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Thread: Freedom of Informaiton Request made today

  1. #1
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    Submitted via email

    To Whom It May Concern:

    This is a request is for prompt access to public records and possible copies of same.

    I am also making this request directly to Sgt. Douglas Hall Esq. in his capacity as a Sergeant with the State Police.

    BACKGROUND for making this request:

    I have been following the activities of the Department of Public Safety Special License and Firearms Unit since mid 2007 and would like to obtain access to public records to more properly understand the past, present and future workings of same.

    I am well aware of the dedication honesty and integrity of the Unit under former SLFU Executive Officer Sgt. Douglas Hall.

    Given the fact that Sgt. Hall has been transferred out of the unit, I would like to more clearly understand the issues and problems he faced upon assuming the position of Executive Officer and how he administered the unit to increase productivity and resolve issues.

    I further believe that Sgt. Hall would have documented any procedural or personnel issues he found or faced while serving as the unit’s Executive Officer. Based on my beliefs, I am requesting prompt access to any written documents or emails that may have originated from him or been sent to him in his capacity as the Executive Officer of SLFU.

    There are multiple topics that I am personally aware of that Sgt. Hall became involved in and attempted to resolve including but not limited to topics situations involving Openly Carrying Firearms, At Risk Warrants Renewals, Revocations, Fees for Permits to Carry and Eligibility Certificates, seizure of permits by local law enforcement, Reducing the backlog of cases before the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, personnel issues and the Kuck and Goldberg cases and their possible impact on the Department of Public Safety’s firearm policies and procedures.

    With the recent Kuck and Goldberg decisions, (both Sgt. Hall and Trooper Hatfield attended), being returned from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the expected U.S. Supreme Court Decision in McDonald v. Chicago, this request for information is timely, relevant and may shed light on the Procedural Due Process issues in the denial and revocation appeal process.

    REQUEST:

    I request prompt access and possible copies of all written correspondence including emails, originating from or directed to Sgt. Douglas Hall by members of The Connecticut Department of Public Safety during the period of time that he was Executive Officer of or assigned to the Special Licenses and firearms of same.

    This request includes, (but is not limited to), any and all written documents relating to:

    Any directives, recommendations, opinions, critical and/or positive observations, Communications with local authorities regarding denials, reviews of SLFU personnel in the unit, reprimands of personnel, suggested changes in policy, procedures or State Statutes that apply to applications, FEES, renewals, Revocations, Seizures, at Risk Warrants, personnel issues, Hearing delays, and unit responses to questions posed by members of the public.

    In closing, I am NOT asking for access to or copies of any information exempt from disclosure such as requests for opinions or communications with attorneys in the legal affairs unit. This request is primarily for documents between Sgt. Hall, members of SLFU and higher authority within the Department of Public Safety.

    This request will be followed by a phone call to clarify any questions it may generate.




  2. #2
    Regular Member romma's Avatar
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    Ed, thiswould beexcellentto secure any of this information for obvious purposes if needbe. I sent Doug an email today not knowing he has been transferred out. I am trying to find out what an applicant is supposed to do if a permit application gets filed and the applicantmoves to a new town during the wait period.

    Any chance you know Ed?



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    I would think that the applicant can ask that the original issuing authority complete the process because at the time he was a resident.

    On the other hand, if the new location is more permit friendly, he could inquire about having the applicaiton transferred.

    The new person to ask is Sgt. William Krause, his email is William.B.Krauss@po.state.ct.us

    I'm told by those that know him that he is fair and straight forward about firearms.

    Let's hope he is similar to Sgt. Hall when it comes to problems and quesitons.



  4. #4
    Regular Member romma's Avatar
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    As usual, thank you Ed!!

  5. #5
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    Recieved by email today:

    Mr. Peruta,



    Thank you for your phone call this morning to focus the scope of your FOI request which broadly asked for:



    “all written correspondence including emails, originating from or directed to Sgt. Douglas Hall by members of The Connecticut Department of Public Safety during the period of time that he was Executive Officer of or assigned to the Special Licenses and firearms of same.This request includes, (but is not limited to), any and all written documents relating to: Any directives, recommendations, opinions, critical and/or positive observations, communications with local authorities regarding denials, reviews of SLFU personnel in the unit, reprimands of personnel, suggested changes in policy, procedures or State Statutes that apply to applications, FEES, renewals, Revocations, Seizures, at Risk Warrants, personnel issues, Hearing delays, and unit responses to questions posed by members of the public.” Since, this is a very broad request for records, your help in narrowing the scope will greatly aid our efficiency in responding to it.



