December 3, 2010

Cockayne: Police chief should resign (Updated)

New: See the story here.

A note to Mayor Art Ward from city Councilor Ken Cockayne, which was released widely a few minutes ago:
Mayor Ward,
I am formally requesting you ask for the immediate resignation of Chief DiVenere and Personnel Director Diane Ferguson. As the 9th largest city in Connecticut, we have one of the best police forces in the region. Unfortunately, the recent actions of a few have tarnished the reputations of not only the rest of the police force, but our city as a whole. I am troubled by the lack of accountability these officers have had and I feel it is a reflection of the leadership. I feel a strong message needs to be sent that behavior like this will not be tolerated or glossed over. It is an embarassment to the rest of the police force and to the fine citizens of Bristol.
The fact that it has come to this where I am sending this letter to you requesting this action shows either a lack of competence, courage, or both, on the part of our Police Chief and our Personnel Director. I fear that without a strong message, the leadership that is provided from the Mayor's office and the City Counsel will come under scrutiny as well.
Ken Cockayne
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

What exactly has Diane Ferguson done wrong in this context that would justify her immediate termination? This makes no sense whatsoever. Oh, and he spelled "Council" incorrectly.

Ken wants to be Mayor. Its a terrible idea. He had no idea how to lead... and only knows how to be an obstructionist. It will be a total flop.

Anonymous said...

Ken Cockayne is 100% right on this and would be a terrific mayor.

Ken Coacayne unlike his potential rival, Council-person Kevin "his own boss' boss" McCauley, knows that the city shouldn't be in the real estate business "like it or not" (as McCauley has stated).

Anonymous said...

There has been on problem surfacing after another. He should have been forced out a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

What has she done wrong? How about covering up this mess for one thing and keeping this from the Council as another?

Anonymous said...

How is it that the Hartford Courant broke this story? Where was or is the Bristol Press on this?

Anonymous said...

cockayne may be right but he is politicizing for his own advantage. Again.

Anonymous said...

Oooo Mad Dog has found a new toy to chew on! Got his name in the paper to boot! Typical of most big bad dogs, Kenny's all bark. He's absolutely the LAST thing (after McCauley) that this town needs.

Anonymous said...

Diane made the deal with Blazejowski to get the 60 days off and keep his job. per city charter the chief cannot make that decision on his own. it was her authority.

Tim Gamache said...

All I'll say is that there is some validity to elected officials getting upset at being kept "out of the loop."This was handled rather poorly.

Anonymous said...

since the chief does not have the authority to suspend anyone over 14 days, Diane had to authorize this deal. Further, she runs the department's personel matters, whether its part of her job or not. Divenere is afraid of her, and he does whatever she tells him. She knew about the Mosback incident, and had her fingers in that as well. Diane has allowed Divenere to continue to run the PD because he is a weak pawn that she can control. They both should go, and I'm a Cockayne hater! he is almost as big an ass as Divenere is

Anonymous said...

I've personally heard the police chief regale an audience with stories of the things he did as a regular officer that the general public would find sickening. Of course this was at a function filled with fellow officers and family members of such. And he drew a huge laugh. The fact that a man like that became our Police Chief sickens me. We wonder why there are so many questions about the integrity of force leadership? You can't tell me the Mayor has never heard his stories. Bristol needs change and we should start with the resignation of Chief DiVenere.

Anonymous said...

If you think that Cockayne is his own boss, then you don't have a clue!
This action clearly shows that he does not know how to get things done, and in reality, has made it more difficult to be achieved.

Mayor? Heaven help us!

Anonymous said...

Cockayne is just a headline grabber.

All hat and no cattle.

Just what has he done in three years?

Isn't he the liasion to Rosenthal's BDA?

Anonymous said...

Being a professional in public service requires one to be held to a higher standard. When that person is found not to be proficient and is unable to be professional in their service a change must be made.

BPPD is an embarassment and has dishonored those that wear the badge and do their job with integrity.

BPPD seems to have become a fraternity of immature children allowing its members to carry loaded fire arms that are mentally unfit to do so. In addition, they cover up crimes in which they themselves commit. The cover up is worse than the crime itself!

Whether Ken has another agenda, I dont know and dont care. That isnt event the issue.

The issue is, Can we have faith in a police department that covers up the crimes they commit and gives lethal weapons to people who are way too eager to use them in order to, "see how it feels". Furthermore, that allows its officers to go on the radio and spew racist filth with no discipline, hiding behind their first amendment rights.

If one wishes to go on the air and say racist remarks thats great but that person shouldnt be allowed to serve and protect the diverse citizens of this city. Especially with a loaded weapon.

