HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford's police chief has confirmed that he plans to retire by early next year.

Chief James Rovella told the Hartford Courant (http://cour.at/2ysFlLA ) on Thursday that he sent Mayor Luke Bronin an official letter of resignation.

The resignation is not effective immediately because under the terms of his current contract, the earliest Rovella could step down is February.

The city council reappointed the 59-year-old Rovella to a two-year contract in September.

The Hartford native spent two decades as a beat officer and homicide detective before retiring to work as chief inspector for the office of the chief state's attorney. He returned to city employment in 2012, when he was appointed interim chief following the retirement of Darryl Roberts. He was named permanent chief in August 2012.

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Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com