Hartford Police Chief James Rovella is cracking down on the department’s little-known but longtime practice of maintaining under-the-radar “offices” inside local storefronts, reports the city’s Courant. Rovella sent a memo to the deputy and assistant police chiefs on Aug. 16 asking them to provide a list of all such offices throughout the city.
The practice of police partnering with local business owners and landlords has been seen as beneficial for both sides — the police presence means crime deterrence for landlords, while a quiet room inside a local establishment can provide a welcome respite for officers. But these makeshift offices, which have been a hallmark of community policing in Hartford for at least 20 years, aren’t regulated, and it’s not always clear how they’re being used. “We don’t want to give the appearance of impropriety,” Rovella said.