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By: | September 4, 2014

Washington – Connecticut’s police chiefs assured the state’s U.S. senators that the abuses of police authority that occurred in Ferguson, Mo., would likely not happen in Connecticut. But it’s likely Connecticut cops' use of military equipment to fight crime is soon coming under review.

Images of Ferguson police using war-fighting equipment to threaten those who protested the police killing of a black youth last month sparked a debate in Washington over the future of a Pentagon program that donates surplus equipment to the nation’s cops.

Mike Lawlor, Connecticut Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning, said a divided Congress may not be able to agree on reforms of the “1033 program,” that has provided military assault rifles, grenade launchers, night vision equipment, mine resistant and armored vehicles and even a helicopters to Connecticut police departments.

So the Malloy administration may also look at placing restrictions on the program or persuading Connecticut police to voluntarily place curbs on the acquisition and use of military equipment, Lawlor said.

“I think that’s the goal,” he said.

Lawlor attended a  meeting on Thursday in New Haven with U.S. Senator. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy over the 1033 program.

At that meeting, Connecticut police chiefs defended the program and said state police officers receive intensive training that would avoid the type of violence that occurred in Ferguson.

“Connecticut is not Ferguson,” Murphy said. “Our police departments receive a level of training that wasn’t available in Ferguson.”

Murphy also said some police chiefs would rather be able to purchase non-military versions of the equipment they’ve received by the Pentagon, but don’t have the money.

Yet Murphy said he “thinks there is plenty of room for reform” of the 1033 program, including removing some of types of weapons from the program and ensuring that training “comes along with the equipment.”

Another change would be to give police departments resources to modify the equipment they receive from the Defense Department, Murphy said.

Southern Connecticut State University Police Chief Joseph Dooley, who also heads the Police Association of Connecticut, said “I’m certain that there is going to be a review, but we’re very much in support of the continuation of the program.”

Dooley said Connecticut police receive the best training in the nation, 880 hours of training over six months that includes classes in conflict resolution and crowd control, followed by three months of field training.

“Having a good relationship with the community and good community policing initiatives and trust is at the core of what we do,” he said.

Dooley also said much of the equipment Connecticut police have received from the military, including massive, mine-resistant armored vehicles, have been used in defensive actions, to rescue officers or innocent bystanders from dangerous situations.

“I don’t think you want to put our officers in harm’s way when there is a way to protect these officers,” Dooley said.

The Justice Department announced Thursday it is conducting a sweeping investigation into the Ferguson police department. The civil rights probe will look into patterns of stops and arrests, the use of force, and police training — as well as the treatment of people held in Ferguson's city jail — to determine whether racial discrimination played a factor in police behavior there.


2014 HAVOCT INC. Annual Picnic

On August 23, 2014, the HAVOCT INC members participated in the annual picnic, which they enjoyed at the Winding Trails, located in Farmington CT.  At least about 32 members & their family attended the event.  The event involved music, fun, laughs and one of the most important good food, such as Arroz Amarillo con Costillas (Yellow Rice and Ribs), Pernil de Cerdo Asado (Roasted Pork), Pollo Asado (Roasted Chicken), Pasta Salad, Morcillas Fritas a variety of Desserts, and more...not to forget the delicious Hot Dogs and Burgers!!!

Thank you to all the members, but specially SGT Luis Vera & SFC (RET) Isidro Maldonado who helped us with the grill. We look forward to our upcoming event; therefore, if you are member make sure to attend the meeting to find out more information, and if you are not a member, become one!!!


HAVOCT INC Webmaster


MISSION: The mission of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is to improve the quality of life of the people of Connecticut by providing an integrated network of comprehensive, effective and efficient mental health and addiction services that foster self-sufficiency, dignity and respect.



DMHAS Overview

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) promotes and administers comprehensive, recovery-oriented services in the areas of mental health treatment and substance abuse prevention and treatment throughout Connecticut.  

