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    Civilian Review Board

    Date: 5/9/2013
    Title: City Hall, 165 Church Street, Second Floor, Meeting Room #2
    Description: Date: 05-09-13
    Title: City Hall, 165 Church Street, Second Floor Meeting Room #2
    Status: Approved

    The meeting was called to Order by Frank Cochran, Chair.

    Roll Call:
    • Present: Sherina Baker (Dixwell Mgt. Team Appointee), Bianca Bowles, Frank Cochran, Barbara Carroll, Catherine Gootkin, Wayne Hobbs, Lena Largie, Leslie Radcliffe, Noemi Rivera, Robert Spirito,
    • Absent: Evette Hamilton, Evelise Ribeiro
    • Staff: Reginald Thomas, Roderick Williams, Corp Council
    • Guests: Ori Kellman, George E. Carter

    The minutes of the April 11, 2013 meeting were read and unanimously approved with necessary corrections.

    Internal Affairs Report:
    Lt. Duff presented the following Internal Affairs Report.
    • Presented an article from the NH Register about local Police Brutality suits.
    • Spoke to the additional duties of the Internal Affairs Officers:
    o Investigate Civilian Complaints
    o Manage discipline schedules from the Chief (complaints from divisions and patrols)
    o Arrest of officers, serve search warrants, testify in cases
    o Maintain compliance of court orders (keeping records, writing orders, confiscating firearms
    o Making reports to the Chief
    o IA Officers must also testify in cases that they may have been involved in when in another unit
    o Perform background investigations for new hires and other agencies on candidates who did not make NHPD.
    o Inspections Unity – quality control of camera systems, work schedules, computers in NHPD
    o Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests (in absence of Administrative Assistant)
    o Special Requests - INHPD drug testing, Wellness Center
    • Announced the assignment of former IA Detective Sgt. Tammy Means as new Downtown District Manager
    • Presented the list of Closed cases which were assigned as follows:
    o Panel A: 015-13-C, 026-13-C, 028-13-C
    o Panel B: 081-11-C (Previously closed, reopened in 2012), 129-12-C, 153-12-C

    Public Comment
    Visitor George E. Carter asked questions on the role of the CRB to act in the interest of the people of the City of New Haven and the Department of Police Services; whether members of the CRB report to their respective Management Teams (members present advised ‘YES’); is there more that the CRB can do in the community (to which outreach opportunities and activities were discussed).

    General Policy Items
    • B. Carroll suggested that ideas and proposals for community outreach activities be forwarded to the secretary to coordinate and put on the agenda for the next meeting.
    • Staff R. Thomas will provide a Civilian Review Board package and information to Sherina Baker for the June 1 Dixwell community event.

    Subcommittee Reports
    Bylaws Committee: The Committee submitted a proposal for an amendment to the Bylaws in section 3.6, Officers of the Board, sub paragraph 1 (located on page 3). The amendment would add the following language: “A member of the Executive Board may be removed from office by a 2/3 majority vote of the board in attendance”.
    It was stated that although there is language regarding a member vacating a seat on the Board (Sec. 3.4), there is no current language which addresses the removal of Executive Board officers from seat as an officer. The Chair was advised that the majority of Board members were dissatisfied with his divisive manner; his failure to work with fellow board members in harmony; use of the position as Chair to arbitrarily quell discussions that were contrary to his point of view; using the position as Chair to promote an agenda particularly with regards to matters concerning the Charter Revision; that his ‘maverick’ style behavior was not in the best interest of the Civilian Review Board.

    Chair of the Bylaws Committee Robert Spirito, informed the Chair that the majority of Board members were in agreement with the amendment and requested that he step down. Chair Cochran challenged the right of a board member to bring the proposal to the Bylaws Committee and the authority of the Committee to make the recommendation to the Board for vote. Previous amendments to the Bylaws were not challenged by him and challenging this particular amendment, further demonstrated an inability to work in the best interest of the Civilian Review Board. As Chair, his primary purpose is to ensure that the laws of the City and Connecticut State Law pertaining to the conduct of Board meetings and other activities of the Board are followed, and that all recommendations of the Board are properly conveyed. The Board confirmed with Corporation Counsel their legal right to call a vote on the amendment.

    Vote: A motion was made by L. Radcliffe, 2nd by R. Spirito to adopt the amendment language proposed by the Bylaws Committee. As a current unchartered Board, the vote is subject to confirmation by Corporate Counsel input and findings will be reported at the next Board Meeting.
    Votes in favor: B. Carroll, C. Gootkin, L. Largie, L. Radcliffe, N. Rivera, R. Spirito, W. Hobbs; Votes opposed: F. Cochran. Majority ruled – motion carried.

    Case Discussions
    • Panels reported that there are many cases closed as ‘non-pursued’ and that is a concern. Members felt that non-pursued cases should be examined to determine if there were patterns and/or the investigator’s reasons for closing out as non-pursued.
    • The timeliness regarding the assignment of complaints to an investigator was discussed and that a request would be made in writing to Lt. Duff to identify the specifics of delays in case assignments.
    • All cases reported as closed in the April report have been read by at least 2 CRB members.

    A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and approved unanimously.

    The next meeting of the Civilian Review Board is scheduled for 6:00pm Thursday June 13, 2013, New Haven Police Department, One Union Ave, 3rd Floor Conference Room, New Haven, CT.

    Submitted by: Leslie Radcliffe, Secretary

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