Controversial Cop Leaves City For Burbs

Christopher Peak PhotoA New Haven detective with a history of allegedly abusing the public’s rights and lying about it has decided to wear a badge for another community.

The detective, Daniel Conklin, has resigned from the New Haven force effective Nov. 27, according to the city’s human resources office.

The town of Westport’s police department has hired Conklin.

“We’re looking to swear him in next week,” Westport Lt. Jillian Cabana told the Independent.

The New Haven police department promoted Conklin to the position of detective last December.

At the time, the department’s internal affairs division had already concluded the Conklin defied department policy and abused the public in three separate incidents, and in some cases told untruths about his conduct, according to files made available to the Independent under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act. Conklin denied the misconduct allegations. (Click here for a story detailing those incidents.) In one instance, investigators found, Conklin destroyed evidence on a bogus stop. In a second he harassed and arrested a man outside his home on trumped-up charges. He shoved and threatened to tow the “fucking car” of a “motherfucker” fisherman who’d parked on a bridge in the third incident. He served a total of one day of suspension for those misdeeds.

Also at the time of Conklin’s promotion, he was the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by an Edgewood man who claimed Conklin had arrested him and seized a cellphone he used to record his actions, because of a dispute over Conklin’s handling of a construction site traffic assignment. Conklin denied the allegations. The subsequent trial included embarrassing revelations — such as the disappearance of key alleged evidence — but ended with a jury deciding not to reward damages.

Conklin did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

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posted by: 1644 on November 24, 2017  5:55pm

Looks like Westport is a dumping ground for New Haven’s undesirables.  Good for New Haven, bad for Westport.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 24, 2017  7:30pm

I bet he will be like a choir boy in Westport.

posted by: denny says on November 24, 2017  9:25pm

The title should read,  “Controversial cop kicked out of City”. Good riddance!!

posted by: challenge on November 25, 2017  12:13pm

Good riddance. Every police department can use a dirty cop on the force. One down in New Haven. Doubt any tears will be shed by the community.

posted by: AliceB on November 25, 2017  3:23pm

I do not know Mr. Conklin but your reporting concerning this individual is anything but impartial.  You seem to have a vendetta against him for reasons known only to you and the powers that run this “paper.” 
I know you will not run this comment because you do not run any comments that go against your opinion.
I am sure Mr. Conklin will be much happier in Westport.

posted by: EPDP on November 25, 2017  7:44pm

Conklin is going to be humbled in Westport.  The high caste citizens of Westport, many in the entertainment biz, such as Anne Hathaway, and in hedge funds, treat the local boys in blue as the hired help.  Conklin is part of a larger problem, I believe this website covered in the past, where the rookie cops get their training in New Haven, at New Haven’s expense, and then move on to the safety of the suburbs.  You can’t blame them. The result is that the city streets are policed by rookies still wet behind the ears.  Conklin will spend most of his time busting teenagers who have keg parties when their parents go out of town. Sounds kind of boring actually.  Conklin got away with calling New Haven residents mother Fer’s but I hope he is smart enough not to use such language with the wealthy Westporters, or he will be back on the streets of New Haven.

posted by: T-ski1417 on November 26, 2017  12:00pm

The bigger issue is that a large amount of rookie officers are leaving the NHPD for other agencies due to the low yearly salary. It’s my understanding that Hamden just conducted a process and the top 12 candidates are all from the NHPD. Conklin may have been an issue but he is no dummy, he is probably getting a 15-20k raise walking in the door at Westport as is the same for Hamden. If he was truly as bad as reported I truly believe a place like Westport would aviod him like the plague. If New Haven wants to keep officers on the force the city really needs to get with the program and give these people a substantial bump in pay or it will continue this cycle of training and losing qualified personnel.

How long have they been without a contract???

posted by: SavingGrace on November 26, 2017  4:23pm

Best of Wishes to Detective Conklin.  The citizens of Westport who actually respect the police will be happy to have you!

Looks like the independent will have to target someone else now.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 26, 2017  11:17pm

posted by: SavingGrace on November 26, 2017 4:23pm

Best of Wishes to Detective Conklin.  The citizens of Westport who actually respect the police will be happy to have you!