The Town of Bristol Have You Gone Mad????

Anonymous said...

Steve, Could you please publish the editorial from 3 years ago that was in the courant stating that the chief should resign from woes that showed poor leadership even back then. COUNCILMAN cockayne is write on target with this tip of the burg............

Anonymous said...

3:39 p.m.

cockayne talks about bad press, bad reputation but he is the one calling the press, specially the hartford courant and he is the one sending open letters. what a fake!

Anonymous said...

Cockayne is right Diane Feruson must go she has no accountability to handle the depts in this town she should of stayed with her old job. The town gone wild, Ken you have my vote you are the only one that stepped up. GOOD JOB AND YOU DON`T DO IT TO GET YOUR NAME IN THE PAPER IT`S JUST NOBODY HAS THE Balls. GOOD JOB

in wonder said...

I noticed that the police union has been very sheepish on this; haven't heard anything from them. does this mean that they think that keeping this cop on duty is good for the police department and the public? shameful if the union can't take common sense and safety over covering-up for someone who shouldn't be a cop.
i am generally a union supporter, actually a union member, but can't see logic in this gruesome tale.
hope that someone getting maimed or killed doesn't have to happen for the union to realize the same.

Anonymous said...

everyone who basses ken is only pissed he had the ball's to say whats on everyones mind. the reason its news is that as counceour he may make ir happen

nuts said...

if i was the chief, i'd retire and walk away from this screwed up bunch of misfits posing as cops,
glad that i don't live there.

Anonymous said...

2:34 - obviously you have your own agenda ... talking about real estate issues when that has NOTHING to do with this article. Pathetic! McCauley is one of the only council members (along with Matthews) I consider to have a clear head and a firm grasp on the issues regarding the city. Ken is ALWAYS running to the Press to further his own agenda. A sensation-grabbing mayor is the last thing this city needs.

Let's look at this logically. You can't demand someone resign without following protocol. If Ken was mayor, we'd end up with no police force. Who really wants to work for a mayor that strikes first and asks questions later? He shoots from the hip and doesn't stop to think of the ramifications later. Oh, and he is absolutely beholden to his party. Don't think for one minute that he isn't.

By the way, poster 2:34, the city IS in the real estate business. They own lots of real estate because they have to. It's part of being a city. If we own it, we control it, and if we control it, we can sell it to the proper people so that we don't end up with the slimy scumlords that have attempted to invade our city. If you took the time to look at what the city has done with regard to selling properties, you would see that obtaining and selling abandoned properties has put lots of money back into the coffers. It's obvious you would rather spout off your own inaccurate information rather than obtaining the correct information.

Anonymous said...

KEN good job the truth hurts a lot of these people. The chief should have been fire years ago with his actions with several women. DIANE has been covering for him. Just think about whats going on between the two. It isnt a chess game.

Anonymous said...

Diane must have written the first comment. Of course .sShe had to be involved in order for the latest deal to be done. Almost everyone in City hall know that the Chief does nothing without her blessing. I think the real story is what did these two people tell the elected officials and police board about all of these (what is it a dozen or so events dating back the last 5 years)situations. I talked with a friend of mine who was on the board at the time of the 2006 event and said he was never told about any of the details. Nice job Diane hid and seek a game she has perfected in that department

Dump McCauley 2011 said...

December 3, 2010 7:36 PM:

Actually you're the one without a clue. Forget all this banter about who's pulling whose strings. The comment about McCauley being his boss' (possessive) boss pertains to the fact that Kevin McCauley as a council-person, votes on budgets and policies that govern the decisions his supervisors and Fire Dept. leaders make. I find that particularly frightening when comparing it with recent circumstances with the Police Department.

And in regards to Cockayne, yes he is not his own boss. Clearly he's adhering to the needs and wants of his constituents, unlike McCauley who adheres to the needs of himself and the Bristol Democrats.

Anonymous said...

to 3:49 don`t they all

Anonymous said...

Ken is on track the unions seem to be running bristol and the end is near. The chief and diane should go she has bee making a lot of misstakes the last few years covering for her friends. You watch my back and ill rub yours.

Anonymous said...

9:28: spouting inaccurate statements, as usual. I guess you forgot all about the mayor screaming at McCauley during a city council meeting a couple months back because he refused to vote on the city's union contract because he had been given information at the 11th hour and needed to look at it thoroughly before it was approved. That's not what I call cowtowing to the unions or anyone else. Look at how McCauley votes and it's not in lock step with the mayor.

