East Haven, Conn., officials have signed an agreement that calls for broad reforms of its police department to avoid a federal lawsuit over accusations of bias.

The New Haven Register reports that East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. joked as he and Police Commissioners Chairman Joseph Civitello signed the agreement on Thursday.

"As I'm signing this, should you put a whip behind me?" he said.

The agreement also must be signed by federal officials and filed in court.

Four officers were arrested in January on charges they discriminated against Latino residents. One has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and another pleaded guilty to using unreasonable force during an arrest.

Two others have pleaded not guilty.

New standards to be enforced include plans to establish policing free of bias and monitor use of force, searches and seizure.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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