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POLICE DEPARTMENT

OFFICE OF THE POLICE CHIEF

TO: Ronald F. Van Winkle, Town Manager

FROM: James Strillacci, Chief of Police

DATE: 5/27/2011

RE: West Hartford Police Department Civilian Complaint Review Board


Investigation Regarding Response to 113 Abbotsford Avenue

Please find enclosed the Review Board’s report of findings and conclusions. After a review of
the record presented, the Board concluded that the response of the Department’s personnel to the
call for police service should not have taken as long as it did. I accept their finding.

The investigation revealed not a single cause for the lapse but a series of procedural decisions,
complicated by independent events, which led to the delay. Nor was there any willful misdeed
requiring punishment, but a series of judgment calls, not all of which proved correct.

The Board concluded that there are certain steps which can be taken which may help prevent a
recurrence of such delays. Some of these steps have been taken already, others are in progress.

The Public Safety Dispatcher who took the first call was unfamiliar with gang jargon. All PSDs
have now received one hour of gang-awareness training via CD. Classroom training on gangs
has also been offered. Refreshers will be provided as necessary.

Once received, the call waited in queue an unusually long time before being dispatched. An
audible and visible alert has been instituted to remind dispatchers of pending calls after five
minutes’ time in queue. The dispatcher can silence the alert by resetting the timers. If the call
isn’t dispatched in five more minutes, the alert will again be activated.

Dispatch and response times will be reviewed periodically. Dispatch procedures are being
reviewed to formalize exchange of information at shift change, to identify other technological
aids, to examine supervisors’ potential role in dispatch matters, and to provide additional policy
guidance to ensure timely service to the public.

WEST HARTFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT 103 RAYMOND ROAD


WEST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06107
(860) 523-5203 FAX (860) 236-0940