Looks like the independent will have to target someone else now.

He will fit right in.

More Racial Profiling For Me In Westport, Ct

The message is and always has been crystal clear to me. Westport Cops are sending a message to people of color. Don’t drive through our Town late night. If you decide to venture through Westport, CT know that the order of business will be “More Racial Profiling”

http://thepeopleschampion.me/more-racial-profiling-for-me-in-westport-ct/

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 27, 2017  8:56am

“You can’t run away from yourself.”
- Bob Marley

I read this article about Daniel Conklin running tail this morning and I couldn’t stop laughing.

posted by: challenge on November 27, 2017  10:08am

What NHPD needs to do is choose effective leadership that expects its staff to protect and serve the New Haven community.They don’t need more pay. They need more integrity and quality workmanship. Way too much taxpayer money is being paid to officers whose greatest job has been reporting on crime and pulling over drivers.

posted by: AnthonyD on November 27, 2017  11:31am

A depressing verdict regarding the civil rights violation Federal trial against Daniel Conklin back in September was a real blow to the community. Conklin’s leaving is a very good thing but it certainly feels anti-climactic. That he leaves on his own terms just shows how hard true justice is to find. What I still want to know is if there’s still going to be an Internal Affairs review of Conklin and the whole incident with Mr. Serfilippi. Will there ever be a full audit of the police property room to determine what happened to Serfilippi’s expensive cell phone? That basic injustice (outright theft in my opinion) burns me the most. I guess the cynical view to take here is that a few Westport residents may have their $1,000 iPhone X’s “misplaced” by their new rogue man in blue. Good Luck Westport with the hot potato New Haven’s citizens no longer have to get burned by!

posted by: JasonT on November 27, 2017  12:53pm

I’d just like to respond to SavingGrace and her comment: “The citizens of Westport who actually respect the police will be happy to have you [Daniel Conklin]!”

The citizens of New Haven care about their community and respect the good men and women of the police force — that I’m very sure of. A rogue cop, like Daniel Conklin, who doesn’t respect the community back is the key issue here, I believe, and the reason this story has gained such traction. As for Westport, by the volume of citizen comments in a westportNOW.com article (which appears to largely cut and paste the journalism of the New Haven Independent), I’d say that town is up in arms about the hiring of Daniel Conklin. Westporters may be richer than folks in New Haven but they care as much about police integrity as any community does. Here’s the article (scroll down to the bottom to see comments): http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v3/comments/controversial_cop_leaves_new_haven_for_weatport/

posted by: narcan on November 27, 2017  3:55pm

@THREEFIFTHS presents a stirring, emotional tale. Of the “fairy” variety, albeit. The driver/author is welcome to “feel” however they want about the stop. CCSU’s “Traffic Stop Data Analysis and Findings” using the traffic stop data collected by the state showed that no Connecticut municipalities (that includes Westport, if you were wondering) exhibited any patterns that could be attributed to real or perceived racism in their enforcement of traffic law. The report did identify 25 individual officers that may have shown a pattern but does not identify them, so it is difficult to assess that metric. Even assuming it is correct, that is 25 out of approximately 8,000 officers in Connecticut. Hardly enough to be considered systemic.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 27, 2017  5:34pm

posted by: narcan on November 27, 2017 3:55pm

The report did identify 25 individual officers that may have shown a pattern but does not identify them, so it is difficult to assess that metric. Even assuming it is correct, that is 25 out of approximately 8,000 officers in Connecticut. Hardly enough to be considered systemic.

You said may have shown a pattern.Did the department do a full investigation? There should be zero tolerance for racial profiling.The point is not 8,000 officers.The point is the system of Racial Profiling I wonder how many officers of color are on the Westport.P.D.?

My bad.GREENWICH P.D.Is Just as Bad.

