Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Turmelle on the PD "no confidence" meeting

From the NHRs Luther Turmelle:

The Town Council and its personnel committee heard from a pair of consultants Monday night, one of which may be hired to help resolve a dispute between Police Chief Michael Cruess and the police union.

I offered my take last night.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

1 week and the Republicans are breaking a campaign promise. I thought it would have happened sooner.

Contoured Views said...

Don't forget, the Dems are still in control.

This is an issue that "blindsided" some of the Dems. Tim brought up the issues as far back as April, but the Democrat who was chairman of the Personnel commitee didn't think they should get involved.

It has gotten to the point where you need professionals to intervene since the personnel committee and TM didn't handle it in a professional manner before it got this far.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans said they'd avoid the "relentless" hiring of consultants, not to completely end the practice. In this case, both D's and R's agree that some outside intervention is needed.

From what I've heard, the conflicts between the chief and rank n file are more personality than organizational or policy.

Isn't the chief close to retirement anyway? His early retirement may not cost the town that much more in net terms.

Anonymous said...

"...From what I've heard, the conflicts between the chief and rank n file are more personality than organizational or policy...."

In this case, as with all cases where a union involved itself with some sort of an official union vote it really cannot be seen as a simple personality conflict. The town is experiencing a labor union which now wants something special for itself.

Town government needs to impartially evaluate what is really going on behind the scenes in the CPD. Very possibly there are multiple performance problems which cut across all levels of the department. Some probably involve only the chief but I'd bet their would be more than a few which fall squarely on the shoulders of the rank and file as well.

Suggesting that if only the chief retires is pretty silly. On the other hand maybe Cheshire should do what New Haven did, replace the chief with a very experienced chief who comes from the other side of the country and had no ties to the current force at all.

Anonymous said...

It was interesting that Florio requested the additional $171,000 that the bus contract cost this early in the season. Mr. Sima and Slocum were right about questioning the need to have the money shifted over this early and felt that other items could end up as surpluses and thereby fund all or part of the $171,000. Mr Florio didn't offer to wait until they needed the money or promicse to give back any unused money.

Hmmmmm. I'll be Mr Florio hopes to that by having the money now he will be able to keep it regardless of whether energy, plowing or any other budgeted item comes under budget. This is another example of gamemanship that makes taxpayers skeptical of the people running the school system.

What's wrong with, like Mr Sima said, come when you need the money? Nobody is not going to give it to you, if you really need it.

Anonymous said...

Good suggestion about replacing the Chief with someone with no ties to Cheshire...that would shake the Union up...the devil you know vs the devil you don't know, as the saying goes. Doubt a certain Chesire Family would allow that to happen, though

Anonymous said...

That's agreat idea. What happens if they vote (no confidence) again? Do we just keep hiring new Chiefs? Things must be worked out. The Chief and the union must agree to a plan and give it a trial of 3 to 6 months and then review the situation. After the trial period if benchmarks are not met then we can look for new leadership. We must give it a chance..

Anonymous said...

are you people finally seeing the wolves in sheeps clothing? I guess what is good for the goose (no consultants for every other department) isn't good for the gander (CPD), Why are these people put on a pedestal honestly tell me what they do all day?

Anonymous said...

Stated previously--this is a personality issue...Chief was the wrong person for the job BUT he was the next in line...get a new, experienced Chief from the outside and allot of things change immediately!!

Anonymous said...

We cannot simply replace chief Cruess. He is protected by law. He would have to convicted of a crime to be removed. Personality conflicts are not enough to remove him. These laws are to prevent the chief from being a political pawn

Bill said...

The differences between the Chief and staff should be mediated by the Town Manager, HR person, members of the Personnel Committee made up of the Town Council members. An outside consultant is not required. Put all of the people in a room and allow everyone their chance to speak. The Personnel Committee should conduct one on one interviews with the Chief, Town Manager and police members. Listen to all sides and mediate a solution based on common sense. The task is not to find and assign blame. The task is to identify what went wrong, how it went wrong, who did or said what and then develop solutions for each of the individuals. This could be management training, the Chief riding with officers on off shifts, the Town Manager going to management training class, the Union members having individual meetings with the Chief and Town Manager. There is a myriad of solutions but none can be implemented until the Personnel Committee fully understands the root causes that lead to the issue.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we had a Police Commission, the union could list their grievances and the commission could hear from all stake holders and decide the corrective action on each item or decide that no action is needed, and if someone doesn't like the resolution they could seriously think about staying or leaving.

Right now it appears that the chief is guilty of something, but he may in reality be guilty of nothing. Why has the public been worked up and not been informed of what the grievances are?

Anonymous said...

The public was told what the grievences were. They have been in every newspaper when the vote was taken. I believe there are only 4 or 5 grievences. 1 is the cancelation of casual Fridays and another is the chiefs refusal to let a officer on disability participate in the SWAT challenge. So 40-50% of the grienvences are B.S.

Police commissions have already been discussed. Cheshire had one for years but dismissed it due to private citizens pretending to be police and causing more problems than they solved. A commission probably would not have been able to change what happened here.

Anonymous said...

the chief lost the faith of the ENTIRE department, and people are still talking about personalities and bs grievances. The ENTIRE department! This is a pretty clear signal if everyone from rookies to 30 year officer don't think he is getting the job done. Some people are not fit to lead, maybe this is the case. Maybe he simply was prpmoted beyond ability. Retire him and move on. I think its arrogance or ignorance if he feels he is doing acceptable, the vote was unanimous!

Anonymous said...

'Some people are not fit to lead, maybe this is the case..Retire him and move on...'

And of course it cuts both ways. Some people are not fit to follow either. Maybe the town would be better off if both sides just left. Frankly many of us are truly tired of whining bureaucrats and self-damaged elected local whining politicians.

Did the problem really start because of the chief? Did it start because the worker bees have too much time on their hands? Did it start because some two faced public employees union has an agenda and a few axes to grind? Maybe if all the players in the whining game just pack their bags and go elsewhere the town can refocus on getting its job done 24/7.

Anonymous said...

two faced public employees union has an agenda ---- Sure 40 plus officers got together and decided to go after one person. A person who was doing a fine job and being an effectual leader.
Some people are not fit to follow either --- Im sure there are several within the PD that should be leading, like was said before Retire and move forward

Anonymous said...

3:55 p.m. - - some people don't believe that a local PD populated with workers who were mostly recruited at a very young age from the local area really have the right mix of on-the-job experience to be leaders in their local department. Aside from learning on the job right here in Cheshire, where the rank and file right now whine about really poor management, just where did the rank and file develop all their great abilities? Probably they were taught by current management and they don't like current management.

If there was any significant leadership material within the rank and file quite possibly they would have been instrumental at working out whatever issues purportedly exist at this point. Leaders step up to help when help is needed, they don't first just sit at the side lines waiting, hoping, and whining for the next promotion.

The issues, as they have been aired in the press and on various blogs smell more like political whining and posturing with little or no real leadership apparent from all sides involved including the TC up to this point.

It is past time for a serious outside evaluation of the local PD and a full report of the findings to the public at large.

Anonymous said...

"This is a pretty clear signal if everyone from rookies to 30 year officer don't think he is getting the job done."

Where were these 30 year verterans when Cruess was offered the job? Not one police officer spoke up. Cruess was the acting chief and deputy chief and nobody complained.