Amid an uptick in homicides in Hartford, police officers appear to have lost faith in their leader. A majority of officers voted no confidence in Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody.
“Crime is not only on the rise in Hartford, Connecticut it’s on the rise all over the world," Hartford neighborhood leader Hyacinth Yennie said.
The chief calls the past year one of the most difficult for police, and while he believes he’s listened to and acted on officers’ concerns, many don’t seem to agree.
According to the Hartford Police Union: 241 supported the “Vote of No Confidence in Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody.” There were 39 who did not support it and 110 did not vote.
The union says among the concerns raised were that members were denied valuable time off, they were forced to work long hours with no breaks and officers received unfair discipline based on political pressure.
“They need to really seriously have a sit down meeting and talk about their stress level, you know, what they’re facing and that needs to be addressed," Yennie said.
In response, Chief Thody wrote in part:
“I will continue to do everything in my power to both support officers and build a strong relationship with the residents we serve based on trust. Sometimes that means I have to make tough decisions, like calling officers in so we have enough resources to safely address the unique set of challenges we’re facing in this moment.”
“What I would say is you’re a manager. If you’re good for anything figure out a way to make this work," Hartford City Councilman Josh Michtom said.
Michtom was among those who had previously called for the chief’s resignation amid various concerns including about the rights of citizens.
“He hasn’t satisfied his critics on that side of the spectrum and now he’s not satisfying his employees. So why do we still have him is my question? Who is he satisfying?” Michtom asked.
Hartford’s mayor is among those who still have full confidence in the chief.
Luke Bronin writing in part:
“Chief Thody has been a strong advocate for the men and women of the Hartford police department…Chief Thody has also held the department and our officers to a high standard.”
The mayor also came out in support of the chief about a year ago after Thody scraped his work car on a guard rail. Thody later took full responsibility, faced a formal reprimand and had to pay for the damage.