A Central Connecticut State University police officer was fired due to accusations of sexual assault towards his co-worker. With reports of sexual harassment being a major issue, the university decided to ramp up its effort in restoring order and trust in its security department.
Officer Curtis Lollar was fired due after reports of sexual assault that stemmed from 2013-14, were finalized according to Hartford Courant. A female campus officer went to her lieutenant and told him that she was sexually assaulted by another member of the department, which was Lollar. He was accused of sexually assaulting her three times over the course of a year that started in 2013. However, during the time of the assault, the victim did not file a report on this incident. According to My Record Journal, when asked why, she claimed that she had moved on from the incident.
No charges have been filed in connection with the alleged assault.
Getting to the bottom of this, a report done by the University said that the behavioral and staffing issue in the police department was “fraternity-like” and was riddled with “pervasive use of inappropriate gender labels.” To combat this, the university tasked Bernard Sullivan, a retired public safety commissioner and former Hartford police chief to identify and correct policies, procedures, training and more.
“He has worked with us to identify deficiencies, address critical issues, and instituted several new policies and procedures. The culture within the Police Department is improving, and I am confident this will continue as our police force works to regain its stature as a professional, caring partner in making the CCSU campus a safe and welcoming environment for all,” Central Connecticut State University President Zulma R. Toro announced in a statement to FOX 61.
In accordance with Lollar’s departure, the school official who oversaw the police department, Chief Administrative Officer Richard Bachoo, was also placed on leave due to an investigation.
Here is the proposed plan cited by FOX 61, that is set to be implemented:
- Since July 2018, all Police Department supervisors attended a two-hour, in-person sexual harassment prevention training.
- In September, several police officers attended a training about strategies for working with sexual violence victims.
- The entire department will undergo sexual harassment and Title IX training while the University is on winter break.
- Supervisors will undergo training in areas such as evaluating staff and using progressive discipline and positive reinforcement with subordinates to enhance performance.
Policies & Procedures
- A new disciplinary policy is in place requiring police supervisors to review employee personnel files prior to issuing any counseling or discipline. This will ensure they are aware of any prior offenses and any discipline is reflected in evaluations. The police chief is required to conduct an annual inspection to ensure these procedures are compliant.
- A new background investigation sign-off has been implemented requiring multiple layers of review. It provides solid documentation as to the candidate’s position and prevents any single individual from having the final approval for hiring.
- Pre-background questionnaires will require candidate signatures to be notarized and affirmed as truthful. This will make it easier to decertify officers if, later, facts reveal the candidate was untruthful.
Staffing & Budget
- The Police Department budget has been separated from the Administrative Services budget and is receiving $282,000 annually in additional funding.
- A new police sergeant will be hired.
- Two vacant police officer positions are being reclassified to positions of sergeants.
- Two vehicles will be purchased for the two new sergeants.
- The student cadet program is hiring five or more additional students.
- Three police recruits were hired in July, have been undergoing training at the Police Academy in Meriden, and will begin full-time duty in January 2019.
- A full-time, seasoned administrative assistant was reassigned to work with the department.
- A clerk typist position has been converted to an administrative assistant position.
According to My Record Journal, President Toro spoke to the police department staff, Thursday morning.
“I realize the reputation of the CCSU Police Department has been tarnished by our investigations,” she told them, according to a school statement. “The poor choices and actions of a few — which I assure you we are dealing with — do not represent the good work and dedication of the entire department.”