Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Restoring Faith In The Milford Police Department
Many people, including myself (a former law man) can say first hand that the reputation of an entire department is only as strong as its "weakest link." In the last week these "weak links" have been pulled to the breaking point. The Connecticut Post placed on its front page that video evidence had been accidentally destroyed by an officer, and the NH Register wrote what amounts to a "hit piece" on the entire Milford Police Department. The trashing included a "laundry list" of outrageous and irresponsible behavior.
The woes over the conduct of our officers are numerous and accusations currently range from the rehiring and firing of our police chief with a "magic formula" salary, to a city officer accidentally killing two youths in Orange.
The cost of this behavior is disconcerting, aside from the terrible loss incurred to the families and friends of the 90+ MPH crash victims in Orange, the city of Milford is going to be left with the added hardship of cleaning up this mess. The cost may arrive in increased insurance premiums, or the cost may arrive in what may amount to a multi-million dollar punitive lawsuit. The end result will be that every taxpayer in Milford will also be grieving, only we will be grieving over our city tax bill and the fact that we have all been made accountable for somthing that was not our fault.
We are at a critical juncture, whereby the people of Milford must have faith and trust in their Police Department. The people of our city need to have a government that works, a Police Chief that has policies, and subordinates who obey and respect the law themselves.
Our greatest challenge once again lies in the annals of the weak leadership in City Hall, the very boards and commissions run by the the Richetelli administration and its "responsible" Aldermanic leader Greg Smith. The job of keeping the Police Department, the Board of Education, The Building Department, and the City Attorney accountable all rests with the Mayor and the Board of Alderman. It is their job to call for a public inquiry to investigate the rapidly vanishing faith and trust in our Police Departments leadership. As of now this has not happenend and may never happen as things stand.
The right thing to do, in my opinion, is to call Chief Mello, the Lt who destroyed the data, the speeding police officers and those responsible before our city leaders. This forum should be held in public and before the Board of Alderman and the Mayor. The purpose of this forum is to use the body of government, in tandem with the current civil lawsuits, to hold our city departments and its individuals working for the taxpayers accountable.
The Board of Alderman should hear the public views regarding our Police Department. The public should be allowed to express their recommendations and opinions, regarding solutions to our Police Department. Our Citizens should be allowed to express their views to the people in charge that we will not tolerate this departments mistakes nor their failures or accidents.
The Board of Alderman has a responsibility to call a public inquiry on this matter or risk losing more faith in our Governments ability to trust its Police. It is the sole responsibility of our City Council to hold all of its employees accountable. Only the board of Alderman and the Mayor can legally suspend, fire or sanction the Police Department. The people of Milford are still waiting for the "Leadership" we were promised!
Two young adults are DEAD and laid to rest! How much more will it take?... and who dare be courageous enough to lead this great city into a better future?
Above photo of former officer Anderson