NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman will not return to work Tuesday after a 15 day paid leave of absence, instead he will go on ‘temporary sick leave,’ according to New Haven’s Mayor.
On Friday, Esserman met with Mayor Toni Harp at City Hall. According to city spokesperson, Laurence Grotheer the two talked about the prospect of his scheduled return on Tuesday. Grotheer denied reports that Mayor Harp asked the chief to resign from his position.
A statement from Mayor Toni Harp said that Esserman will use earned sick days to remain on leave, and also said that police department operations will continue uninterrupted and that public safety will remain a priority under Assistant Chief Anthony Campbell, who was named acting chief in Esserman’s absence.
New Haven has experienced a drop in crime over the past five years.Related Content: New Haven Police Chief on paid leave of absence
Police Union President Craig Miller told News 8, officers have issues with the way Esserman runs the department. He bluntly states that union members want Esserman to be removed from his role within the department.Related Content: Police Union: New Haven Chief’s paid leave isn’t enough
“We have a chief that uses bully tactics when dealing with his department employees. Officers and the public. These employees, officers and the community deserve a Chief with a vision and a commitment to moving this department forward,” said Miller.
In early July, the New Haven Police Union voted overwhelmingly that they have no confidence in their chief.Related Content: New Haven Police Union votes ‘no confidence’ in Chief
“Simply put, the union believes Chief Esserman should no longer be the chief of the New Haven Police Department,” said Miller.
Late Monday afternoon, Mayor Harp released a statement saying once Esserman’s paid leave of absence ends, he will transition to ‘temporary sick leave.’
I am eager for residents, property owners, and those visiting and doing business in New Haven to be assured their public safety requirements are being effectively met by the very capable command staff and officers of the New Haven Police Department.”
“The disciplinary leave of Chief Esserman, mutually agreed upon by the chief and me July 25th, ends today as scheduled, and will transition immediately to temporary sick leave, for which the chief will use earned and accrued sick time.”
“Police department operations will continue uninterrupted and public safety will remain its priority under the temporary command of Assistant Chief Campbell and in his absence, Assistant Chief Generoso.”
“Beyond that, given the City’s policy and practice of honoring a presumption of confidentiality in personnel matters, there will be no further comment.”