Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Southington PD cast "no confidence" vote

From the MRJs Richie Rathsack:

Frustrated with what it classifies as a lack of oversight in the Police Department to address problems, the police union said it had "no confidence" in the ability of current leadership to run the department.

I wonder if something like that could ever happen here in Cheshire?

Imagine... could Cheshire's police union ever cast such a vote? What about the other unions?

For the SPD to do this, I'm certain there must have been widespread discontent with senior management.

Could such a widespread discontent exist in Cheshire? In the PD? In other unions?

Hmmm... I wonder.

Tim White

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim, there is an easy way to monitor this...keep track of the greivances filed against the Chief. The TM can provide if directed. I hear there is dissatifaction within the ranks...

Anonymous said...

I don't believe a union should be a deciding factor as to the effectiveness of a police chief and I would hate to think that the police department was run by a union.

To insure that a police department is proper run, towns need a real police commission to insure that the taxpayers are getting what they are paying for and that everyone that come in contact with law enforcement is treated equally, no favoritism or heavy handed. Right now, in Cheshire, we have no assurance that things a working the way they should be.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

"I don't believe a union should be a deciding factor as to the effectiveness of a police chief and I would hate to think that the police department was run by a union."
- Hate to burst your bubble, but the police union does have a say in how the police dept. is run.

Could the Cheshire Police Officers cast a vote of "no confidence"? - Sure, it could happen. Any union can cast that vote at any time. Why did Southington do it? Because Chief Daley tried to create a new Captains position for a specific person without making it open to all officers to test for. That is why 84% of the officers voted the way they did. It was all covered over the last year in the Record Journal.

Anyone in a position of leadership has disenters. It is virtually impossible to please all the people all of the time. Chief Cruess is trying his best to do what is best for the town of Cheshire and his officers. Some of his decisions may upset some of the officers but every effort is being made to work in their favor. Chief Cruess's job is to oversee the operations of the Cheshire police force. If he comes off hard on his officers, than it is for the best interest of the town. He has to push these officers to do their best EVERY time they put on their uniforms. Their job is not a video game with a reset button. These officers risk not coming home at night, sloppy investigation can cause a rapist to walk free, and being unalert can let a drunk driver crash into a loaded school bus.

Cheshire does not need a police commission. We had one into the 1970's. In the last few years, Cindy and Derf Cleist tried to reform the commission. The town council, manager, and former attorney felt that it was an unneeded oversite.

I think that the issue of Southington should stay in Southington. It really isnt an issue that Cheshire needs to worry about as it becomes an expensive waste of time. If you are against the police chief, talk to him, Mr. Milone, or Mr. Zullo about it. These people are not mind readers and need input or they will assume things are going well.

As Tim pointed out before, the color of Chief Cruess's shirt doesnt change how or why he does his job.. let him do it his way as he was hired to do so.

Anonymous said...

"Cheshire does not need a police commission. We had one into the 1970's. In the last few years, Cindy and Derf Cleist tried to reform the commission. The town council, manager, and former attorney felt that it was an unneeded oversite."

Hurray for Cindy and Derf. Cheshire would be much better served by having a real Police Commission that could work for the good of all that's what a democracy is founded on and real citizen control over law enforcement is essential in protecting the rights of all citizens.

Robert DeVylder Jr said...

How would we be better served? We already have the town council, town manager, personel director, and a police chief overseeing the police department. Every person that enters the town of Cheshire has the right and ability to report misdoings by any and every officer

Anonymous said...

If it is so easy to file a complaint with the CPD-Is that why the woman who tried to file a complaint when the CPD illegally searched her car at the Greenwich Coffee a few years ago was talked out of it?

The People for Justice

Anonymous said...

NO POLICE COMMISSION NEEDED? A former chief, now retired, sat in his office for years, intentionally hiring unqualified people and taunting the Council and TM to try and fire him.

Robert DeVylder Jr said...

You hit the nail on the head... Former and retired. Obviously that is not the police command we have now. Like saying Waterbury's mayor is a pedofile because the former mayor was (Mr. Jarjera is not a pedophile and I am not implying that he is)

Anonymous said...

