , except the Command Staff Tahoe's
We should be demanding more from our Interim Police Chief, and the next Chief should be tasked with mentoring the numerous capable officers who should be in line for consideration the next time there is a Chief's opening. This is not a position that the taxpayers of Hartford should be paying over a quarter of a million dollars a year for and getting these type of incompetent results for our money.. But then again, we pay that kind of salary for the Superintendent of schools and get dysfunctional results, so why not the Police Department.
I was going to wait until next week to write this post until I went to HPD for the Public Compstat meeting tonight. Once I arrived at HPD we were informed that the Public Compstat meeting that was posted and advertised on social media had been cancelled. Why you might ask? Because the Mayor was having a Community meeting and he wanted "everyone" there. I can probably recite his canned message better than he can. Do you think maybe they could have posted the sudden cancellation on social media, nope. Typical
Oh well, I think you get my point, but as a City , our Police Department is too important for us and our future to accept such lackluster results.
Sorry Jason, I was willing to give you a fair shot, but you have lost my trust and confidence.
And Deputy Chief Long, congratulations in your retirement, our loss is the State of Connecticut's gain, sadly
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
I think as a City we have become accustomed to the Hartford Fire Department being run properly under Chief Reggie Freeman, no major controversy, no daily embarrassing news stories, just a professionally run organization. That wasn't the case under former Chief Carlos Huertas .
Back in 2015, Captain Thomas Dalton was attacked at a fire scene by a subordinate, Lieutenant Michael Patterson. The ensuing Hartford Police investigation resulted in findings that Patterson was the aggressor and was at fault for the incident. The Hartford Police investigator for the incident actually pursued an arrest warrant for Patterson for his involvement .
Despite the fact that statements and the Police investigation appeared to substantiate that Patterson was the aggressor, the incompetent Fire Chief Huertas and Brady pursued disciplinary action against Captain Dalton.
While Patterson, the aggressor, received a two week suspension, Dalton, the victim of Patterson's aggression received a 3 month suspension.
Dalton subsequently filed a lawsuit against the City of Hartford , the Hartford Fire Department and Huertas and Brady.for the treatment and discipline.
That trial begins today before a jury in Hartford Superior Court, unless the City smartens up first and tries to minimize their losses before it hits the jury.
The original HPD arrest warrant application and incident reports are below. The actual lawsuit documents have been sealed on the judicial website while Jury selection was underway..
Bring your own popcorn, this should be more entertaining than a Hollywood comedy..
Dalton eventually retired in good standing as a District/Deputy Chief.. P:atterson is still employed by HFD Patterson Dalton Incident R... by kevinhfd on Scribd
Monday, September 23, 2019
Apparently the male teacher has been placed on unpaid administrative suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
The teacher has not been named by HPD and he is reportedly out of State at this time.
According to sources, HPD has not interviewed the teacher as of yet, but they do anticipate an interview tomorrow.
No information has been released by the Hartford Schools and HPD is expected to release more information as the investigation proceeds