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Odd Process For Choosing A Police Chief, But A Good Result

Mayor Pedro Segarra names James Rovella police chief

Hartford Courant Editorial

July 10, 2012

The process was a tad unusual, but the result is fine. After a national search to which he did not apply, acting Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella was named permanent chief. Mayor Pedro Segarra made the announcement Tuesday, a day after three finalists, chosen in a $50,000 national search, made presentations at a public forum.

The forum offered at least one reason why Mr. Rovella was a good choice for the job. Other candidates said they would spend their first year on the job getting to know the community. Mr. Rovella was born in the city and knows it as well as anyone.

Mr. Rovella, a graduate of the former South Catholic High School and the University of Hartford, joined the Hartford department in 1981, eventually becoming one of its most highly regarded detectives. He left in 2000 and became chief inspector for the chief state's attorney's office.

Late last year he became head of the Hartford shooting task force, which had made more than 100 shooting-related arrests, and became Mr. Segarra's special assistant for police matters. He was named acting chief in February. The only real question about Mr. Rovella was whether he could manage a large department, but by all accounts he's doing well.

He chose not to formally apply for the permanent job, saying he could not do the job and audition for it at the same time. Mr. Segarra has the authority to appoint him anyway, and did. Mr. Rovella is a thoughtful leader who understands that police officers have to be part of a broad community effort to stop crime. We wish him well.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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