"Every person that enters the town of Cheshire has the right and ability to report misdoings by any and every officer"

And, something may or may not happen.

It's also about deciding about which laws to enforce and which ones not to. When W/S was making a pitch for their strip mall, the opposition posted a few signs on poles. After years of people using poles for tag sales etc, it became an enforceable law. Give me a break, it wasn't the police chief who all of a sudden decided to investigate if there was a law and if it could found, then they would enforce it. The word came from the local developers who have clout. To who they made the request,you probably have a good idea. Whether you want to believe it or not, Cheshire's special interests were well served.

Robert DeVylder Jr said...

You are right, they did take down the opposition signs. They were asked by the utilities that own the poles citing safety concerns for the linemen. Each nail can puncture a workers glove, shirt, pant, or boot and cause an injury as well as electricition. That complaint came from CL&P and SNET. They should be taking the complaints, not CPD. You can visit the library and research back issues of the Cheshire Herald if you do not believe me. Since then, nobody has been allowed to post on utility poles.

Anonymous said...

That complaint came from CL&P and SNET.

Not really true. CL%P was pushed into agreeing with the complainers.

Now you see signs up again on poles and they are allowed to stay up for a long time.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

Are you trying to say that W/S strongarmed a branch of one of the largest companies in the world into making them request that negitive signs in Cheshire CT come down? Come on... It is a legitamate safety issue. Poles are chemically treated wood, kind of like your deck. If you use the wrong type of nail, the hole gets bigger and the nail falls out. Enough holes, and the integrity of the pole becomes comprimised. The pole could fail at any time. If a pole were to become electrified, a stray, illegal nail can cause the pole to burn from the bottom - up. If an insulator at the top of the pole wears away and you touch a stray nail on a pole, you could DIE.

This weekend, I saw 2 signs on utility poles. Both were for the same tag sale. Cheshire Police remove signs as they find them and as time permits. (i.e. they will not stop to remove a sign while responding to a burgulary)

Anonymous said...

RJD--POLICE COMMISSION--former and retired....he is but his former boss and CURRENT boss--the TM--is still here. We have a adjunct Police Commission--the Bowman's. Do you have the Chief's cell phone #? They do.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

1) - Milone was only Merriman's boss for 2 or 3 years at the most before he retired. Hard to believe Milone is the reason that you do not like Merrinam.

2) - Something better than the Chiefs cell phone number is (203)271-5500. It is the recorded, main line into the police station. Anything you say on that line is recorded and digitally stored.

If you want to compain about a police officer, call the above number. Ask to speak to the chief, of if it is after hours, ask to leave a voice mail. If you want to speak to someone right away, ask for the shift commander. Anything you say will be recorded and can be requested by a judge or attorney. (F.O.I.) If you dont want to talk to a police offical, call the town manager or personal director at the town hall. Neither of them are likely to sweep a complaint under the rug and will get back to you with a written response to your complaint. If any of these 3 suggestions do not satisfy you, attend a town council meeting and make a complaint during the open forum part of the meeting.

What is wrong with an aquaintance having the police chiefs cell phone number? Are you upset that he does not share the number with you? (if I knew who you were, I would share it with you)

Anonymous said...

"Obviously that is not the police command we have now."

You may know that, but most people are not as privy as you, and a police commission would insure that everything was properly run.

A police commission provides the openess that people in a democracy deserve. I'm sure you wood not find a police commission in a dictatorship.

I just can't understand why anyone would be against an oversight body.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

""Obviously that is not the police command we have now."

You may know that, but most people are not as privy as you, and a police commission would insure that everything was properly run."

- Try talking to a police officer. They are very approachable individuals that take pride in their work and appreciate public input.

As I stated, we already have oversite in the police dept. (town manager, personel director, town council) If we were to have a police commission, the commission would control the hiring, firing, and disipline of the officers, not the council or the chief. Basicly, the commission could hire whoever they wanted without the consent of the current oversight.

A police commission is usually made up of residents of the community regardless of any police or legal experiance. Do you want our officers worried about having to explain their actions, as taught by the state police academy, to people without the same level of training that will be passing judgement on their careers? As it stands now, our officers have to justify their actions to other officers (command staff) knowing that they have the same if not more training.

