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Feds: East Haven Police Settlement Agreement Jointly Filed In Court [DOCUMENT]

The consent decree, which will result in federal oversight of the East Haven Police Department, also "resolves allegations that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures."

The following is a press release from the U.S. Justice Department. The settlement agreement has been attached to this post as a PDF document.

The Justice Department today announced that it has entered into a comprehensive settlement agreement with the town of East Haven, Conn., to resolve the department’s complaint alleging that the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against individuals on account of race, color or national origin. 

The agreement also resolves allegations that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures. 

The department and town jointly filed the agreement in federal district court today seeking the court’s approval and continued jurisdiction to enforce its terms.

The agreement is designed to ensure that the policies and practices of EHPD uphold constitutional protections against unlawful discrimination and unreasonable searches and seizures for the town’s 29,000 residents and other individuals who visit the town. 

The agreement, which draws from contemporary policing practices from around the country, is also designed to strengthen the community’s trust in EHPD and enable police officers to more effectively protect public safety. 

Once the agreement is implemented, the town is required to maintain two years of sustained compliance to ensure that the reforms become part of the agency’s standard procedures and institutional culture.   

On Oct. 22, 2012, the department and the mayor of East Haven signed a letter of intent to enter into the agreement that provided the mayor an opportunity to consult with other town officials on the agreement’s comprehensive reforms.  Following a series of board and council meetings, town officials unanimously endorsed the agreement. 

On Nov. 15, 2012, the mayor and police commission chairman executed the agreement. 

“We are pleased that town officials have joined the mayor and the board of police commissioners in supporting the broad reforms embodied in the agreement.” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “The agreement reflects a strong commitment to effective and constitutional law enforcement in East Haven for all who live, work and visit the town.”

“We commend the mayor, board of police commissioners, police chief, police officers and other town officials for taking this important step forward toward reform,” said David B. Fein, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. “This agreement will provide the men and women of EHPD with the necessary support and guidance they need to fulfill their duties in a manner that protects public safety and upholds individuals’ civil rights.”

The agreement provides for comprehensive reforms in seven core areas, and provides for a joint compliance expert who will independently assess EHPD’s implementation of the agreement. 

The seven core areas are:

  • Biased-free policing, including measures on mandatory training, collection and analysis of data on police encounters, development of a meaningful language access plan, notification to consulates when foreign nationals are detained, and steps to promote biased-free policing in EHPD’s hiring, promotion and performance assessment processes;
  • Use of force, including the development of current policies on use of force and measures that provide for comprehensive training, consistent force reporting and thorough force reviews and investigations by supervisors and the internal affairs officer;
  • Searches and seizures, including the development of up-to-date policies and measures on applying for search warrants, documenting consent searches, notifying supervisors of felony arrests and other “contempt-of-cop” situations, inspecting detainees for injuries and preserving individuals’ First Amendment rights to observe and record police activity;
  • Policies and training, including measures to ensure that officers  and supervisors have sufficient guidance to carry out their law enforcement responsibilities in a lawful, effective and ethical manner;
  • Civilian complaints, internal investigations and discipline, including measures to ensure that all allegations of officer misconduct are received and thoroughly investigated and that officers who engage in misconduct are held accountable by a disciplinary system that is fair and consistent;
  • Supervision and management, including steps that provide for close and effective supervision to assist officers in carrying out their duties in a lawful manner and systems that allow supervisors to identify, correct and prevent misconduct; and
  • Community engagement and oversight, including measures to create robust partnerships with all segments of the East Haven community, disseminate public information on reforms and policing activities and solicit feedback on the relationship between EHPD and the community.

In September 2009, the Justice Department opened a pattern or practice investigation into allegations that EHPD officers engaged in discriminatory traffic enforcement, use of excessive force and unconstitutional searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination laws. 

In December 2011, the department completed its investigation and issued a letter finding reasonable cause to believe that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination and other misconduct. 

