Category Archives: Police

Police Union Responds To COO Memo

by Categorized: Chief Operating Officer, Police Date:

The Hartford Police Union today responded to a city memo, written by the interim chief operating officer and sent to city council members, which said that four unions have declined to provide concessions. You can read more about that here and here.

Below is the union’s response (from union President Richard Holton):

IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT ARTICLE CONCERNING THE HARTFORD POLICE UNIONS UNWILLINGNESS TO ENTER INTO CONCESSION DISCUSSIONS, AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE HARTFORD POLICE UNION I WOULD LIKE TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

THE CITY AND THE UNION ENGAGED IN OVER TWO YEARS OF NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE CURRENT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WHICH WAS SIGNED ON AUGUST 24TH, 2012. THESE NEGOTIATIONS RESULTED IN SIGNIFICANT CONCESSIONS MADE BY THE UNION WHICH INCLUDED INCREASED HEALTH CARE CONTRIBUTIONS AND INCREASED CO-PAYMENTS, TWO YEARS WITHOUT ANY PAY RATE INCREASE, REDUCED RETIREMENT BENEFITS AND INCREASED RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS.

THIS UNION HAS CERTAINLY DONE ITS PART IN ADDRESSING THE CONCERNS OF THE CITY, WHILE MAINTAINING ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO ITS MEMBERSHIP. HOWEVER THE CITY’S EXPECTATIONS OF OBTAINING $3,000,000.00 IN CONCESSSIONS ARE UNREALISTIC, TO EXPECT US TO PARTICIPATE IN CONCESSION DISCUSSIONS IN A LITTLE OVER A YEAR OF SIGNING AN AGREEMENT THAT WE PERCIEVE EXTENSIVE IN THE AREA OF CONCESSIONS IS JUST NOT LOGICAL.

AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE DISORGANIZATION ON THE PART OF THE CITY, MR ILG’S MEMO REFERENCED IN YOUR ARTICLE CREDITS THE FIRE UNION WITH DISCUSSING AS PART OF A HEALTH CARE COMMTTEE COST SAVINGS. SINCE AT LEAST 1987 WITHIN THE POLICE UNION CONTRACT THERE HAS BEEN A PROVISION TO HAVE SUCH A COMMITTEE, DESPITE A NUMBER OF REQUESTS BY THE UNION, THE CITY HAS NEVER FUFILLED ITS OBLIGATION TO COMMENCE THIS COMMITTEE.

HISTORICALLY, THE CITY’S HANDLING OF CONCESSIONARY DISCUSSIONS HAS RESULTED IN THE ABUSE OF OTHER CITY UNIONS BY REFUSING TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH A COALITION OF UNIONS. THEY HAVE CONTINUALLY EMPLOYED THE DIVIDE AND CONQUER APPROACH WITH OF COURSE THE THREAT OF JOB SECURITY.

AS A FINAL STATEMENT WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF HARTFORD, IN DOING SO WE EXPECT A FAIR WAGE FOR WHAT WE DO. I WOULD CHALLENGE ANYONE TO FIND OUR WAGES AND BENEFITS TO BE INEXCESS OF OTHER SIMILAR CITY’S AND TOWNS, UNLIKE OUR NON-UNION POSITIONS WITHIN THE CITY.

WE STAND READY TO ENTERTAIN LOGICAL DISCUSSION TO MAXIMAZIE THE CITY’S TAXPAYERS DOLLARS WITHOUT A PREDETERMINED FINAL RESOLUTION ($3,000,000.00 IN CONCESSIONS).

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

DUI Checkpoint Set For Friday Night

by Categorized: Police, Traffic Date:

Designated driver alert: The Hartford Police Department has announced it will conduct an 8-hour-long DUI enforcement checkpoint starting at 5 p.m. Friday in the city’s North End.

The traffic division will set up near 110 Barbour St. Hartford police funds the checkpoint through a state grant.

Cityline occasionally receives these DUI enforcement announcements a day or two before they happen.

In case you’re wondering why the checkpoints are not a surprise, here’s a good explanation from the Valley Independent Sentinel, which explored the question in 2012: Click here for that post.

hartford police patrol 1912

A Hartford police patrol in 1912. Courant archives.

Hartford Gets COPS Grant

by Categorized: City Hall, Police Date:

The city has been selected to receive a $1.8 million federal grant that will fund the hiring of 10 police officers.

See more from below from the city: 

CITY OF HARTFORD ACCEPTS GRANT FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING SERVICES TO ADDRESS GUN VIOLENCE  

— NEWS AND COMMUNITY STATEMENT— 

(October 18, 2013) – The City of Hartford will receive $1,794,000 to address gun violence through the funding of ten additional police officer positions, as part of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program. The funding will allow the Hartford Police Department to increase next year’s recruit class to 40.

“This is a great step forward for our City,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “Increased officer presence in our neighborhoods builds trust, and lays the groundwork for the community as a whole to stand up against gun violence.”

The COPS Hiring Program offers grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The program provides the salary and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years.

“Communicating with the public is critical to all our efforts, from the smallest issues to the most serious crimes,” said Hartford Police Chief James Rovella. “These ten positions will focus on our continued effort to improve the quality of life in our City”.

