New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman is officially out. Many people in the community were hoping Esserman would step down and he finally did submit his resignation, which was announced on Tuesday.
City leaders and community members say Esserman had the wrong temperament for this kind of job. The mayor put him on paid leave over the summer, after he scolded a waitress at a local restaurant. Two years ago, Esserman was reportedly reprimanded after an angry confrontation with a football stadium usher.
According to ABC News, Esserman has apologized in the past for “public outbursts.”
ABC reports that in 2011, when Esserman was the police chief in Providence, RI, he was suspended without pay for one day, after he reportedly threatened to throw coffee in a sergeant’s face because the officer was coughing during Esserman’s speech.
At both the Rhode Island and Connecticut departments, Esserman was accused of “publicly berating officers, intimidation, favoritism and retaliation.”
New Haven’s police union president told the local NBC station that “[Esserman] actually did a favor for everybody” by stepping down. Union members voted 170-42 “no confidence” in Esserman, earlier this summer, for low morale.
While things were not going well for Esserman back at home over the summer, he did find time to travel to Washington DC, to join 30 other law enforcement officials at the White House, for a discussion on improving police-community relations.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp commended Esserman for successfully completing a five-year tenure, which included a drop in crime. When Esserman returned to police headquarters this week to say goodbye, he said the following:
“It has been a privilege to serve Mayor Harp and work alongside the remarkable men and women of the New Haven Department of Police Service, who no doubt have earned the title, ‘New Haven’s Finest. Last and certainly not least, it has been my privilege to serve the wonderful people of New Haven.”
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