Good cop or bad cop? Police chief under fire over outbursts

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman has confounded both supporters and critics over the years with duleing good cop-bad cop personalities.

Esserman has earned respect nationally for community policing efforts in Connecticut and Rhode Island. But he’s in trouble again for another angry outburst in public.

Esserman is on a three-week paid leave of absence for allegedly berating a waitress earlier this month. Mayor Toni Harp is investigating and may take further action.

Harp reprimanded Esserman two years ago for a confrontation with an usher at the Yale Bowl. When he was chief in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2011, Esserman was suspended without pay for a day for threatening to throw coffee at a sergeant.

Esserman declined to comment.

Supporters have praised community policing efforts and declining crime rates under Esserman.