Look at how Cockayne votes and you will see that he is beholden to his party base time and again. He only votes against the unions because that's what his party tells him to do. That's not what I call an impartial mayor and that's what I call truly scary. Cockayne jumps the gun time and again when it comes to contacting the Press and doesn't stop to think of the ramifications of his actions. He only thinks of himself and gaining power.

Anonymous said...

Let's remember that Diane is not a union member. She is part of management and she continues to do things that are against the unions so please don't make her out to be part of this city's unions. As usual, the unions are the scapegoats for everything bad in America and I frankly don't buy it. I've heard nothing about the fat cats on Wall Street or upper MANAGEMENT of these large corporations that were just given bailouts. Therein lies the reason why we have the economy we have now ... not because of the unions. How about last year's Christmas bonuses from Goldman Sachs? Where's your outrage with regard to that? If you look at what is happening in this country, the union workers are getting their jobs and wages cut, too. Just because you're part of a union doesn't mean your job is secure. If you're going to place blame, let's do it fairly, shall we?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Cockayne is working at getting even with Divenere and the PD because they nailed him a few years back.



Anonymous said...

Agenda? Headline grabber?

Whatever! Cockayne at least has the courage to call it like it is. Big deal that others have stated it in closed circles. No one has had the strength in their conviction to attach their name to it in a statement to the press. Love him or hate him, you always know where he stands and in my opinion, I agree with him more and more these days. I hope Cockayne runs for mayor. He is just the change we need.

adios generalisimo said...

8:11 aka 8:05: Who brought up the unions? What does Goldman Sachs have to do with this conversation (unless of course you're referring to Pres. Obama's failed economic team)? You sound like another left-wing wack-job, from that same group of delerious idiots who congregate around McCauley and the like.

McCauley is an ignorant self-righteous, arrogant twerp with nothing in mind but defending the bad policy and stupidity that is typical from a certain number of Bristol Democrats.

In regards to his spat with Ward, that is all that it was. He came crawling on his hands and knees to the union almost immediately after the meeting. He is a member of the public employee union in Bristol!

But being a union pawn or a union lackey is not the issue. The issue is simple (albeit some people can't seem to grasp it). McCauley a city firefighter has no business voting on budgets and policies that may sway his superiors. In other words he is in charge of the people that are supposed to be in charge of him. That is not how the structure of our city government should work.

He needs to go!

Cockayne addict said...

December 3, 2010 2:10 PM;

Ferguson should just resign and save the city the cost of termination.

The charge: worthless-ness

Anonymous said...

This isnt WALL ST this is BRISTOL SO LETS FACE IT BRISTOL HAS SERIOUS PROBLEMS. We have a city whose tax payers cant handle anymore. We still spend the money on raises buying property and given the unions anything they want. Then they make it seem like the unions gave in BULL WERE NOT STUPID. The press should start following up on stories in stead of laying down. Ken keep up the good work BRISTOL NEEDS REAL LEADERSHIP. Not all union guys.

Anonymous said...

Agenda? Headline Grabber? HELL YES!!!

You're fooling yourself if you think for a second that Ken's motives are noble or courageous. Quite the contrary. If he has doubts about the chief's performance, there's a protcol to follow. Going straight to the media and demanding the chief's resignation like a petulant child is defnitely NOT the way to go. This was grandstanding...a no class, attention-grabbing and self-serving act, plain and simple. Mad Dog Cockayne is most definitely not mayoral material. He's an embarrassment.

Ben said...


All I want is a police department I can trust.
Is that to much to ask?

Anonymous said...


Mad Dog's bumbling, over-the-top grandstanding won't do it. There's a proper process that needs to be followed. This AIN'T it.

Ben said...


You may be right,
or maybe we need the "grand standing". I can see the political gain. If you are in the minority it's easy to be labeled the "obstructionist".
The process you speak of seems to work painfully slow if it's working at all.
One or two incidents and we could pass it off. These problems seem to reoccuring on a regular basis.
I am not sure removing the leadership will even change anything, but something needs to change. This leadership has offered little in the way of improving the preception of the now untrust worthy department. Sorry guys, call me names from your anonymous pulpit, but that's how people see it.

Anonymous said...


If the majority "sees" it the way you do, we are in trouble.

Anonymous said...


You're just as anonymous as most of us, so give it a rest.

Yes, following procedure can take some time, but grown-ups realize that there's a reason why there is a procedure. Mad Dog's motives were purely self-serving. If anything, his pubescent attempt to get his name in the paper has actually thrown a monkey wrench in the system that is likely to prolong the process. You are in the minority if you think Mad Dog is anything but a pain in the ass. Sorry, but that's how people see it.

Ben said...


and your reasoning is.......

