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Hartford aims to create independent police reform board

HARTFORD (AP) — Connecticut’s capital city could vote this week on creating an independent accountability board to recommend reforms in the police department.

Hartford City Council Majority Leader Thomas J. Clarke II told the Hartford Courant he hoped the body will vote on a resolution at its regular meeting Monday and that it would eventually become part of city ordinances.

The board would be composed of 11 city residents and include members of civil rights organizations and city personnel to be appointed by Mayor Luke Bronin and the council, though Clarke said he planned to change the language to include Bronin and representatives from the council and police department.

Bronin told the newspaper he welcomed the creation of the board.

The Hartford Police Accountability Review Board would meet in public once a month and solicit recommendations from residents on issues including hiring, training practices, community outreach and appropriate use of weapons.

Clarke told the newspaper it is a critical time to act in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

“We need to look at polices and procedures,” he said. “There is no mechanism in place to do that now.”

Hartford Police Union President Officer Anthony Rinaldi told the Courant the union is willing to work with the council “because the system is broken,” but expressed concerns about any of the board's future recommendations potentially compromising officers' safety.

 

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