Interim Inspector General To Serve Civilian Police Review Board
Published on April 22, 2021
HARTFORD, CONN (April 22, 2021) – Today the City of Hartford announced that the Civilian Police Review Board will be supported by an Interim Inspector General. Beth Merkin, a career public defender in the New Haven Judicial District, will serve as the Interim Inspector General beginning this month, until a permanent Inspector General is found. Attorney Merkin will be retiring very soon from her position with the public defender’s office as she steps into this new role. She does not intend to be a candidate for the permanent position.
Last fall, the City passed significant reforms to strengthen the Civilian Police Review Board, giving it subpoena power as well as an Inspector General, which is a permanent, professional staff member to provide both administrative and investigative support. Those reforms took effect on March 31, 2021, and the City had planned to select a permanent Inspector General by then. The initial pool of candidates was interviewed by a panel including the Chair of the Civilian Police Review Board, Eric Crawford, Mayor Luke Bronin, and City Council President Maly D. Rosado. The panel unanimously agreed to move forward with the appointment of an Interim Inspector General and to continue the search for a permanent Inspector General.
“The appointment of our first Inspector General is a significant decision, and I strongly believe we need to consider more candidates to find the right individual,” said Civilian Police Review Board Chair Eric Crawford. “The Inspector General will play a critical role in supporting the CPRB, providing administrative support, overseeing investigations, and earning the confidence of the community and all stakeholders. I am confident that Ms. Merkin will be an asset to the CPRB as we continue our search.”
“In Beth Merkin, the Civilian Police Review Board will have an incredibly capable and well-regarded public defender to begin supporting the CPRB and its mission,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “Attorney Merkin’s appointment as Interim Inspector General will ensure that there is no delay in the implementation of the revised ordinance, as the selection committee continues its search for the right candidate to take on the role of Inspector General on a permanent basis.”
“We take our responsibility of selecting the first Inspector General very seriously, that’s why we believe it is appropriate to take some more time to fill this important position,” said Council President Rosado. “In the meantime, Ms. Merkin’s extensive experience as a public defender will allow her to support the CPRB with great skill. I want to thank all of the candidates who came forward with a desire to serve our community.”