Police Promotions Set The Tone For New Direction In Hartford
Chief Rovella Promotes Nine Friday At City Hall
By STEVEN GOODE
November 30, 2012
HARTFORD —— As he prepared for his first round of promotions Friday, Hartford Police Chief James Rovella reflected on the significance of the day.
"There's a new chief, a new department [headquarters] and a new way of doing things," said Rovella, who was sworn in on Sept. 10.
Rovella, who promoted four lieutenants and a captain to the rank of deputy chief and three officers and a detective to sergeant, said Friday that his choices for the command positions are a "tone setter" for the department and are part of the effort to enhance policing in the capital city.
His choices, he said, also reflect a desire to show residents in the city's neighborhoods that police are committed to improving conditions and relationships with the public.
Deputy chiefs Emory Hightower and Luis Rodriguez, who will oversee command of the North and South ends respectively, are examples of that commitment, Rovella said.
"The police department should be more reflective of the population they serve," he said. "I look at Hightower – he knows the North End like the back of his hand. Same thing for Luis, they're natural and easy fits."
Deputy Chief Neville Brooks will be in command of central district operations, which will include downtown and surrounding areas still to be finalized.
Deputy Chief William Long will be in command of operational support.
Deputy Chief Joseph Buyak will lead the detective division, which Rovella said has also been a focus for him.
"We've really shaken things up, from what they drive to how they dress," Rovella said.
The department purchased new unmarked cars to replace an aging fleet and Rovella said he has asked the officers in the unit to "dress professionally."
"It's about morale for the officer and how we look to the public," he said.
Rovella said Deputy Chief Scott Sansom will continue to oversee professional standards, which involves research and evaluation of new programs. Sansom will also be responsible for moving the department through the long, exspensive process of becoming accredited.
"This is a professional standard we need to achieve," Rovella said.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra addressed a boisterous crowd of friends, family and officers at a promotional ceremony Friday afternoon in a packed city hall atrium, saying that " these are the men and women with whom Chief Rovella has placed his confidence."
Rovella also promoted officers Julie Holmes, William Labelle-Boucher and Paul West and Det. Sean Patrick Michel to the rank of sergeant.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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