You can always tell the intelligence level of a person when they resort to personal attacks instead of making sensible counter-arguments to support their position on the topic of discussion.
To that end, in addition to several other things, the and its are the subject of the following:
- An extensive investigation regarding patterns or practice of police misconduct (nothing to do with how many tickets were issued or how many arrests were made, but rather the manner in which the police officer(s) conducted themselves while issuing the tickets and/or making the arrests); and
- A civil lawsuit (Chacon et al v. Town of East Haven et al) that has obligated the Town to hire Attorneys Hugh Keefe, Jonathan Einhorn, Roger Calistro, James Talberg, E. Gregory Cerritelli, and Michael Luzzi (at a cost of $175.00 per hour) to represent its Police Chief, nine (9) named police officers, and ten (10) unnamed police officers. And in case you're wondering why the Town didn't hire one (1) attorney to represent everyone, the answer is because conflicts of interest exist between the police officers. And by the way, additional attorneys will be forthcoming as the identities of the ten (10) unnamed police officers become known.
Not helping matters are other aggravating factors such as:
- The preliminary report issued by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice that identified numerous issues and areas of concern it deemed as warranting further attention, including: 1) outdated policies and procedures, 2) insufficient guidance on the application of force, 3) lack of formal requirements for reporting and reviewing the use of force, 4) inadequate citizen complaint and internal investigation processes, 5) lack of an early identification or warning system, 6) fragmented community engagement, and 7) limited training; and
- The Final Report issued by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), an industry recognized subject-matter expert, in which it acknowledged the same numerous issues and areas of concern previously identified by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, but with greater detail (120 pages); and
- A pending formal Consent Decree, which will act as the Department of Justice's Final Report and be handed down to the Town by a Federal Judge. It will dictate the manner in which the East Haven Police Department shall operate from that date forward. The Federal Judge will most likely appoint a Monitor and/or a Police Executive to oversee the day-to-day operations of the department, as well as make certain the provisions of the Consent Decree are carried out for as long as it remains in existence, which often times lasts several years.
Having said this, it stands for good reason that someone has got to be held accountable; and logically speaking, there can be only one person who is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the East Haven Police Department, including the conduct of its employees.
That someone is clearly spelled out in the East Haven Town Charter. It states the Chief of Police, "shall enforce the rules and regulations concerning the operation of the department and the conduct of all officers and employees thereof. He shall also be responsible for the efficiency, discipline and good conduct of all officers and employees thereof. He shall also be responsible for the efficiency, discipline and good conduct of the department and for the care and custody of all property used by the department."
Not to beat a dead horse, but read the words above again, specifically, "He shall be responsible for the efficiency, discipline and good conduct of all officers and employees thereof." I'll say it one last time. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice investigates patterns or practice of police misconduct. Not good conduct; misconduct. And that misconduct is going to cost the taxpayers of East Haven substantially in the form of civil litigation, attorneys, their legal fees, and all the expenses associated with defending the aforementioned police officers.
One last thing, many people believe Police and Fire Chiefs cannot be terminated because they're protected by a state statute. What they fail to understand is the intent of the statute, which is to protect their employment from a Mayor or First Selectman who wants to replace them with a political appointee. A Police or Fire Chief is like every other employee in that they can be subjected to disciplinary action for just cause, up to and including termination.
(Editor's note: links to other articles and outside websites, as well as the East Haven Town Charter included in the gallery with this article, were added by East Haven Patch following the blog post's submission.)