7 Greenwich Police Officers Charge Bias in a Federal Suit.

It also charges that the department disproportionately detained and arrested members of minorities and cites other examples of what the plaintiffs consider questionable conduct, including the use of highly offensive language to refer to racial minorities and a tendency to “mock African-American complainants, witnesses and arrestees, imitating their speech and mannerisms.“Five plaintiffs are African-American and two are Hispanic; the seven are roughly half the African-Americans and Hispanics in the department and nearly 5 percent of the department’s work force.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/07/nyregion/07bias.html

Like I said There should be zero tolerance.

posted by: pd093 on November 27, 2017  5:36pm

Why do New Haven Police Officers leave for Hamden? It’s the PENSION. Hamden has the State (MURF) Municipal Retirement Plan. Bridgeport went to the MURF pension, bonded out it’s debt and has a clean slate and lots of officers. When more candidates want to work and stay in New Haven, there is a greater quality selection. Unfortunately for New Haven, fewer people want to be police officers so the pool of candidates shrinks.

New Haven should get out of the pension and join the State Municipal Retirement Plan.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 28, 2017  7:39am

@: narcan.Like I said we people of color know the deal when it comes to the poilce.Just ask Him.

Cops pay up, quit over $100G lie about alleged gun possession

A Brooklyn man who filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD for framing him on a gun charge has settled his case for $100,000 — with the two cops who arrested him on the hook for some of the dough.Raul Glasgow, now 45, was pulled over in November 2012 in East Flatbush for driving with a forged license — and cops also claimed they found a .45-caliber pistol in the trunk of his car during a search at the 67th Precinct.IAB later slapped Bonanno and Rich with departmental charges, but the NYPD said that it never got a chance to bring them to trial.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/cops-pay-quit-100g-lie-alleged-gun-possession-article-1.3661408

posted by: hoshinonakata on November 28, 2017  12:30pm

I see a lot of negativity about Conklin, mostly coming from a local news editor with a clear agenda and the usual suspect list of commenters who all appear to have Doctorates in all things police related.

I’d like to tell you a story about Dan, coming from a person who actually knows him. I’ve worked with Dan for several years. A few years back, there was a homicide, followed up by several instances of gunfire all within a certain city block. This block has a notorious history of gun violence, so much so that a well known New Haven street gang from the 90’s is named after the street.

Getting back to the day is like to tell you about; the department started assigning a walking beat to this immediate area (I’m no administrator, however I surmise that the idea behind the walking beat in this instance was to deter further acts of violence). Dan and I had been assigned this walking beat on this particular day. As we made our rounds, I noticed the crowd at the scene of the vigil for the victim. It was a mainly peaceful crowd, however it was apparent that things we’re very tense.

Being the veteran officer in the pair, I felt it was appropriate to keep a distance and monitor the situation. No need to possibly flare tensions. However, Dan had other plans. After a few minutes of standing across the way from the vigil, Dan put boot to ground and started across the street toward the group. I remember thinking to myself “what is this guy doing?!?” All I knew was I better follow suit, because I had no clue what was about to happen.

Stay tuned for part 2…

posted by: hoshinonakata on November 28, 2017  12:31pm

Part 2

We reached the vigil and Dan immediately made his way to an apparently emotional middle aged woman. As it turned out, she was the victims mother. Dan walked up to her and extended a hand. He apologized deeply to her and expressed his condolences.

The results of this act of empathy and humanity turned out to be a friendly twenty minute conversation about the neighborhood and the way things were going for her. The conversation also drew in other vigil participants.

New Haven wants community policing. I’m here to tell you is it didn’t return with a law degree toting police chief. It’s been here. You may not get it from every single officer on the force, but you will from a good majority. It comes from the individual, not a press conference, motto or decal on a car.

Community policing just walked out the door on November 27th. The town of Westport just gained an incredible asset at New Haven’s expense.

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 28, 2017  2:03pm

“Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

This is in response to Commenter Hoshinonakata’s post. Interesting name. It’s straight from Haruki Murakami’s novel, Kafka on the Shore, in which two characters are named Hoshino and Nakata. Your vague description of this redeeming episode in Daniel Conklin’s tenure with the New Haven Police Department is very “Kafkaesque.” In other words, it’s reminiscent of author Franz Kafka’s fictional writings, which often have a complex, bizarre or illogical quality. That your defense of the tragic officer lacks specificity makes me highly suspicious of the validity of your account. It may be true, but I think many in “the usual suspect list of commenters” here have come to firm conclusions about this rogue cop based on hard, documented evidence. The town of Westport very likely gained an expensive liability, not an asset.

