After a six-month national search, James Rovella, who has been leading the Hartford Police Department since February, was named the permanent police chief yesterday, reports the Hartford Courant. The announcement came hours after Mayor Pedro Segarra interviewed three finalists chosen by a recruiting firm the city had hired to aid in the search. The finalists — Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub; Police Chief William Heim of Reading, Pa.; and former Trenton Police Director Irving Bradley Jr. — had participated in a public meeting Monday.
Rovella’s appointment takes effect July 18, the mayor said, because a background check must still be performed. Rovella, 54, had been considered the front-runner for the position all along even though he abstained from the search process, saying he did so to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. He was made acting chief in February while serving as head of the Hartford Shooting Task Force, a role he continued after his appointment. He had been chief inspector for the chief state’s attorney’s office. Rovella succeeds longtime Chief Daryl Roberts, who retired Dec. 31.