The appointments are a requirement of the police accountability bill passed over the summer in a special session.
Connecticut is facing an emergency unlike others, whether measured by scope, duration or cost to the state and its economy.
The state will give $25,000 each to Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven to put more officers on the streets. State police will also be deployed to the cities.
Gov-elect Ned Lamont named a public-safety team Friday that will be led by former Hartford police chief James Rovella, who will oversee the state police, homeland security and state crime lab as commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Despite enacting some of the country’s most progressive police reforms, Connecticut still faces the same questions other states do about whether police are doing enough to enforce the law effectively without infringing on the civil rights of minorities, and if they are doing enough to build trust with their communities.
It was the late 1960s and many American cities were ablaze with racial tensions involving police that often resulted in rioting and violence. Hartford was no exception. The result was a lawsuit and a legal agreement for the city to make a number of changes, including hiring more minority police officers. But after more than 40 years, the police force is still bound by the agreement and struggling to more closely mirror its community.
WASHINGTON – Mayor Pedro Segarra and Hartford Police Chief James Rovella were among dozens of officials invited to the White House Thursday to help President Obama promote a policing initiative aimed at preventing the types of police shootings that touched off riots in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore.
James Rovella was a Hartford homicide cop in the early 1990s, when Iran Nazario ran with Los Solidos, a gang quick to defend its drug turf with drive-by shootings. Rovella left the streets for management, eventually becoming chief. Nazario went to prison. On Wednesday, they shared the same table, listening to a governor talk about second chances.