posted by: EPDP on November 28, 2017  3:44pm

Conklin will get many side jobs to supplement his income, such as babysitting private soccer and lacrosse games, the suburban parents at these games get violent at times, a Wilton dad recently got arrested for attacking a coach at a girls soccer game:

http://wilton.dailyvoice.com/police-fire/cops-wilton-dad-assaulted-assistant-soccer-coach-from-fairfield-after-game/725240/

Conklin may also get a few side jobs providing massages to the rich, bored Westport housewives when their Master of the Universe husbands are out of town at important hedge fund meetings. 

Donald Trump should sponsor a beer summit with Conlkin and Serfilippi, the guy who sued the Conklin for allegedly grabbing his cell phone.  Serfilippi lost the trial despite the great work of civil rights maverick litigator attorney Joseph Merly.  Larry Noodles also did a great job reporting on this case.  Conklin is going to miss New Haven.  He is going to be bored out of his mind in sleepy Westport. 

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 28, 2017  8:53pm

Part 1:

I’m going to pontificate here. Please forgive me. We all know what a costly mistake it was for the New Haven Police Department (NHPD) to hire Daniel Conklin. The city should hire and train only local talent and not waste it on outsiders clearly unfit for police duty. Serving the public best requires a true understanding of the community, its people, and the needs of both of those constituencies. Officer Conklin came into our neighborhoods, acted with arrogance and belligerence, and disrespected our citizens on too many occasions (please note all the fine reporting done by the New Haven Independent in uncovering the long trail of Daniel Conklin’s Internal Affairs investigations: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/9.5m_question_rogue_cops/). This impudent young man regularly harassed our community in return for five years of costly police training and a generous salary with overtime and extra duty pay. Wasted taxpayer dollars! It’s a crime that the NHPD’s human resources department couldn’t weed out this bad apple.

And then the city had to defend Conklin in a Federal trial after he falsely arrested a local resident on clearly trumped up charges (INCLUDING ONE FELONY CHARGE WITH A MINIMUM 10 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE!), “misplaced” that man’s phone used to record the Officer’s questionable conduct, and seemingly violated that man’s civil rights. That man’s front window security camera video sure was telling; watch it here: https://youtu.be/kQyEraiTDyg. While that confused Federal jury allowed the rogue cop to beat the civil rights violation charge after four days of a trial despite the incriminating video evidence, the city’s taxpayers ended up paying for all of Conklin’s lawyer bills. Again, a waste of taxpayer dollars!

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 28, 2017  8:55pm

Part 2:

Did the Westport Police Department even Google search “Daniel Conklin” to do a basic background check and due diligence on this guy?! I assume something else was behind this odd hire of Conklin (a clue perhaps once shared by another commenter: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/205556/rich-police-william-f-buckley-jr).

And by the looks of this desperate attempt by Westport’s Police Chief Foti Koskinas and First Selectman Jim Marp to breathlessly explain away a seemingly unsupportable hiring decision, I really smell a rat: http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v3/comments/police_marpe_affirm_hiring_of_controversial_new_haven_cop/. Westport hired only about four police officers over each of the last four years from other Connecticut departments. That’s one desirable cop job and I’m sure there are hundreds of applicants or more each year. How can one of those four openings per year go to a cop with the dark and heavily documented baggage of Daniel Conklin?!!

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 28, 2017  8:57pm

Part 3:

So many factual inconsistencies in that westportNOW.com article in Part 2 above, the main one I think being this claim: [“For the last three years of his [Daniel Conklin’s] five-year career in New Haven, he has excelled in his profession and has not been the subject of any internal affairs or discipline investigations.”].

ISN’T THERE A CURRENT INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION ONGOING REGARDING THE FALSE ARREST OF MR. SERFILIPPI, AND THE EVIDENCE DESTRUCTION AND EVIDENCE “MISPLACEMENT” ASSOCIATED WITH THAT ARREST?

If you want to get a sense for how the Westport community is up in arms about this Daniel Conklin hire, just read the 40-plus comments in this Westport-based blog: https://06880danwoog.com/2017/11/27/police-back-new-hire-respond-to-news-reports-social-media-storm/.