If you don't think the majority thinks this way, then that's why we are in trouble.
I have no idea who you are, but these little one sentence shots do little to promote whatever it is you are trying to say.

Is Ken taking polictical advantage?
Of course he is.
He in the minority so you are kicking the crap out of him. I get it.
However the majority party appears to be doing very little to take care of this continuing mess.

I'll repeat. I just want a police force I can trust. I can't trust a department were the minority mess up, and the majority cover up for them. You can get away with it once, twice, but this seems to be a never ending battle. At some point somebody has to take a look at management.

Since I don't work at city hall I don't have the inside scoop like you all. The public perception however is awful. Does anybody have the responiblity to clean this mess up?

Anonymous said...


One officer with an alcohol problem and one more with an anger management problem should not define the entire police department. Police are human too. Bristol isn't the only town that employs humans. Police, firemen, all types of civil servants, people in the public sector have problems all over the world. That's life. Bristol is still a great place to live and our police force is tops. Sorry if you don't see it that way.

Ben said...


At least you know it's me.
It isn't that hard to register, either;)


I fully agree.
It wasn't the actions of these few, although there seems to be an amazing history, but rather the actions taken afterwards.
You claim evryone has these problems, fine. Deal with it, like you would eveyone else. Clearly that wasn't done.
As far as a following a procedure. What procedure? Stick your finger in your nose, and wait for everyone to forget? Nobody has explained any procedure, looks to me like somebody is winging it. Ok he (Ken) could have waited for the final report, but why?

You seem to be mad at Ken for going to the public. Maybe rightfully so, in your mind. In my mind you want these affairs to stay within the council, just like the BPD would like to keep within BPD. Are you saying that the council never discuss these problems and possible solutions?

If people knew there were consequences to their actions, they would hopefully think twice, and I am not talking about the offending officers!

If you don't want a entire department judged by the actions of a few then, clean your own house!

If I had problems such at these in my work, you can bet I would be talking to my management and/or union. In my case I would be worried about my own safety. In your case it's the PUBLIC safety at risk, and yours.
I am trying hard not to blame the whole BPD for the crimes of the few. As the story unfolds it's gets harder and harder to do so.
I know there are good people at BPD, but all this game playing, instead just doing what is right hangs a dark cloud over my town, and them. I am truely sorry about this :( It gets hard to beleave these good people exist. There is no way these people would support the garbage going on. I can only assume they have given up and remain silent.

Again, I close my eyes, and think what would happen if this happened at my place of work. Maybe you should take two steps back and ask yourself the same question.
What would happen?
Let's review, there a serious accident, valuable equipement is destroyed, I am hurt. The company suspends me?
No I am drug tested, and fired, end of story.
I get caught threatening people, and make comments like "I want to kill somebody to see how it feels". You think that they would keep me?

Why is that so hard to understand?

The public doesn't have the right to be offended?

Fred said...


Although you have a moniker, you remain as anonymous as the rest of us.

No, I'm not angry with Ken, I'm embarrassed by him. Cockayne is a power hungry, attention grabbing, grand standing, overgrown child who has about as much finnesse as a bull in a china shop. He hasn't got a clue how to get anything done and it shows.

Now, close your eyes and imagine you're at work, and your peers are covering for one of their own who has a drinking problem. They finish his work, clean up after him, and keep the boss from discovering this employee has a problem. Do you really think the boss is the one who needs to be punished?

Why is that so hard to understand?

The public may have a right to be offended, but the BPD has a right to defend themselves. Let's investigate and get to the bottom of it BEFORE Mad Dog storms the gates and burns the castle.

Anonymous said...

to Adios generalisimo (stupid name)

McCauley is far from being arrogant, self-righteous, ignorant or any of the other unflattering statements you made about him. But I guess that's all you can do when you have nothing to backup your ranting and raving. There's no sense in communicating with someone who is as narrow minded as you are. Just one more thing. He didn't go crawling back to the unions. His voting record will speak for itself and it is clear he votes for what he feels is best for the city. You, on the other hand, would just assume support a grandstanding egomaniac who is so insecure that he has to run to the Press every time someone whispers in his ear so he can blab to the whole world what's happening down at city hall. He needs to take a few lessons from Dave Mills who knows when to speak and when to take it all in.

adios generalismo (witty name) said...

December 10, 2010 6:25 PM:

If McCauley isn't arrogant and self-righteous and ignorant then he just must be moron. What other excuse is there for his past actions?

Anonymous said...

Is there a decent police department in this entire state. It seems from one border to another all they do is cover-up for each other. I have great respect for the law but very little for the police. Check out the latest instance of arrogant, law breaking cops.