HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Hartford police officer admitted to falsifying traffic stop records and resigned amid an internal affairs investigation, Chief Jason Thody said in a statement Thursday.
A regular audit of the department’s traffic division identified “irregularities” in the reported traffic stops of Officer Michael Fallon over a four-week period, Thody said.
“After being confronted by his supervisors within the Traffic Division, Officer Fallon admitted to falsifying his divisional weekly activity reports,” Thody said.
The internal affairs investigation found that Fallon had filed reports on 33 traffic stops that either did not occur or were inaccurately reported, over-reported stops in a department activity report, and falsely reported information on a stop related to an arrest warrant, the police chief said.
“Officer Fallon resigned before he could be interviewed and face discipline,” Thody said. “However, due to the nature of the sustained charges, the Hartford Police Department proactively notified the Police Standards and Training Council, in order to initiate the decertification process.”
The Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project released an audit in June that showed hundreds of state troopers submitted false information from 2014 to 2021 on at least 26,000 traffic stops. Ken Barone, associate director of UConn’s Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy and project manager of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, said no member of the public actually received a ticket. Rather, it was erroneous data entered into the system.
According to Thody, the department notified Barone of Fallon’s misreported traffic records, and he determined that Fallon’s reporting issues were “not statistically significant.”
“The Hartford Police Department has no tolerance for conduct like this, and our process worked exactly as it should to identify discrepancies, initiate an investigation, and take swift and appropriate action when the misconduct was substantiated,” the chief said.