Category Archives: James Rovella

Auditor: City Radio Software Outdated

by Categorized: Internal Audit Commission, James Rovella, Police Date:

An auditor has reviewed the city’s two-way radio inventory and software and come up with some troubling conclusions. Among them:

“The … inventory system is run on one police laptop computer,” Deputy Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo wrote. “The software is old, outdated, not backed up and recoverable and it is no longer technically supported by the manufacturer nor is it supported by the city’s Metro Hartford Information Services (MHIS) department. Various tests of the data recorded in [the system] disclosed many errors and omissions in recorded radio inventory data.”

and

“We facilitated an inventory process of all radios for all departments. While progress has been made in accounting for radios by Emergency Services & Telecommunications (ES&T) management since the start of our involvement, they could not quantify the results for us at this time. As of the date of this memorandum, Department of Public Works management had not provided a listing of their radio assets.”

Deputy Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo recommended that officials purchase new inventory software to account for all city radios.

You can view Trujillo’s memo to police Chief James Rovella here: MemoonPoliceradios

Vehicle Audit Released

by Categorized: City Hall, Internal Audit Commission, James Rovella, Pedro Segarra, Police Date:

To help reduce the number of take-home cars, the city should create a vehicle sharing pool and should implement better systems to account for the cars, the city’s chief auditor, H. Patrick Campbell, wrote in a report released Thursday.

It should also update its policies to restrict personal use of the vehicles and consider installing global positioning systems in the cars, Campbell said.

You can read more here.

Here’s the full report: 405-CityofHartfordVehicleInventory,AssignmentandUseAudit

Proposal Would Limit Take-Home Vehicles

by Categorized: City Hall, James Rovella, Pedro Segarra Date:

Starting Monday, the council will entertain a proposal to ban the use of all take-home city vehicles, except those assigned to Mayor Pedro Segarra Police Chief James Rovella, Acting Fire Chief Carlos Huertas and Department of Public Works Director Kevin Burnham.

Employees who have take-home vehicles as part of their collective bargaining agreements also would keep the cars.

Take-home cars have been in the spotlight since Jared Kupiec, the mayor’s former chief of staff, was caught possessing a city-owned vehicle in July, after he had left his city hall job.

You can read more here.

Should take-home cars be limited to a select few, or should all employees who have them get to keep them?

Police Chief Cracking Down On Under-The-Radar ‘Offices’

by Categorized: City Activities, James Rovella, Neighborhoods, Pedro Segarra, Police Date:

Cityline (together with our colleague, Steven Goode) earlier this month began looking into rumors of under-the-radar police “offices” maintained across the city.

Police Chief James Rovella

Police Chief James Rovella

Shortly after we began asking questions, a memo went out from the city’s police chief to his deputies asking where the offices were. The chief has since pledged to create a system for monitoring these offices, and has already ordered one of them closed.

You can read our story here.

We’d love to know: Have you encountered these police offices? What do you think of the practice?

Chief Auditor: No More Public Safety Gym Privileges For Chief Of Staff

by Categorized: James Rovella, Jared Kupiec, Police Date:

H. Patrick Campbell, the city’s chief auditor, sent an e-mail Tuesday to police Chief James Rovella asking him to revoke Jared Kupiec’s access card for the Hartford Public Safety Complex, which Kupiec has apparently been using to get into the facility’s gym for workouts. Kupiec is Mayor Pedro Segarra’s chief of staff.

Campbell wrote in the e-mail that providing Kupiec with access to the complex and its gym raises issues of fairness, since other city employees do not have the privilege. He said some police officers have also been concerned about discussing sensitive information about cases in front of Kupiec.

Campbell said police should grant Kupiec access on an as-needed basis, but discontinue the gym privileges.

Kupiec said Tuesday that he had asked Rovella for use of the gym because he works out at night, when other city gyms are closed.

“I did ask for an access card. I’m regularly there for storms — [working in] the EOC — and I did ask for permission to use the gym,” he said. “It’s a gym purchased with city tax dollars for city employees. If they choose to restrict that access, they choose to restrict that access.”

Kupiec said he received a call from Rovella Tuesday — following the commission’s e-mail — asking for the access card back. He said he would return the card Wednesday morning.

Former city Police Chief Daryl Roberts told my colleague Steven Goode today that he has been unable to work out at the new public safety complex because retirees are not allowed. Retirees instead work out at 50 Jennings Road, he said.

“I find it ironic that retirees are not allowed to use the facility but that [Kupiec] is allowed to receive that benefit,” Roberts said.

Here’s the e-mail:

From: pcampbell@hartford.gov
To: ROVEJ001@hartford.gov
CC: SEGAP001@hartford.gov, KEEBS001@hartford.gov, CLOUA001@hartford.gov, City_Council@hartfordschools.org, brubenstein13@aol.com, hansjng@yahoo.com, kyleb@kyleb-re.com
Sent: 05/07/2013 4:40:08 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Access to the Public Safety Complex and Gymnasium

 

Chief Rovella:

 

This is to follow-up on our previous correspondence regarding the matter of Jared Kupiec’s access to the Public Safety Complex (PSC) and gymnasium.  As previously noted this was brought to the attention of the Internal Audit Commission based on an anonymous tip.  Our concerns regarding this matter are as follows:

 

1.      Providing Mr. Kupiec access to the PSC gymnasium raises the issue of fairness in that it is granting this privilege to one, albeit high level City of Hartford employee, while excluding others.  It was also brought to our attention, through the tip, that certain officers are concerned about discussing potentially sensitive case information and other Police matters in Mr. Kupiec’s presence.

