New Top Cops For Dixwell, E. Rock, Newhallville
by Paul Bass | Jan 23, 2013 5:36 pm
Posted to: Dixwell, East Rock, Newhallville
East Rock and Newhallville, meet Lt. Ken Blanchard. Dixwell, meet Sgt. Sam Brown. They’re your new “district managers,” or the top cops in charge of your neighborhoods.
Assistant Police Chief Luiz Casanova Wednesday announced the appointment of Blanchard (pictured) to run the city’s combined East Rock-Newhallville district. Lt. Kenny Howell, the district’s previous top cop, retired from the New Haven force this month to become the new police chief in Millbury, Mass.
The department is planning eventually to break the district into two separate districts, one for Newhallville, one for East Rock, each with its own top cop, Casanova said. But in the short term the department has too few supervisors. Casanova said the plan will have to wait until the new crop of sergeants, whose promotions the Police Commission approved Tuesday night, “get seasoned and get some street experience.”
Blanchard originally took over as Dwight’s top cop last July, then went out on injury leave. (Sgt. Rob Criscuolo has since taken that command.)
Meanwhile, Sgt. Sam Brown has taken over as interim top cop in the Dixwell district, which, aside from a murder Tuesday, has been among the least crime-plagued neighborhoods in town lately.
it got that way under the direction of former district managers Lt. Anthony Duff (now head of the police department’s internal affairs division) and then Sgt. Donnie Harrison. Since Harrison retired last year, Howell had temporarily assumed command of the Dixwell district in addition to his Newhallville/East Rock duties.
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Howell may have officially retired this month, but he was already done at the NHPD when the article of his new job ran on December 21, 2012. So, that means NO ONE was responsible for both Districts for over four weeks. There was no Temporary D.M., for either District, during those times. Who did the District cops go to with issues/concerns about the Districts? Who did the District Residents/Businesses have to reach out to?
During that period, were those Districts even reviewed in the weekly CompStat Meetings? (Paul, you go to those meetings; were those districts passed over in CompStat?) It seems that a department dedicated to Community Policing dropped the ball for both the cops and the public in those districts. As well as saddling a D.M. with the responsibilities of two separate districts for several months instead of putting a new D.M. there.
By the way, Donnie was a great cop and supervisor, but he retired as a Sergeant, not Lieutenant.
[Bass: Thanks for the correction on Harrison. Howell in fact continued to serve as D.M. into January, as far as I was told.]
Since the new chief has taken command the Independent has given him a free pass. There is never a bad word to be said. It is quite obvious and I can’t understand the change. Paul, are you worried you won’t be invited to the greatest show in town on Tuesdays?
Maybe some investigative journalism into how bad moral or the fact for every new cop hired 3 are retiring or leaving for other departments. How about contract negotiations or lack thereof. Over 19 months without a settlement in sight. These are issues the old Independent would look into. Very disheartening.
I should like to welcome Lt. Blanchard. I have met him, and I found him to be switched on, decent, and a lot better looking in person than this photo. I wonder if he has any relation to the inventor of the lathe.
In my first post, I wrote that Howell has not been present at the NHPD since December 21, 2012, and that since he left, that the following four CompStat meetings not only did not have a District Manager present, but the stat for both Districts (Dixwell and Newhallville/East Rock) were skipped over and not discussed.
I have re-confirmed this to be true. When I asked Bass in the first post if this was true, he said that he was TOLD that Howell continued to serve as D.M. into January. Yet, I have also learned that Bass attends almost ALL of the CompStat Meetings. As a regular attendee, he had to have noticed that for several weeks, two Districts were not discussed in the meetings.
I challenge Bass to be a REPORTER if he is going to attend these meetings, rather than just a MOUTHPIECE of the NHPD NARRATIVE. I think a reporter would have found this situation of one D.M. covering two Districts for many months, then no District Manager for two districts for 32 days, to be in conflict with a Department that trumpets their place at the forefront of Community Policing.
Again, who did the District Cops and the Residents/Businesses have as their liaison to getting issues addressed/resolve? The answer was NOBODY.