Detective Promotions Delayed

Allan Appel PhotoThe police department has postponed a detectives promotional exam because of an exodus of officers. The department needs the remaining cops on the street for now.

Asst. Chief Otoniel Reyes announced that news to the Board of Police Commissioners at its regular meeting Tuesday night at police headquarters. Reyes was filling in for Chief Anthony Campbell, who, he said, is in Israel receiving specialized training.

The commissioners at the meeting approved ten more retirements and three resignations, which brings the force to 389 officers — 106 vacancies below the department’s budgeted strength of 495. (Read about the exodus here.)

The decision is “prudent given the diminished number of officers on the street,” Reyes said.

Veteran officers are leaving in part because of fears that a new contract will significantly reduce retirement health benefits. Meanwhile, other departments are poaching younger officers by offering tens of thousands of dollars a year more in salary along with better benefits.

The cops have been working without a contract for two years. The police union recently overwhelmingly rejected the city’s last best offer. So the contract now goes before state arbitration, the first time that’s happened in four decades.

Commissioner Donald Walker asked when arbitration might be concluded.

“Not soon,” Reyes replied. He estimated at least six months and likely longer.

Reyes said the decision to postpone the exam was mandated by the need for manpower on patrol. “We don’t want to prevent the advancement of our officers,” he added.

Those officers whose retirements were formally approved at the meeting included Captain Patricia Helliger; Lt. Darcia Siclari; Lt. Elisa Tuozzoli; Sgt. Albert McFadden; Sgt Eric Scott; and Officers John Palmer, Leslee Witcher, Elvin Rivera, David Rivera, and Victor Herrera.

The resignations: Officer Leah Russo, Officer Kris Ramirez, and Detective Ross Van Nostrand.

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posted by: EveyHammond on July 11, 2018  3:06pm

Since it’s “specialized training” ,that’s a work function. I wonder how much Campbell’s trip is costing taxpayers? @NHI editors, can you follow up on this? We deserve to know!

So let me understand this…according to the NHI, the Dept he runs is basically falling apart. The budget is bleeding OT, two officers resigned in the face of scandal, and there was just an exodus of officers who retired. If this is the leadership at NHPD, the morale must be shot!

No wonder the City cant afford to keep ppl. We pay for the Mayor to see China, the police Chief to go to Isreal. The BOA should probably check the fire chief’s schedule. See what type of trip the taxpayers are funding for him.

Unreal. You cant make it up. This City needs oversight. The leadership here is basically like a Trump cabinet meeting: lets just all say nice things about each other…

posted by: Brendantibbets on July 11, 2018  10:30pm

@evey

As far as the fire chief previous articles indicate that he gets 4 weeks of professional development annually as part of his contract. He also travels regularly throughout the country to various seminars, trainings and whatever else including podcasts and YouTube videos pitching his wares using department assets such as the 3/4 million dollar fire boat, but the lines between what benefits the department and what is for personal gain is a bit blurry. You raise a good point.