NEW HAVEN — A Connecticut police department is defending the hiring of an officer who was identified in background checks as someone who associated with known gang members and displayed gang-affiliated hand signals.
New Haven police in a release say the discovery was made during the officer’s employment with Connecticut’s Department of Correction and during a background check as he went through the process to become a city officer.
The officer’s name was not released.
Chief Otoniel Reyes said the officer underwent a “laborious and intensive background check, psychological examination, drug test and polygraph test.”
Former Chief Anthony Campbell did not think the officer was a suitable candidate for hire, but the Board of Police Commissioners approved the hire.
Reyes said the officer is currently a member of the department in good standing.