After a lengthy delay, the city of Hartford finally has a new police chief. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.
James Rovella is the city's new permanent chief and has a four-year contract that pays $156,700 a year. Mayor Pedro Segarra selected him after a nationwide candidate search failed to turn up satisfactory outside candidates. Rovella was serving as acting chief. By his own choice, Rovella wasn't part of that search process, and that rubbed some on the city council the wrong way. So it subjected Rovella to a confirmation hearing and questions of its own.
As it did, one issue came up -- Rovella said he wanted free, lifetime healthcare benefits once he retired for him and his family. He later backed off that demand.
In the end, Rovella's contract makes him eligible for free, lifetime healthcare -- but it doesn't call for the sort of waiver or special consideration the chief was originally hoping for. Were he to retire and not be eligible for the free care, he could still enroll in the same healthcare offered to retired city police officers.
Finally, Rovella, who doesn't live in Hartford, has to be a city resident within six months.