    As we now understand your request, given your phone call today, the scope is limited to those DPS public records which date back to January 1, 2006 and consists of three (3) specific parts:



    (1) You are requesting DPS public records that directly reference and/or include the “assigned and actual duties”;”work product evaluations”;”personnel reports”; “reprimands”; “commendations”; “complaints”; “internal investigations”; “communication from local authorities” [this we understand to be a reference to handgun permit matters from local police departments]; and “letters from the public” which pertain to, or involve, Det. Barbara Mattson and Det. Thomas Karanda as State employees working in SLFU.



    (2) You are requesting DPS public records that were generated, received, or reviewed by Sgt. Doug Hall with respect to item (1) from the time he began work at SLFU in 2006 until his departure from SLFU in 2010.



    (3) You are requesting DPS public records that were generated, received, or reviewed by all individuals in the direct SLFU chain of command above Det. Barbara Mattson and Det. Thomas Karanda with respect to item (1). This particularly includes the current chain of command, as well as, those chains of command in existence from the year 2006.



    You additionally clarified that you want all DPS public records which meet the definition of C.G.S. Sec. 1-200(5). This includes paper, email, electronic documents, videos, and audio recordings, and that you wish to inspect or receive them as they are collected by our office.



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    This information was scanned from a PDF document obtained as part of a Freedom of Information request today.

    Everyone should pay particular attention to the area where TFC Mattson is alleged to have destroyed public records just prior to a hearing.

    I would think that this single fact would generate questions about her credibility and the validity of the case files being presented at ALL hearings where she is involved.

    From: Hall, Doug
    Sent: Friday, February 26,2010 10:49 AM
    To: Cassista, Mark
    Cc: Kostrzewa, Mike

    Subject: SLFU considerations considering my anticipated transfer

    Sir,

    First and foremost I want to express what a great honor it has been to work with the people assigned to the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. I have been truly fortunate to have spent the last three years in the office and have to say that you will not find a group of more dedicated and professional people in one place. The amount of work accomplished by the small group of people is a credit to each and every one of them. I willdeeply miss the tight working relationships that I have established during my tenure in the office.

    As you are aware, I have spent the last two plus years attempting to establish guidelines consistent with statutory requirements and the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners decisions in making a determination to revoke or reinstate a pistol permit. This is a very complex and volatile area of the law, which can be a major point of liability for the agency. There is a strong need for uniformity in the revocation process and my concern continues to be that individuals cannot allow their personal beliefs to influence their decisions and must rely on statutory provisions and Board determinations to make consistent revocation/reinstatement decisions.

    There is a need for someone with a strong understanding of the statutes providing an oversight to the decisions being made. I continue to feel that TFC Mattson's views of suitability and strong opinions need to be tempered by a supervisor allowed to monitor and control the revocation/reinstatement decisions. These are decisions based on statutes which do not allow room for personal beliefs regarding the possession of firearms in a revocation determination.

    I have spoken with Trooper Hatfield regarding the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners hearings and how my transfer would impact the agency's presentment of solid cases. He relayed his concerns to me about presenting cases that are prepared by TFC Mattson. He also provided specific issues that he has encountered in his preparation of cases, including one instance where TFC Mattson shredded a police file that had just been faxed to the revocation's fax machine regarding an appeal before the Board scheduled for the next day.

    With the limitations imposed on the Legal Affairs Unit, and the level of empowerment that TFC Mattson has historically been given with the decision to revoke, I believe that I have a logical solution. The investigator that makes the determination to revoke a permit is the person that presents the appeal to the Board. This assures that all relevant information and documentation that was used to make the determination is in the file and the person that made the decision to revoke is in the best position to express the factors used to make the
    determination. The investigator could confer with the Legal Affairs Unit prior to the hearing to ensure all relevant evidence is properly admitted into evidence.

    Understanding that passion for one's job is admirable, it must be tempered when dealing with statutory requirements. Imposing ones beliefs can prove to be detrimental to the revocation process. I have spoken to Sgt. Kostrzewa and expressed my concerns. I do not, and have not, doubted TFC Mattson's drive or knowledge of the protocol or revocations process and do not write this as a negative commentary. It is partially her strong beliefs and drive that raise my concerns. The decisions made within SLFU are, and will continue to be, scrutinized much more thoroughly now than at any point in the past. There is a strong need to assure that each revocation is solidly based on a legitimate concern for public safety and that the decision can be properly argued to the Board. I would also like to express my concern with splitting the duties at the firearms vault. Firearms are unique and require a heightened level of scrutiny. Like money and drugs, firearms require additional steps to ensure accountability. Assigning one intake officer to the vault provides consistency and a direct chain of custody. TFC Musial has established contacts with the BATFE as well as numerous gun dealers. I believe that placing him at the vault is the best business practice because he can split his time between firearms intake, investigations and dealer inspections.

    I appreciate the support that you have provided me during my time within the unit and I am always available if there are any issues that arise in the future.

    Respectfully,

    SergeantDouglasA.Hall,Esq. ExecutiveOfficer





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