Lamont hires retired Hartford police chief to head public safety
Governor-elect Ned Lamont has nominated retired Hartford police chief James Rovella to run the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which includes the state police, emergency management, the Homeland Security unit and the state’s forensic laboratory.
Rovella, 60, retired earlier this year and took a job as head of the police force at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection before being tapped by Lamont for the commissioner post.
He succeeds Dora Schriro, who left last month after four years in the role. Lamont also appointed retired state police officer Regina Rush-Kittle as deputy commissioner of emergency management, and Stavros Mellekas as the state police colonel. Mellekas is currently the deputy colonel and oversees field operations for all three state districts, each of the three Major Crime squads and the Bureau of Special Investigations.
“James, Regina, and Stavros are experienced law enforcement officers, having dedicated their lives to keeping our streets and communities safe in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a written release. “I am proud to welcome these three dedicated public servants to my administration’s leadership team. Together, we are deeply committed to making sure our state remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Rovella was Hartford police chief for five years, beginning in 2012. He previously worked for 12 years for the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. While there he became chief inspector and oversaw all Medicaid fraud, financial, and statewide criminal cases for the state’s chief law enforcement officer. He began his career as a patrol officer and detective with the Hartford Police Department.
“My decades in public safety have been guided by a commitment to building trust between law enforcement personnel and the local communities in which they serve,” Rovella said in Lamont’s written statement. “That priority will remain a focus as I work to make this state a safer home for all of our residents.”
Rush-Kittle has three decades of experience with the Connecticut State Police and in the Marine Corps Reserves and Army Reserves. She also worked for two years with the Middletown Police Department and the state Department of Correction.
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