On Friday, September 23, Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts announced that he will resign from HPD when his current contract expires at the end of this year. A?Hartford native, Roberts joined the police department in 1982.
On Monday, September 26, a report criticizing the HPD’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD) was publicly released by Mayor Pedro Segarra and Corporation Counsel Saundra Kee Borges. The report was compiled by Frank Rudewicz, and independent investigator and former Hartford Police officer.
Roberts has publicly stated to the Hartford Courant that the findings of the report were not a factor in his decision to retire. At a press conference on Monday in which the report was made public, Segarra said that he had discussed the report and other challenges facing the police department with Roberts last week. However, the mayor said that he believes there are many factors affecting Roberts’ decision to resign. He also added that, “I do want to say that the chief has been very successful in making progress in several areas.”
It was Segarra who commissioned Rudewicz’s investigation in May of this year. Although the exact nature of the investigation was not made public at that time, it is now known that Rudewicz concentrated on the IAD.
The IAD?is now commanded by Lt. Robert Davis, but the report mainly concentrated on the period when it was run by Lt. Neville Brooks, who Roberts has since transferred to another department.
In the opening summary of the report, Rudewicz writes, “During the past several years, management oversight of the IAD was lax and at times nonexistent. Management of the IAD is the direct responsibility of the Commander and his direct supervisor, Chief Roberts. Our review found missing files, incomplete cases, sporadic attendance, missed deadlines and a number of incidents of non compliance with the recent Settlement Agreement of Cintron v. Vaughn.”
Among other things, the Cintron v. Vaughn Agreement stipulates that “investigation of a citizen complaint shall be concluded within sixty (60) days of receipt of the complaint by the Internal Affairs Division.” However, according to the Rudewicz report, “While we noted that all the IAD investigators appear to have completed all investigative tasks within the required sixty (60) day deadline, many of the completed cases would apparently languish on Lieutenant Brooks’ desk for significant amounts of time before being reviewed and sent to Chief Roberts.”
The reports states that Roberts was informed of potential problems in the IAD?in 2009 by then Assistant Chief Dryfe.
The Rudewicz Report makes several recommendations to improve the operations of the IAD. “It is certainly our intention to carry out those recommendations,” said Borges.
After joining HPD in 1982, Roberts rose to the rank of detective in 1988. Over the next 18 years, he served in several departments, including vice and narcotics, crimes against persons and juvenile investigation. Prior to being appointed chief in 2006, Roberts had been deputy chief in charge of the North End and assistant chief in charge of the investigative bureau.
Roberts grew up in several neighborhoods in Hartford and was very familiar with the city and its people. For many this was a happy change from the past two police chiefs, Bruce Marquis and Patrick Harnett, who came from Texas and New York, respectively.