18 Cops Pass Detective Exam

Paul Bass Photo

Allan Appel PhotoThe police now have a list of cops to promote to detectives—and begin filling many of the force’s 29 vacancies.

That’s because the Civil Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to certify the results of a promotional exam.


Eighteen of 21 officers who took the test passed it.

The list now goes to the police chief, who will recommend which of those officers to promote to the Board of Police Commissioners. That is scheduled to happen over the next two weeks. The detectives chosen are scheduled to be sown in on Friday, March 15.

The department has 29 detective vacancies. Assistant Chief Archie Generoso said another 11 or so positions may become vacant because of other recent promotions.

Officer Martin Podsiad was the top scorer on the detective test. A list of those who passed appears at the bottom of this story.

In all, 10 of 11 white males passed the tests; three of four Hispanic males passed. All five women who took the test—two white, one black, one Hispanic, one Asian-American—passed. The only black male who took the test failed it.

Paul Bass PhotoThose racial results were the topic of discussion before the vote at Tuesday afternoon’s commission meeting at the 200 Orange St. government office building.

The results for black test-takers technically fell below the threshold that triggers potential complaints about racial disparities in promotional testing. That threshold is calculated by comparing the passing percentage of the top-scoring racial group with the percentage of the bottom-performing group. The lowest result is supposed to be at least 80 percent of the top result for the test to be considered fair.

The outside group hired to conduct the test, Colorado-based Booth Research Group, recommended that the commissioners exercise “caution” before concluding that these results showed a racial bias. That’s because too few people took the test to produce a meaningful group comparison, Booth argued; with only two black test-takers, just one person’s failure can skew the results.

The five commissioners, two of whom are black, followed the advice and voted yes to certify the list. The list remains certified for a year. The department can draw from that list any time during that year to make promotions.

Despite the excess vacancies, it is not a given that all the cops who passed the test will get promoted. One officer who passed, Juan Monzon, was recently arrested for alleged assault and placed on administrative duty; he said he plans to plead not guilty. Another officer who passed the detective exam, Dennis O’Connell, has been the subject of nine complaints of excessive force and the target of protests from the Latino community; the department’s internal affairs division cleared him of the complaints, thought the city paid out a settlement in one instance.

Applicants took the test over two days in January. They took a written exam testing their “job knowledge,” covering the department’s general orders and a detective text book, among other sources. That portion counted 25 percent toward the final score. Three oral exams counted for the other 75 percent. Those exams—administered by six panels with a total of 18 evaluators, members of out-of-state law-enforcement agencies—tested applicants on how they’d handle “realistic” situations faced by detectives.

Two of the top 10 scorers, Manmeet Colon and Mary Helland, used to patrol the Hill together.

Here’s who passed, along with their scores:

Martin Podsiad 88.68
Paul D’Andrea Jr. 87.30
Mark DeCarvalho 85.89
Mary Helland 84.20
Jessica Stone 80.62
Justin Marshall 79.75
Jonathan Pleckaitis 78.21
Joseph Aurora 77.92
Jose Miranda 77.67
Manmeet Colon 77.46
Lucille Roach 77.19
Betsy Segui 76.39
Gary Hammill 75.34
James Bottigliero Jr. 73.95
Dennis O’Connell 73.20
Juan Monzon 73.04
Orlando Crespo 72.37
Ryan McFarland 72.36

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posted by: oldtimer on February 26, 2013  5:47pm

It is very sad and says quite a lot about the state of the New Haven Police Department that only 21 officers took the detectives exam The detectives position has always been in both the NHPD and other PDs a prestigious, respected and coveted position. Clearly as all know the New Haven Police Department continues the downward spiral with no end in sight. The chiefs come and go , press events at every arrest occur , the “return to community policing” is touted , but the reality is the Department for the majority has no direction, strong administration, sense of responsibility, pride or heart.

posted by: HhE on February 26, 2013  5:55pm

Congratulations, Officer Podsiad.  Good hunting.

posted by: Eric B. Smith on February 26, 2013  8:27pm

First, congratulations to D’Andrea, Stone, Pleckaitis, Aurora, and Bottigliero.  I wish all of you continued success. Stay safe!

Now, oldtimer, I couldn’t disagree with you more.  The department may be in transition as veteran leaders retire and younger officers assume leadership roles, but that is not a downward spiral.  And yes, the current contract terms may move others to retire or transfer, but I guarantee you that when the next recruitment drive starts, hundreds will line up for an opportunity to serve New Haven.

I am confident that the officers of the NHPD will continue to represent themselves and their families well as they put themselves at risk for the sake of the people of New Haven.  And for their service, I am thankful and appreciative.

posted by: CoyoteUgly on February 26, 2013  9:23pm

I will start by saying congratulations to the new Detectives.  I commend them for offering to take a major pay cut to take on twice the work and deal with most victims who refuse to cooperate.  That being said, it’s a rewarding job when you get a confession or you solve a case and the victim’s family thanks you for all the hours you spent away from your family. Nevertheless, Detectives need to hit the street and develop good informants.  Without those your nothing!  You wont solve anything sitting in the office.  One last thought, make the patrol cops your best friends.  They are out there everyday.  Work as a team and cases will get solved.

posted by: Fair and Honest on February 26, 2013  10:07pm

Congratulations to all of them! Good job!