Cops Suspend Lt. After Armed Standoff

Update: New Haven police have suspended an 18-year veteran of the force who allegedly held his family hostage in an armed standoff Thursday and who allegedly beat his wife over several days.

The police also arrested the officer, who’s a lieutenant, on as-yet undisclosed criminal charges.

“There is no special treatment of officers by this department when it comes to the commission of a crime,” Chief Anthony Campbell said in a release. “We have an obligation to the victims, an obligation to uphold the law and assure that the perpetrators of crimes are held accountable.

“I’m troubled deeply by what we’ve learned. We feel for the family and assure them their wellbeing is our first priority.”

The armed standoff occurred on the East Shore.
Police spokesman Officer David Hartman released the following original write-up about the incident:


At 5:40 PM, police were notified of a barricaded person at a private single-family home on Tolli Terrace in the city’s Morris Cove neighborhood. It was soon learned the barricaded person is a veteran New Haven Police Lieutenant, with eighteen years with the department, and currently assigned to the Patrol Division.

Officers were dispatched minutes after the call coming in and the SWAT team and Hostage Negotiators were summoned at 5:51 PM. Mutual aid was requested from the Connecticut State Police Emergency Services Division. Members of that department responded quickly and served as a back-up to the New Haven PD Teams.

Communications by phone were soon established with the despondent department member. He requested help and agreed to come out peacefully. Once Emergency Services personnel, including EMTs from the New Haven Fire Department and American Medical Response, were in place, Townsend Avenue was closed to traffic and neighbors were reached and informed to remain in their homes.

Thankfully, the department member surrendered without further incident and was removed to the hospital. Members of the man’s family had been able to leave the home prior to the response and sought refuge at a neighbor’s home nearby. They were medically evaluated and are in the care of the department.

The Lieutenant will be afforded all available resources, as would anyone in such a situation. A full review of the incident is under way. Criminal charges are likely but have not been filed. The investigation and consultation with the CT State’s Attorney’s Office will determine such matters in the future.

The operation saw no one injured and has concluded. The investigation continues.

This report is made with a heavy heart, as the subject of the investigation is a soft-spoken and highly respected member of our police family. As would any family so affected, they and the members of the NHPD, would expect the courtesy afforded to them as they and we handle the investigation of one of our own.

Chief Anthony Campbell said, “I am so thankful that the training and professionalism of all those who performed in such an exemplary fashion today. When officers train, they never know what situation they’re entering into and what it may truly involve – especially those involving a brother or sister officer”. “Today proved that with the right training and the right mindset, officers can perform their duties compassionately, no matter the circumstances, regardless of personal feelings”. “I am pleased with the peaceful resolution and that our officer will now be afforded the care he so desperately wants”., said Campbell.

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posted by: Bill Saunders on September 7, 2018  1:16pm

Chief Campbell,

I find your final quote in this article disturbing, and proves you are out of touch regarding mental health issues.

The officer in question here isn’t ‘being afforded the care he so desperately wanted’—he is being given the care he so desperately needs, and has needed for a while.

If better ‘psychological triage’ was part of ‘the program’, it would be better for everybody, police and public.

Mental Health is the big Elephant in the Room. 
Everybody should be thankful this situation wasn’t much worse.

posted by: LivingInNewHaven on September 7, 2018  5:02pm

One never knows what another is going through. This is a tragedy in more than one way.
Praying for all involved.

posted by: NHPLEB on September 7, 2018  6:21pm

Why is it that no one ever sees the signs till it’s too late?  Is it possible that every crazy person is as normal as can be till 30 seconds before they explode?!?!?  I find this hard to believe..

