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EHPD Deputy Chief: 'Are We Truly Getting the Best Candidate?'

A Patch reader shares his questions and concerns regarding the hiring process of the East Haven Police Department's next deputy chief.

Credit: Julie Weisberg
Credit: Julie Weisberg

I certainly hope this application process is questioned during public comment tonight. Such as, if this position was advertised, or if this was yet another pre-approved promotion negotiated behind closed doors.

The people in charge now spoke out heavily against the process and manner John Mannion was hired. Yet, they are apparently doing the same thing here.

As a citizen of East Haven, are we truly getting the best candidate? This is of no reflection of Lt. Lennon’s ability or qualifications, he may be the best for the position, but without screening multiple applicants, and having some sort of process are we getting our money’s worth.

Also, is Lt. Lennon retiring from the Police Dept,  as this I believe is  a non-union position, and what impact that has to the taxpayers of East Haven.  Is this a permanent position? Or contracted annual/bi-annual position? 

http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20140421/east-haven-deputy-police-chief-john-mannion-to-step-...
Richard Poulton April 22, 2014 at 02:47 PM
George you asked a good question. As far as I am aware the only position that is considered an appointment is the position of Chief. One would think the opening would be available via testing and some sort of oral interview by an outside agency. As for Lennon having to retire, no. He would just go from a union based position to that of administrative, non-union position. Normally in this day in age such are contractual by years in "contract" signed. But just remember, that position can be left un-filled and go back to the days of having an Inspector and Capt. position, both a tested rank. Capone did away with those ranks to fund the Mannion pay. But if someone from the outside is brought in that stops all the upward mobility from the ranking members of the department.
George Kenyon April 22, 2014 at 03:29 PM
Thank you Richard, I agree and certainly, as I said this is no reflection on Lt Lennon as a whole. As an East Haven resident, I want the best of the best for our town and its resources. I also did factor in the “upward mobility” view as well. Which now brings in, what will this do to the resources for patrol and front line supervisors. Patrol is still a long ways from staffed properly, moving anyone up would now create another empty “slot”. I am also looking at from the view that many Sergeants lack the experience to be moved up to a Lieutenants position. I remember the issue when Mannion was hired, among them it did eliminate the Inspectors position (which was a union position) and terminated a position in an already small department. As I said, I do understand both sides here, but after everything our town and this departments been through, looking at every aspect needs to come into play. Including the impact of collective bargaining as to the Lt’s position, retirement benefits etc. I do recall during the Nappi fiasco his union status and years were called into question, and whether it was still accumulating during his Acting Chief role. As I said, Lt Lennon may be the best fit for the position, but at the same time, even to keep the upward mobility available, has this position been posted or offered to other members of the Department? I am unable to attend tonight’s meeting, but certainly hope these questions are raised by either the Union or the Public.
Peter T. Cianelli April 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM
well said George.......

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