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

Gene Ruocco November 20, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I cannot help but to remember all those over the last three years that caused people to believe that there was nothing wrong within our police department. The 54 pages in the consent decree goes back 15 years, I have to say thank you to the police commissioners for all your courage during the very hart times of those past years leading up to the reforms that will finally happen.
Luigi (the original) November 20, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I just wonder if the Commission really thinks your "gratitude" is sincere or another of your many fabrications. You are after all a known LIAR and a HYPOCRITE. Mr. Josy Wales, Captain Blood, Max Snyder, Doc and so many more........
Saybrook November 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Luigi, Are you capable of commenting without being nasty? You strike me as a bitter man in need of a scapegoat. Please remember the golden rule.
cheryl November 21, 2012 at 12:58 AM
such crap!!!!
Foxon Resident November 21, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Does anyone know if an East Haven Police officer has ever been convicted of a crime against a latino or hispanic?
ASmith November 21, 2012 at 03:49 AM
folks will have that answer in 2013 once the federal trials are over. should be interestin watchin in that federal court room. wonder how many pooliticians are gonna show up to watch the trials. course now that the consent decrees been filed, wonder if the action is gonna start on that civil suit filed by all those folks in federal court. looks like 2013 is a shapin up to be a busy year. criminal trial, civil trial, mayor's election and i hear the jerry springer show is gonna do a live program from the board of ed meetin. The "Staven Shore" newest reality tv show here in the nutmeg state. Guess our burg is now known as the dumbest town in CT thanks to Taco Joe and the "ladies of education". But heck look at the USA, the econony is in the commode, they is bombin each other crazy in the middle east, but lord bless us "WE ARE SAVIN THE TWINKEE!" . yup. generation xyz has taken over. to think how hard we all worked not to give up through the depression, wwII, on and on, to leave behind this great country of ours to a bunch of nitwits.
Flowers November 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM
This list doesn't look that onerous and essentially describes the behavior of a modern politically correct PD. I'm sure some of this stuff was in place before Fr Manship got involved. Glad its behind us. One problem solved, now lets save the Twinkie! If Twinkie production moves to Mexico how will we get them over that big fence? And while we are on the subject, the hand dryer in the mens room at Stop and Shop doesn't work worth a damn.
Karma November 21, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Try the one in the ladies room.
Jacobo Arnez November 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Flowers is correct, there is no "smoking gun" (pun intended) policies here. These seem like standard operating procedure for any PD. So there will be extra paperwork for someone to answer criteria questionnaires and provide copies of compliance forms. But, I guess it sounds better to the "I told you so'ers" to have us imagining office space at the Police Dept on North High street will now house an entourage of DOJ agents and lawyers to oversee the day to day operations.
Maggie Mae November 21, 2012 at 03:58 PM
If April was sooooo good, why didn't she take action!!!?
Seltzer November 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM
If there were an entourage of DOJ attorneys and agents overseeing the EHPD, they would likely behave themselves. My guess is that the feds have put up cameras and when the bullies spring into action, and they will as soon as they believe the coast is clear, more arrests will be made. BTW, why are terms of the settlement agreemet as posted on patch so vastly different from the ones on the Courant site. Does anyone have a link to the real settlement agreement?
Peter T. Cianelli November 21, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I'm saddened that our town had to go through the bashing in the main stream media... the lying from the fab 5 Democrats who did everything possible to destroy the East Haven PD and the lives of 4 Police Officers and their familes... Where was the Racism??? Where was the latino profiling ???....This all because these FAB 5 hated Len Gallo !!! and hated Joe Maturo !!!! Now the FAB 5 will write under false names ...some of them according to the Editor of Patch use numerous names... when she removes them , they set up another account.... You know who you are and WE know who you are .... You are Cowards !! A closing message to our Fab 5... Happy Thanksgiving and when you all sit down tomorrow at your table ... maybe you could say a prayer for the 4 officers that made a mistake... I know my family will keep them in our prayers !!!
Pray_for_the_abusers November 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Pete's crew... http://juanitajean.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/secede.gif
Pray_for_the_abusers November 21, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I am speechless. What about the victims? Surely you will be praying for them, no?
Pray_for_the_abusers November 21, 2012 at 06:38 PM
"The Fab 5"? OMG, Pete has lost his mind.
Chilli November 21, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I guess Pete held the door during language arts class in middle school. Apparently he can't read!
Suncatcher November 21, 2012 at 07:24 PM
http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-east-haven-1121-20121120,0,1909611.story
Karma November 21, 2012 at 09:19 PM
What a putz.
Karma November 21, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Hit the nail on the head there. Change the Texans with Stavens and you're spot on.
Karma November 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Senile old fool.
Bob Fawkes November 21, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Joe Maturo thanks you. Everybody else thinks you're a blubbering old fool.
Bob Fawkes November 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Hey sockpuppet. How have a problem with me?
Jacobo Arnez November 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Hey jaggo......this is for you: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3r45td/
Bob Fawkes November 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Couldn't come up with anything new over the past couple of months? Again I ask, what's your problem with me?
ASmith November 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM
crick crick crick, hyocricket at it again. gots to run his mouth off, cause if he dont that will mean he sold his soul to ole joe to get favors from em. heck if it were all for nothin, then why did ole joe settle and sign this, why is ole joe and his buddy mr. lou on the police commission stickin it to Mr. Miller, one of them 4 police officers. Mr. Miller tried to get his money for his sick days and vacation days like his contract said we was entitled to and ole joe pusshed for the commisssion to deny it and his buddy on the commission mr. lou went for it. how do yall explain ole joes actions toward these 4 policemen? or did he stick it to Mr. Miller cause he was a cooperatin with the fbi now. sounds more like a stinkin fish to me on ole Mayor Jo(k)e's part, first he yell and scream and say nothin goin on, then he gets elected and does a 360, now he's stickin it to Miller. cant explain that away Mr. Hypocricket. I agree folks jes think yall are a blubber and will say anythin to make your buddy look good, even when your buddy is stickin it to the fella you claim to care bout. if yall want to say a prayer for Mr. Miller why dont yall go tell your buddy Mayor jO(k)e to give Mr. Miller the money the town owes em.
AGE November 28, 2012 at 09:49 PM
to A Smith, please stop speaking like an ignoramous - you and that attitude are what gives East Haven its bad name.

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