I respect the hard working men and women of the NHPD. And I truly believe the best hires for this fine force of dedicated professionals should only be the earnest, hardworking members of our local community. From our many neighborhoods we can find men and women of high moral standing and integrity, and with values and work ethics that will help keep peace in our community.

posted by: AliceB on November 29, 2017  8:14am

To “I Shouted Out…” 
“a confused federal jury”???  That is so disrespectful.  You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about here.  Mr. Conklin was exonerated by a well informed federal jury.  They heard the evidence and found that Mr. Conklin was innocent of the charges filed against him. 
You show no respect for the system; you show only disregard for what you do not understand.
Let it go and move on.

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 29, 2017  9:33am

AliceB, I respect your view and I respect the jury decision. We are a nation of laws, and our court and jury system affords us, as citizens, an opportunity to seek justice – I emphasize the word seek. Justice isn’t always found via a jury’s deliberations, but our legal system still provides us a better shot at justice than anything you’ll find in a totalitarian regime.

A key point I’d like to make that will resonate with those of us around back in the mid-1990s: OJ Simpson was exonerated by a jury, but it doesn’t mean he was innocent and that he didn’t murder his wife and her friend.

You have every right to argue with my description of the jury as being confused. I based it on the New Haven Independent’s reporting on the trial, and in particular this excerpt from the “Jury: Cops Didn’t Violate Rights” article published on September 12, 2017 (http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/jury_nconklin_rentkowicz/):

[The jury left to begin deliberations at 12:11 p.m.

Four hours later, at 4:04 p.m., around the time that they were usually dismissed for the day, the jury sent out a note with three handwritten questions for Meyer.

“Can we award punitive damages if there is no evidence of malicious prosecution or evidence of false arrest?” (No.)

“If there is no evidence of false arrest, can we determine that the arresting officer acted with malice?” (Yes.)

“Can you come into the room to field questions?” (No.)]

To me, the jury appeared to want to award damages. They wouldn’t be considering that if they thought the cops were innocent. That they asked if Judge Jeffrey Meyer could come into the jury room to field questions suggests to me, quite convincingly, that the jury was confused.

Incidentally, I think the best piece of journalism in the NHI’s coverage of this Daniel Conklin (rogue cop) story is this one: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/conklin_serfilippi_conflicting_testimony/. I urge you to read it again.

posted by: I Shouted Out... on November 29, 2017  10:43am

AliceB, Here’s another good piece of primary source journalism that you should read about the trial: https://larrynoodles.com/new-haven-cops-mayor-on-trial/. It was written by a civically engaged truth seeker from New Haven who attended the trial.

posted by: Ozzie on November 29, 2017  3:47pm

To most of the people here Conklin is a bad apple, but just wait for some of the new hires that are coming. Some have previous FELONY convictions that Department members have given tutorials to , to have those convitions expunged from their records. Talk about putting foxes in the hen house . The Department already has a member or ( members ) that also have Felony convictions and they also had their records expunged with help by members of the department. Years ago there were general orders that stated you couldn’t associate with criminals and now some of the departments family members are just that . It will only be a matter of time before the New Haven Police Department has an incident that will make the Billy White thing look small . Good luck !!!

posted by: AliceB on November 29, 2017  5:09pm

To “I shouted out”. :  I read the Larry Noodles version of the proceedings and I still
do not understand your animosity toward Mr. Conklin.  By the way no body on any jury could have considered what you stated as awarding damages. That does not even make sense.
Maybe you need to let go of your irrational dislike of a young man just beginning his career.

posted by: challenge on November 30, 2017  7:57pm

Dear Ozzie, Don’t worry about those with prior felony convictions now expunged. Many of those working within the department would have felonies if laws weren’t selectively enforced or if the union didn’t rule. Perfect examples: Conklin. Another example:Billy White. He would not have a felony had he not crossed the FBI.Conkin is back because Westport saw trouble coming and wanted no part of it. One good deed (talking to a victim’s mom) doesn’t erase 10 others. Prayers for the residents of New Haven.