Other towns that have police commissions have had more problems with their police force. Madison has a commission and has recently replaced 75% of their staff due to illegal actions. East Haven has a police commission that recently cost the town hundreds of thousands of tax payers money over a personel matter. That issue came down to the mayor wanting 1 thing and 1 commissioner wanting another.

Cheshire is very fortunate to have the police force that we have. Our officers are well trained to handle every sitsuation in a professional manner. There is a citizens police academy coming up that is open to the public but limited in size. This course gives the public a view of the police department from the inside out. Participants will not become officers or be certified, but will recieve some of the training every officer is mandated. Those of you that are against the Cheshire Police should consider attending this program.
(maybe you can get Chief Cruess's cell phone number here)

Anonymous said...

Some scarey people on this blog...

Anonymous said...

"Other towns that have police commissions have had more problems with their police force. Madison has a commission and has recently replaced 75% of their staff due to illegal actions."

This is exactly the reason to have one. Imagine if there had been no commission ,the department could be operating exactly the same with all the same people.

Why have a School Board or any other commission? Why have a supreme court?

And, why should anyone have the police chief's unrecorded cell phone number. Don't we have a dispatcher?

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

A police dispatcher is not the police chiefs secretary. Their underpaid job is to dispatch the proper police unit, fire dept. or Campions to a person in need.

So, you want a police commission that takes all oversight away from the town? You want to reduce the power of the town council? The council is already operating in the capacity of a police commission. Commissions only work in communities that have a mayor instead of a town council government. I would ask who would be interested in serving on the commission but 1 person will say "me" 10 times.

Anonymous said...

RD Jr, the concept of oversight is an important one either for a family, a business, or government. Oversight with some 'teeth' of course works better than oversight which is toothless.

CPD has had more than its fair share of bad press in the past 10 years. I remember a couple of unhappy officers and some law suits and some allegations of harassment. And those recollections stand out without any additional research.

Unfortunately I recall some words by police officials in town trying to explain why outside oversight isn't a good thing. It's pretty hard to make that augment effectively. Most organizations which either have none or eliminate an effective oversight organization get themselves into hot water sooner or later.

The TM and TC don't seem to provide much oversight on many things except to tell us we need to keep spending and spending in spite of few improvements in town practices.

A properly constructed police commission would be a welcomed adjunct to what currently goes on. Don't forget a police commission would not only be looking out for the best interests of citizens it would also be in a position to watch out for the best interests of some really hard working individual police officers who may or may not be adequately recognized by the current power structure inside CPD too.

Anonymous said...

police commission would not only be looking out for the best interests of citizens it would also be in a position to watch out for the best interests of some really hard working individual police officers - get some examples where this actually occurs without referal from WITHIN the department. Police Commission routinely become a runaway political machine, working to thier own agenda. Hiring officers based on relationships, promotions and appointments based on other than fair standards (Southington, Hamden, East Haven, Madison etc etc).

Anonymous said...

Why are we not looking to have a fire commission, road commission and a water commission as well?

Anonymous said...

We are not looking to have more citizen based commissions because of a spoiled municipal workforce and certain special town business interests would lose their current strangle hold on how and why town money is spent.

The reality relative to CPD is that at one time and for a long time there was a police commission within our town. Changing the form of town government to a less participatory type has been used as an excuse to eliminate the need for commissions to oversee important services.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

The former police commission was created in the mid 1950's and lasted until about 1970. They existed roughly 15 years. The town of Cheshire has gone roughly 35 years without a commission.

How many people can explain why the commission was formed in the 1950's? Better question is who knows why we did away with it?

Anonymous said...

Ever hear of the code of silence.

If you don't hear anything, then everything is great.

me myself and my jewelry said...

It would be very interesting to know what the percentage of votes were no confidence and what percentage was in support of the chief. An example is the 84% no confidence vote for Southington. It is rumored to be 100% no cofidence.

My understanding is that this is an appointed position and that the town manager would have to be in support of the entire police department as opposed to being support of the designated chief before he will act on the departments sentiments. Since the town manager is responsible for the decision and has been aware of the sentiments of this department for a number of years, the dismay will probably continue.

Please correct me if I am wrong.