While the Department's prevention services serve all Connecticut citizens, its mandate is to serve adults (over 18 years of age) with psychiatric or substance use disorders, or both, who lack the financial means to obtain such services on their own.  DMHAS also provides collaborative programs for individuals with special needs, such as persons with HIV/AIDS infection, people in the criminal justice system, those with problem gambling disorders, substance abusing pregnant women, persons with traumatic brain injury or hearing impairment, those with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness, and special populations transitioning out of the Department of Children and Families.

DMHAS operates on the belief that most people with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders can and should be treated in community settings, and that inpatient treatment should be used only when absolutely necessary to meet the best interests of the patient. Effective care requires that services such as residential, supportive, rehabilitative and crisis intervention programs are available within their local communities.  DMHAS is responsible for providing a wide range of services to adults in each of the five human service regions in Connecticut.  For assistance in finding services in your area, follow the link to: Finding services in your area. 

The Commissioner and the DMHAS Executive Group confer with many constituency and stakeholder groups.  These include the State Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services, a 40-member advisory group consisting of 15 gubernatorial appointees, the chairperson, one designee each from the 5 Regional Mental Health Boards, and one designee each from the 15 substance abuse Regional Action Councils.  For more information on these groups, follow the link to:  State Advisory Board.

Fore more information --- PRESS HERE


MAJ Lesbia I. Nieves was officially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the Connecticut Army National Guard on Thursday, May 15, 2014. The ceremony took place at the State Armory in the presence of her husband, son, parents, HAVOCT, Inc. family and her Battalion.

LTC Lesbia I. Nieves

Connecticut Army National Guard

MAJ Lesbia I. Nieves was officially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the Connecticut Army National Guard on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  The ceremony took place at the State Armory in the presence of her husband, son, parents, HAVOCT, Inc. family and her Battalion.


 LTC Lesbia I. Nieves has been a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard since 1987.  She is an OIF Veteran and Past President of the Hispanic-American Veterans of CT, Inc (HAVOCT, Inc.) and current Advisor.   In May 1994, she enrolled in the Officer Candidate School with the Connecticut Army National Guard and graduated in August 1995. 


During her years as a commissioned officer, she has held various leadership positions that have included but not limited to the following: Platoon Leader; Executive Officer; Company Commander; Staff Officer for BN, Logistical Officer; Operations Officer (Major Command Group), Operations and Training Officer for CTARNG Recruiting and Retention, Battalion Commander, and Executive Officer for the 118th Multifunctional Medical Battalion.   She has also served as the State Partnership Program Director for the CT National Guard working with the Partner Nation of the Country of Uruguay. Most recently she completed a one tour at the National Guard Bureau working in the International Affairs Division State Partnership program, as one of the US Southern Commands desk officers.  She  was  recently  assigned as the  Battalion Commander  for the  CTARNG 143rd  Combat  Service  Support  BN Waterbury, CT.


 LTC Nieves holds a B.S. degree with a major in Psychology and minor in Sociology and two Masters Degrees: one in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family Counseling and the second degree in Public Administration with a concentration on National Security Affairs.  She has also completed various military educational programs as well to include most recently graduating from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, Command and General Staff College program in 2009.


She has been employed by the Department of Children and Families since 1995 and holds the position of Social Work Supervisor.  She has worked primarily within the Hartford and Manchester communities.


She is a Board Member of the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial, Inc. She is a life Member of the VFW, a member of the American Legion, the Women Veterans’ Memorial, and the American Veterans Association (AMVETS).  

She is married to Edward Nieves and they have three children.  LTC Nieves and her family reside in Manchester, Connecticut.  The LTC thanked her husband, children and parents for their support throughout her years of service and she recognized MAJ (Ret) Edna Acosta-Newson as her mentor and one of the people who encouraged her to continue when she felt she could no longer serve for a variety of reasons. 


The LT Colonel’s promotion made history as she is the first Hispanic female to move up to this high a rank within the Connecticut Army National Guard.  We wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors and know she will continue to serve the State and the Nation well.


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