CODE OF ETHICS
As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession… law enforcement.
PCAC Distinguished Chiefs Dinner 2019
September 2019, the PCAC honored Chief Koskinas (Westport), Chief Lombardo (Trumbull) and Chief Riddenhour (Danbury). We also honored Captain Duff of the New Haven Police Department.
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ THIS OP-ED THAT WAS PUBLISHED IN THE CT POST NEWSPAPER FROM PCAC MEMBER RICHARD COLANGELO
Law enforcement facing overwhelming digital deluge
When you’re a state’s attorney, some cases haunt you. One which haunts me is that of a young woman who used heroin twice in her life and, after the second time, she overdosed and died. An investigation revealed someone had given her the heroin, and I wanted that person off the street.
This young person would not be his only victim.
After gaining access to the young woman’s phone, my team spent months going through the tens of thousands of text messages, emails, and videos on the phone, but we couldn’t find the relevant information. It wasn’t until we brought in a special computer program that could analyze all of the data on her phone that we made progress. In minutes, we were able to identify every instance where she talked about heroin. As it turned out, she had a text message conversation with the person who supplied her with the drug and talked about it explicitly. We arrested the man that same day.
Cases like this are playing out across the country- only too often, they don’t end with an arrest and conviction. According to a Cellebrite survey of more than 2,000 law enforcement officials across federal, state, and local jurisdictions, law enforcement cannot keep up with all of the data it is collecting. Separating relevant evidence from extraneous information is overwhelming law enforcement’s limited resources.
Law enforcement is drowning in a deluge of digital data. It needs more resources to keep up and keeping ahead of the data deluge must be among its highest priorities.
This data deluge is having terrible, real world consequences. First, it delays justice. The unsolved case backlog now averages two months nationwide. This means two months for relevant information to disappear, two months for witnesses’ memories to fade, two months for suspects to operate with free reign – or flee the jurisdiction. As the amount of data collected – which law enforcement officials need to sift through – increases, so will the case backlog.
A second problem? Time. Investigators now spend an average of 36 hours per week reviewing digital data such as photos, text messages, call records and the like. This time crunch leads to the third problem: with so much time devoted to data review, law enforcement organizations ar e plowing through the backlog by paying for more overtime as a routine practice. This eats up law enforcement budgets, hence leaving less money for other law enforcement priorities.
The upshot? We have a system where fewer and fewer officers are being stretched thinner and thinner. It is expensive, and it’s unsustainable. Eventually, we’ll likely start missing critical evidence, and guilty suspects will walk away scot-free.
None of this is to say that we should simply try to collect less evidence. According to the Cellebrite survey, text messages are now reviewed in 89 percent of investigations. Social media is reviewed in 80 percent of cases. Digital data is a valuable evidentiary tool used to solve crimes, just like DNA, witnesses, and confessions.
The good news is the problem is fixable. Artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms are used to pick out patterns and identify critical information within large amounts of data, in industries ranging from transportation to finance to healthcare to agriculture. Law enforcement entities must invest in the same technologies – indeed in the case of the woman who overdosed, it was just such a program that cut through the noise and allowed us to identify the suspect. There is little excuse for law enforcement not to embrace the same sorts of technologies that have been game changers in so many other industries.
Helping law enforcement emerge from the digital deluge is up to all of us. Those of us in law enforcement need to change our mindset – we need to understand that the digital deluge is going to get worse. Embracing technology to help us solve it is not a short-term cost; it’s a long term savings that will help keep our communities safer. The technology isn’t free, of course, so state and local legislators have the difficult task of looking for ways to provide funding for the initial costs, which needs to become a fiscal priority.
Finally, or citizens – the people most directly impacted by threats to public safety- need to demand that law enforcement have access to the tools it needs to fight crime in the modern era. Citizens cannot feel safe if law enforcement must solve 21st century crimes with 20th century technology.
Being a state’s attorney means coming face-to-face with terrible tragedy almost every day. All of us in law enforcement bear that burden, and we do so proudly – and we believe keeping the community safe is a higher calling. Let us fulfill that calling. Let us make sure that no one who overdoses dies in vain.
-Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., State’s Attorney, Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk
2019 Meritorious Service Awards Dinner
Each year, the PCAC honors those officers from around the state of Connecticut who have gone 'above and beyond' the line of duty, along with the top graduates of the POSTC police academy.
PCAC GUN BUY-BACK EVENT A HUGE SUCCESS!
Thanks to all who participated
ABOUT THE PCAC
Providing a link between professional law enforcement and the public
The Police Commissioners Association of Connecticut (PCAC) members are elected and appointed police commissioners from municipalities throughout Connecticut. Our mission is to provide a link between professional law enforcement officers and the public.
We are dedicated to educating our members on current law enforcement issues facing our police departments. We strive to:
Elevate the status of local police departments through the exchange of ideas, information and experience.
Foster public understanding and appreciation of the role of police officers in today's society.
Support legislation favorable to justice and safety.
Improve the training of police officers.
Give appropriate recognition for outstanding performance in the field of law enforcement.