RMA Presents: Police Accountability – Our Role in the Greenwich Community
By Arnold Gordon
At the May 25 meeting of the Retired Men’s Association, Bob Rimmer introduced James Heavey, Chief of Police for the City of Greenwich. Jim is a native and lifelong resident of the town who joined the police in 1981, rising through the ranks until being named chief in 2011. A graduate of Greenwich High School (as are his children), and a veteran of Operation Desert Shield, he served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Northeastern University and completed an online Masters in Public Administration from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska. Additionally, Jim recently completed training in terrorism response at the National FBI Academy.
Jim showed a short video created in commemoration of the ministry’s 125th anniversary this year. He traced the history of the force, including the diversity program in hiring minorities and women, which was ahead of its time. Jim then shared some interesting statistics regarding his department’s responsibilities and activities. Their 24/7 operation covers the city’s 283 miles of roads and 24 miles of coastline. It includes a four-man team on electric-assist bicycles that can go up to 35 mph, who deal with emergencies, parking enforcement and improving road safety. There are also trained paramedics and divers within the department. There are usually 11 police cars on the road with two always on the Post Road. The dispatch center is staffed by 16 civilians who handle all kinds of emergency calls (crime, fire, medical, etc.). As an example of unusual deployments, he mentioned that following the shooting at a school in Texas on May 24, additional patrols around schools were added due to fears of muggings by copycats. The department offers a women’s self-defense course and operates a Citizen Police Academy open to the public. He encouraged people to participate; more information can be found here: https://www.greenwichct.gov/399/Citizens-Police-Academy
They also periodically offer a Citizen Police Academy for young people (police camp):
Young Citizens Police Academy (Police Camp) | Greenwich, Connecticut
Jim explained that 152 officer positions are approved for the department. There is one open right now. Twenty-one percent of the officers are veterans. The minimum age for a police officer is 21 but there is no mandatory retirement age. Recruitment is a critical issue, especially since there are now 42 agents eligible for retirement and the municipality no longer offers retirement, creating a competitive disadvantage with certain other departments. There will be 11 openings this summer following a retirement. Each recruit must attend the state police academy for eight months, previously three and a half months. The academy only accepts a certain number of trainees and there is often a long wait to recruit new candidates. After graduation, each officer must complete three months of on-the-job training in town. Officers receive extensive special training, including use of force, firearms, OSHA issues and more. They have to maintain their firearms proficiency by training on a shooting range in town. Every three years, each officer must complete a six-hour review training. EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and EMRs (Emergency Medical Responders) must complete 20 hours of refresher training each year. Other professional development training includes accident investigation, sex crimes, juvenile issues, detective school, and human trafficking.
The Department continues to upgrade its technology with the latest tools, such as mobile data terminals, updates or replacement of surveillance cameras, body cameras, patrol fleet dashboard cameras ( mandatory for all police vehicles from July 1, 2022) and new bulletproof vests. (replaced every five years).
In 2021, there were 30,488 calls to the Department. They included, among others, 5,204 medical accidents, 266 involving domestic violence and 1,735 road accidents. Reflecting on the fact that 60 cars have been stolen in Greenwich since January 1 this year, all unlocked with keys inside, Chief Heavey urged everyone to always keep their car locked and valuables hidden or carried away. In 2021, 130 cars were stolen. “Lock it or lose it!”
Following the George Floyd case in May 2020, the State of Connecticut instituted a police accountability rule that requires the following: officers must wear name tags and name tags on outerwear, must pass urine drug tests, departments must provide a report on recruiting, retaining and promoting minority officers, and as a condition of hiring and continued employment, each officer must undergo periodic “behavioral health assessment”. There is already a Civil Review Board in Greenwich, a city legislative body that reviews the department’s activities and handles complaints. The state also introduced a police liability rule covering things like legal limits on an officer’s request to search the contents of a vehicle when stopped for ordinary (traffic-related) reasons. , etc.) ; chokeholds which are prohibited unless the situation involves deadly force; officers are required to intervene with other officers who use excessive force; and no quota is allowed for traffic tickets or other citations involving fines (most of these funds go to the state, not the city). Chief Heavey proudly mentioned that the Department of Greenwich meets or exceeds all state mandated requirements. As a community-oriented service, it adheres to its core values: service, respect, fairness and diligence. We are fortunate to have such a strong and committed police service serving Greenwich.
For those who want to see the full presentation, head over to the RMA website or click on the video at https://vimeo.com/714044393.
The next RMA presentation “Inflation Changes Everything: Implications for the Economy and Financial Markets” by Larry Kantor is scheduled for 11am on Wednesday, June 8. We are now at a very different stage of the economic cycle than a year ago when massive fiscal and monetary policy support was generating rapid gains in economic activity and asset prices. The largest increases in government spending and money supply the United States has ever seen have resulted in the highest inflation seen in 40 years. Unfortunately, the disappearance of supply bottlenecks will not be enough to bring inflation down to an acceptable level. It will also require a significant weakening of the economy – enough to raise the unemployment rate. This means that a recession is likely before the end of next year. It also suggests that stock and bond prices probably haven’t bottomed yet.
Please join us to hear from Larry Kantor, who will draw on his many years as a senior financial industry executive to tackle the critical economic issues of the day. Larry has appeared before the RMA six times and has received wide acclaim for his clear, concise and understandable opinions on national issues from an economist’s perspective. Larry is currently an operating partner at Atlas Merchant Capital, a private equity firm. He was a 2016 Harvard University Advanced Leadership Institute Fellow after retiring as Managing Director and Global Head of Research at Barclays, where he was responsible for global research, including economics. , stocks, interest rates, foreign exchange, emerging markets, credit and commodities. He was also a member of the investment banking executive committee and has made numerous media appearances, including on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and radio, and The Nightly Business Report. Prior to joining Barclays, Larry held positions of increasing responsibility in academia, the Federal Reserve Board and the financial industry. Larry received his Ph.D. and Masters in Economics from The Ohio State University.
To stream Mr. Kantor’s presentation at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8, click here (https://bit.ly/30IBj21). This presentation will also be available on local public access television channels, Verizon FIOS channel 24 and Optimum (Cablevision) channel 79.
RMA speaker presentations are presented as a community service at no cost to in-person or Zoom attendees. The RMA urges all eligible individuals to consider becoming a member of our great organization, and thereby take advantage of all available fellowship, volunteer, and community service opportunities that the RMA offers its members. For more information, visit www.greenwichrma.org or contact our Membership Manager (mailto:[email protected]).