 

2.      There is also a question as to the need for Mr. Kupiec to have a separate key card to access the PSC.  We understand that the front desk of the PSC is manned on a 24 hour, seven day a week, 365 day a year, basis.  As a result, Mr. Kupiec could reasonably be granted access to the PSC on an as needed basis by the officers at the front desk.

In light of the above, we recommend that you discontinue granting gymnasium privileges to Mr. Kupiec.  In addition, unless there are reasons that we are unaware of for Mr. Kupiec needing his own access card to the PSC, we recommend that you deactivate his access capabilities and recover his card.

 

Please let us know your plans and timeframe for addressing this matter.  If you have any questions regarding this request or the above please let me know.  Thank you.

 

Patrick Campbell

Photo: ‘No More Newtowns’

by Categorized: James Rovella, Pedro Segarra, Police Date:
Kejuan Dillard of Hartford was one of at least a hundred people who participated in a Hartford rally Thursday in support of gun control. Mayor Pedro Segarra hosted the event. MARK MIRKO photo.

Kejuan Dillard of Hartford was among the people who participated in a gun control rally outside Hartford City Hall Thursday. Mayor Pedro Segarra hosted the event. MARK MIRKO photo.

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign came to Newtown and Hartford yesterday. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined Mayor Pedro Segarra, Police Chief James Rovella and others who stood in the rain outside City Hall to demand gun control legislation. Here is the Courant’s story.

Unsolved Homicides: Some Facts And Figures

by Categorized: Crime, James Rovella, Neighborhoods, Police Date:

It probably isn’t much consolation to the families who are dealing with the unsolved murder of a loved one, but city police told me before last night’s forum that Hartford’s homicide clearance rate is getting better. Markedly better.

In 2007, the clearance rate was 36 percent. In 2008, 39 percent. In 2009, 30 percent. And in 2010, 32 percent.

Then in the summer of 2011, the Hartford Shooting Task Force was established, and the clearance rate for that year rose to 41 percent. In 2012, it jumped to 61 percent.

The task force also boasts a cold case unit dedicated to unresolved homicide and shooting cases.

“As a new endeavor, the HSTF has a new, much larger cold case homicide concept built into [its] operation,” Police Chief James Rovella wrote in his spring/summer/fall initiative last year. “Again, major case detectives paired with police officers (state and local) lead by prosecutors, will delve into the city’s unsolved homicides. It’s a natural fit for both units to collaborate side by side to address violent offenders and as importantly, provide resolution to the families of those victims.”

The city, however, still has 226 unsolved homicides, some dating as far back as 1988. Many families are still suffering from a lack of closure.

At the forum Tuesday, organized by a group of local preachers, family members asked how they could get more updates on their loved ones’ unresolved cases, and if their child or sibling’s picture could be added to the state’s unsolved homicide playing cards. (Two years ago, the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, the Department of Correction and law enforcement agencies created a deck of playing cards that feature unsolved homicides, missing persons and cases of unidentified remains from throughout the state. The cards were distributed to DOC inmates with the hope of generating tips.)

Police — including the head of major crimes and members of the shooting task force’s cold case unit — not only attended the forum but stayed after to speak with those families seeking answers. They encouraged them not to give up and to contact the department regularly.

If the forums continue, it could be another step in improving upon a familiar issue: a disconnect between police and the community.

The History Of The Hartford Police Department

by Categorized: Fire, James Rovella, Police Date:

In light of Wednesday’s dedication of the new Hartford public safety complex on High Street, we looked into the history of the city’s police department. The following is a timeline that includes all locations of the police department (thanks to the Hartford History Center for the following information):

1860: The city’s first police station opens at the intersection of Kinsley and Market streets

1874: The police department moves to 38 Kinsley St.

1902: The police department relocates to 85 Market St.

1910: Moves to 45 Temple St.

1922: Moves to 83 Temple St.

1932: Moves to 91 Market St.

1942: Moves to 85 Market St.

1961: Moves to 155 Morgan St.

1981: Moves to 50 Jennings Road

2013: Police, fire, emergency services and telecommunications are brought together at the new, 140,000-square-foot public safety complex at 253 High St.

 

Photo courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

Photo courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view pictures of the Hartford Police Department through the years, click here.

Photos of the new public safety complex can be seen here.

Police Chief Promotes Nine In City Hall Ceremony

by Categorized: James Rovella, Neighborhoods, Police Date:

Our colleague Steve Goode reported on nine promotions that Police Chief James Rovella carried out Friday in a ceremony at city hall. Rovella called the promotions — the first of his tenure — a “tone setter” and said they reflected a renewed focus on community policing.

Among the new deputy chiefs are two former lieutenants who first joined the Hartford police department in 1994: Emory Hightower, a city native and member of the Hartford Shooting Task Force who will oversee command of the North End, and Luis Rodriguez, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who has been assigned to the South End.

“The police department should be more reflective of the population they serve,” Rovella said. “I look at Hightower — he knows the North End like the back of his hand. Same thing for Luis, they’re natural and easy fits.”

Here is Friday’s story and the police department’s press statement on the promotions.