Title: New Haven Police Department, One Union Avenue, 3rd Floor Conf Rm
Description: Date: 06-13-13
Title: New Haven Police Department, One Union Avenue, 3rd Floor Conference Room
The meeting was called to Order by Chair Frank Cochran, Chair.
• Present: Frank Cochran, Barbara Carroll, Wayne Hobbs, Lena Largie, Leslie Radcliffe, Noemi Rivera, Robert Spirito
• Absent: Catherine Gootkin, Evette Hamilton, Evelise Ribeiro, Sherina Baker, Bianca Bowles
• Guests: Asst. Chief Thaddeus Reddish, Lt. Anthony Duff, George Carter
The minutes of the May 9, 2013 meeting were read and unanimously approved with no corrections.
It was suggested and the Board agreed that the agenda Item ‘Discussion and Consideration of Complaints and Reports’ be moved up to take place after ‘Internal Affairs Report’ during this and subsequent meetings..
Internal Affairs Report:
• Lt. Anthony Duff advised the Board about personnel changes in Internal Affairs: Debra Sullo is the new Administrative Assistant, Lt. Rebecca Sweeney and Sgt. David Taft have rotated into IA; Sgt. Jason Minard and Sgt. Wheted have returned to Patrol, and Sgt Peter McCoy is a short term replacement. There is a vacancy for position vacated by Det. Tammy Means. Current IA staff is Detectives Cruz, Dixon and Barham.
• Lt. Duff has been elected President of the NH Police and Municipal Credit Union.
• Current tracking shows that the month of May 2013 has less complaints than May 2012.
• Internal Affairs has developed a tracking form which will be included in all IA complaint files to track the activity of a complaint. A description sheet of commonly used terminology in complaint closure was provided. The Board suggested to IA that a copy of the case summary needs to be sent to complainants when a case has been investigated and closed. The 30 day standard for investigating/closing cases may need to be extended on a per case basis.
• Asst. Chief Reddish advised that Internal Affairs in use IA Pro to track complaints. Also discussed were cases when tasers were deployed.
• Presented the list of Closed cases which were assigned as follows:
o Panel A: 035-13-C – case is of an officer who was put on early intervention where all complaints go to IA – not Patrol, because of the volume of complaints
o Panel B: 038-13-C – case is of an officer with complaint about use of language
• Panel B – all 3 cases assigned to panel have been read by at least 2 members each. There were concerns expressed on 2 of the 3 cases reviewed: 1 case sent to Patrol contained no notes of the investigation or and information on how the complaint was handled by patrol (IA will review the procedures of how complaints are handled by Patrol). A 2nd case was of concern because 2 separate but related complaints were given the same case number but had 2 separate dispositions.
• Panel A – all 3 cases assigned to panel have been read by only 1 reader. A concern was expressed that one case which was not assigned for 5 weeks and then closed as ‘non-pursued’ may have been non-pursued because of the time delay involved. The question was raised as to whether there was a policy of delaying an investigation of a complaint when a criminal case/arrest is involved … is it intentionally delayed until the criminal case has reached a disposition? The answer is ‘NO there is no such policy’.
General Policy Items
• The topic of Community Outreach was discussed. All ideas will be run by Corporate Counsel and Staff. Barbara Carrol recommends that we approach the City of New Haven for an events calendar and inquire if we can have an information table at venues.
• The brochure needs updating. Members will bring suggestions of updated information to subsequent Board meetings. It was determined that a Spanish version will also be created.
• The Corporate Counsels opinion on the recommended Amendment to the Bylaws was brought to the Board. That amendment to section 3.6, Officers of the Board, sub paragraph 1, located on page 3, to add the following language: “A member of the Executive Board may also be removed from office for cause by a 2/3 majority vote of the board in attendance”. A motion was made by L. Radcliffe to accept the amendment to the Bylaws , 2nd by R. Spirito. After discussion the vote was taken and passed unanimously.
• The Chair was asked to voluntarily step down from position to which he replied no. After lengthy discussion amongst members of the board a motion was made by R. Spirito to ‘remove the chair from office for cause’, it was 2nd by B. Carrol. In the discussion that followed, F. Cochran expressed that he thought he was effecting as chair and served the board well, R. Spirito advised that the Executive Board was not working together effectively because of the chair’s maverick style. B. Carroll advised that the chair failed to communicate with the Board on numerous occasions regarding Board business and the numerous conversations he had with others regarding business and opinions he gave on about the Board without the Boards knowledge or approval. N. Rivera expressed that in her short experience on the board she has witnessed how his volume and tone of communication with other board members has created an unfriendly environment and negative atmosphere. W. Hobbs expressed that the Chairs style has negatively impacted the morale of the Board. After discussion, the vote was taken. In favor of Frank Cochran being removed as the Chair – R. Spirito, B. Carroll, L. Radcliffe, N. Rivera, W. Hobbs, L. Largie. Opposed: F. Cochran.
• Vice Chair Barbara Carroll will serve as Acting Chair of the Civilian Review Board until such time as an election for the position of Chair is held. Prior to the election, the Chair may appoint an officer on an interim basis. Nominations to fill the vacated office(s) shall be made at the next regular monthly meeting of the Board following the vacancy (July 11, 2013). Voting by secret ballot shall take place at the second regular monthly meeting of the board following the vacancy (August 8, 2013). See Bylaws Section 3.6.
A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and approved unanimously.
The next meeting of the Civilian Review Board is scheduled for 6:00pm Thursday July 11, 2013, City Hall, 165 Church Street, Second Floor Meeting Room #2
Submitted by: Leslie Radcliffe, Secretary