For additional information about the 2013 COPS Hiring Program, visit the COPS website at www.cops.usdoj.gov  

(October 18, 2013) – The City of Hartford will receive $1,794,000 to address gun violence through the funding of ten additional police officer positions, as part of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program. The funding will allow the Hartford Police Department to increase next year’s recruit class to 40.

“This is a great step forward for our City,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “Increased officer presence in our neighborhoods builds trust, and lays the groundwork for the community as a whole to stand up against gun violence.”

The COPS Hiring Program offers grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire community policing officers. The program provides the salary and benefits for officer and deputy hires for three years.

“Communicating with the public is critical to all our efforts, from the smallest issues to the most serious crimes,” said Hartford Police Chief James Rovella. “These ten positions will focus on our continued effort to improve the quality of life in our City”.

For additional information about the 2013 COPS Hiring Program, visit the COPS website at www.cops.usdoj.gov  

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

Concessions?

by Categorized: Budget, Pedro Segarra, Police, Politics, Unions Date:

When Mayor Pedro Segarra unveiled his proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2013-14, he said he would seek $3 million in employee concessions. The council ultimately adopted a budget that counts on the concessions.

We asked Segarra how he thought it was possible, given that last year’s budget counted on $1 million in concessions, and that target wasn’t met. (The mayor in turn laid off 14 city employees).

Segarra responded by saying the layoffs last year demonstrated that he is serious about reaching the concessions goal.

“This is going to be a shared-sacrifice budget,” he said in April, adding that non-union employees would face the same level of concessions as union workers. He also said he would begin meeting with the unions early in 2013-14, because the longer he waits, the more employees he would have to lay off if concession talks fall through.

But union leaders said recently that negotiations aren’t underway. In fact, some said they haven’t yet been approached.

Segarra said Wednesday morning that he hopes to begin talks by the end of the month (which is also the end of this week). By this time last year, he had already laid off 14 employees.

Several bargaining units, like the city’s police union and Local 1716 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 4, negotiated new contracts with the city last year (some of the contracts had expired years earlier). And union reps said they have already made sacrifices.

“It’s dispiriting and upsetting to hear the mayor wants more from the people who have given up time and time again,” Larry Dorman, a spokesman for Local 1716, told The Courant in April. “Our members have stepped up to the plate and made sacrifices. The mayor and representatives need to look elsewhere instead of continuing to balance the budget on the backs of the workers who provide the services citizens need.”

Segarra said he did not have a deadline for when the negotiations would be complete. “As soon as possible,” he said.

Stay tuned.

Crash Victim Hires Attorney

by Categorized: City Hall, Crime, Police Date:

Caitlin Greenbaum, who was in the vehicle that collided with former Deputy Public Works Director Rhonda Moniz-Carroll’s car Saturday night, has hired an attorney.

Police have said Moniz-Carroll was driving drunk and veered into another lane, striking another car. Sources identified the driver of the other car as Greenbaum.

Greenbaum’s attorney, John R. Logan of Torrington, sent a letter to Corporation Counsel Saundra Kee Borges and Town and City Clerk John Bazzano Friday requesting that “the appropriate risk manager or insurance representative” for the city contact him. He asked that city officials deal with him directly and avoid contact with Greenbaum.

Greenbaum, of Hartford, was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for treatment of an ankle injury and a concussion Saturday.

Moniz-Carroll was driving a city-owned 2012 Ford Escape south on Prospect Avenue Saturday night and crossed into another lane, colliding with a 2006 Nissan Altima headed south, according to a police report. Both cars were damaged in the crash.

Moniz-Carroll was charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to drive in a proper lane. She was fired from her city job Monday.

You can read about her arraignment Friday here.

To read Logan’s letter to the city, click here: Letter to city

Police: An Officer’s Success

by Categorized: Police Date:

This piece was submitted by Lt. Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department about a young officer. Give it a read:

“Officer Jose Cortes Jr. was born in Hartford and raised in the south end in the Charter Oak neighborhood. On February 14, 2011 at the age of 19 and shortly after graduating from Bulkeley High School, Officer Cortes joined the Hartford Police Department as a Cadet. As a police cadet, he gained valuable experience working in many different divisions of the police department to include: Major Crimes Division, Fiscal Division, Teleserve, Records Division, and Training Division.

On April 5, 2013, he was promoted to police recruit where he attended the 23 week Basic Training Program the POSTC Academy in Meriden. On September 11, 2013, he graduated as a member of the 341st recruit class at POSTC. Officer Cortes Jr. is proud to serve the City of Hartford. He has an ambition to become a Vice and Narcotics Detective as his career progresses.”

Moniz-Carroll To Police: ‘Do You Know Who I Am?’

by Categorized: Chief of Staff, Pedro Segarra, Police, Politics Date:

The reports below detail police interviews with Rhonda Moniz-Carroll, the city’s former deputy public works director, Saturday night before and after she was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Mayor Pedro Segarra fired Moniz-Carroll on Monday.

You can read our full story about the police reports here.

Here are the reports: Moniz-Carroll Reports