PS-  this article sounds eerily like the stories the media loves to print about dead thugs who were,  “...just turning their life around…”  How dangerous it is for the cops to be so like the criminals; isn’t it?

posted by: Patricia Kane on September 7, 2018  6:27pm

Both John Vellecca and I previously mentioned the need for annual total health assessments of police officers, a glaring omission in every police contract and in current police practices in New Haven.
Police, especially those with prior military experience, can suffer from untreated PTSD. Others may medicate their stress with alcohol or drugs. The men and women who serve are human beings who can be broken down by the pressures of life. Why is checking on them annually, or after any particularly stressful experience, not seen as a positive, as a measure of support and not condemnation?
Having encountered domestic violence situations in which a police man was the aggressor before, I find it hard to believe that this officer has been abusing his spouse and no one on the force knew about it. If there are children involved, this is even more disturbing.
If this is how a family protects its members, then it’s a formula for someone’s death, whether the victim or the perpetrator. If this is how a family acts, then all the members are enablers.
If this is how a family passively waits for a crisis to intervene, then better education is needed.
This scenario was not unusual in the 1980s, but is simply stunning in 2018.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 7, 2018  9:54pm

Yearly, complete psychological exams for all officers.
Bold masculine ‘strength’ has to yield to the realities of difficult, traumatizing service.

I imagine officers meet extremely upsetting circumstances on a regular basis.  I also know, as a male, who has dealt with my own set of ‘mental circumstances’, that it is easy to dismiss your own ‘effect’ and throw it aside until too late.

Everybody who deals with the public at this level needs to be constantly evaluated, treated, and set to mentor.
It is not pretty out there, but good interventions can make all the difference.

Often, Police are not that walking that avenue…..

It is ridiculous to think that public servants dealing with culturalized trauma are without support mechanisms for themselves and the citizens they serve.

Back to you Chief Cambell…

What are you and your department doing?

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 8, 2018  2:57am

NHPLEB,

People do not seek help because they think they are stronger, because they think they are better, because there is a real stigma associated with it…..because the

Let’s start there, and realize that there needs to be a necessary support for these public servants who are thrust into circumstances and situations that might bend the edge of human interaction.

It is workplace abuse and negligence if these real systems aren’t in place.

What to say, Chief Campbell… are you more than soup on this issue?

posted by: challenge on September 8, 2018  1:44pm

From the mouth of the chief “There is no special treatment of officers when it comes to commission of a crime”. The officer is who again??

posted by: concerned with society on September 9, 2018  12:25pm

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/campbell_chosen_chief/

Above is the cheifs own statements about how serious domestic violence is and what a priority he is going to make it.  He has had 4 officers arrested in the last few month for domestic violence…..maybe time for chief to eat his words….

posted by: Babz Rawls Ivy on September 10, 2018  11:36am

“Crazy” is not a diagnosis. If it were some folks on this thread would be forever locked up.

The police department is a place of employment. And as such they have policies and procedures in place to handle these matters. I daresay domestic violence is not unique to the police department or society as a whole. There is no way to determine who’s more at risk if risk never shows up on the radar. Crimes in the home often go unnoticed and or unchecked if nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Having grown up in a very violent home, I can tell you it is a life long scar on children. It is encouraging to know in these times we know so much more about mental health than we did 40 years ago. We also know that getting children access to trauma services goes a long way in their healing and development.

Whatever charges comes out of this, is left in the hands of the State’s attorney and the Police dept leadership. I am willing to believe that the officer involved will accept the consequences of his actions.

It is my deepest prayer that all involved will get the support and services needed to move on and be productive people.

posted by: Nirvana2me on September 11, 2018  9:20am

These deeds were done with a “Black Heart” 
I Hope he gets what he deserves.

posted by: LorcaNotOrca on September 11, 2018  9:34am

Why hasn’t the officer been named? Any of us would have.
No special treatment though…

[Ed note: The PD has named the officer. But it is NHI policy not to provide the name until we’ve either talked to the person, their lawyer or they’ve been convicted.]

posted by: Howudoin on September 11, 2018  12:13pm

Just because you don’t keep up with the news don’t blame the Chief. The Officers name has been released time and time again.
Before you idiots make stupid comments-do your homework.