In December of 2011 Mayor Maturo made the decision to return suspended Police Chief Len Gallo back to work after an 18 month absence due to mainly political jockeying by Mayor April Capone, Fred Brow and Paul Hongo. I thought the decision to bring back Chief Gallo was the right one because under the leadership of Inspector Nappi the department became nothing more than a political ugly climate and the EHPD was failing to even handle the basics in policing.
Maturo said bringing Gallo back was a financial decision because he thought paying for two Chief’s was too much for the taxpayers. But the real reason was because he himself believed in Len Gallo and so did many of us. I certainly liked Len Gallo’s style of policing. He made East Haven a fortress next to an out of control City of New Haven. Len Gallo did his job, whether you liked him or not the common criminal knew if you came to East Haven to commit a crime there wasn’t a friend behind the desk and there would be consequences for your actions.
It’s obvious that both Gallo and Maturo were friends too. Many times you would see Len at functions for the Mayor and occasionally the two would be seen at a Yankee game or even on the Golf Course. All well and good to see the Mayor and his Chief law enforcement officer working and playing well together. But what happened after Chief Gallo retired is what perplexes me about Mayor Maturo.
In his state of the Town Address in April 2013 Maturo was quoted saying in the New Haven Register Article, “He raised the issues within the Police Department, revealed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Maturo said the police family was "shaken to its core" when four officers were arrested on criminal charges, alleging false arrests, excessive force and biased policing.
He said "the problems that had developed between 2007 and 2011 had finally come to a boil -- just three months after a change in administrations, and on the heels of a devastating natural disaster."
Maturo said he "immediately (began) making changes" in the formation of a committee to rewrite policies and the hiring of then interim-Police Chief Brent Larrabee.
Larrabee's arrival created "an immediate calming and stabilizing effect," the mayor said. The town also entered into a consent decree with the Justice Department, allowing the town to avoid litigation and potentially save millions of dollars, Maturo said.
The town hired Spanish-speaking officers, promoted its first female officer, as well as the first minority officer.
"These steps are just the beginning, though they represent a strong foundation on which to rebuild our Police Department," he said.
What I don’t get is why the two stories about the Police Department? If Maturo thought that the Police Department had problems from 2007 to 2011 then why would he hire Len Gallo back? Gallo remained in the position of Chief until 2010 when he was suspended. If policies and procedures were the problem then why did they have to be re-written after Gallo was gone? Why were they not done in Maturo’s first tenure as Mayor? If everything was good enough to hire Len Gallo back then why does the East Haven Police Department need to be rebuilt?
It just seems that Maturo is either completely incompetent, poor judge of character or is scrambling to stay on the right side of the political fence. The facts are that were several deficiencies inside the EHPD that Joe Maturo completely ignored while he was Mayor in his first tenure. That’s why the Police rose up against him and supported April Capone. The Police had old vests, deficient vehicles, and a Police Force that hasn’t changed in numbers since 1962.
If Joe Maturo was serious about bringing change to the East Haven Police Department he would have addressed it in 1998 instead of having “the whip” at his back when he signed the consent decree in 2013.
Facts are as was stated during the first defeat of Joe Maturo he takes his job lightly, he goes to Florida quite often and treats the office of Mayor like a part time position. We can do better than this East Haven. Joe Maturo is nothing more than a snake oil salesman and it's BUYER BEWARE!!!