The following is a press release from the East Haven Mayor's Office.
Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. announced today that the Town of East Haven has met each and every deadline called for under its agreement with the Department of Justice for the first 270 days.
Maturo explained, “I am proud to announce that our Police Department and compliance team have met every single deadline called for under our agreement with the Department of Justice up to the recently passed 270 day mark. This feat is extraordinary, especially in light of the fact that, to the best of our knowledge, no jurisdiction in the country has managed to meet this deadline on time and in full compliance.”
Pursuant to the requirements of the settlement agreement between the Town of East Haven and the United States Department of Justice, the Town is required to complete a laundry list of improvements within 60, 90, 180, 270, and 360 days of approval of the agreement by the court. The 270 day deadline called for several comprehensive improvements including:
- Complete revision of all of the Department’s policies and procedures;
- Development of approved testing procedures to ensure that all training is valid, reliable, fair, and legally defensible;
- Development of a system to collect data on all investigatory stops and searches which can be searched, easily analyzed, and integrated into the Department’s computer system;
- Issuance of the semi-annual report regarding stops and searches;
- Completion of approved semi-annual firearms training.
Maturo continued, “The policy and procedure revision is notable, especially because it required the department to completely re-write old policies and, in some cases, develop entirely new policies. In all, 81 policies have been forwarded to the Department of Justice for comment and review. These policies will set the standard for providing effective, fair, and constitutional policing.”
Also notable is the Town’s development of a system for collecting stop and search data, which now integrates with the department’s other computer systems.
Maturo explained, “Our department now has an early intervention system for determining if stops and searches are exceeding the norm on a particular shift or in a particular way. We have the ability to more easily identify patterns of stops and ensure that they are legitimate and lawful.”
In announcing the Town’s progress under the settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, Maturo highlighted the road ahead for the department.
Maturo explained, “Once we meet the 360 day deadline, we will have implemented all of the Department of Justice’s recommendations contained in the settlement agreement and, at that point, it will be up to the Police Department to demonstrate sustained compliance with all of the newly implemented recommendations over the remaining three years of the agreement. When it has done this, the agreement will have been satisfied.”
Maturo concluded, “Our success to-date in satisfying this agreement demonstrates that our Police Department is on the right track. We have given our Department the tools and the training to become one of the best small departments in the country. I am fully confident that we will continue to enjoy success in implementing and adhering to the recommendations contained in the settlement agreement. Today represents another giant leap in the right direction for our community and for our police department.”