Hartford, Ct., Police Chief Patrick J. Harnett is leaving his job after two years, and his successor could be named as early as today, says the Hartford Courant. Deputy Chief Daryl K. Roberts, 47, a 20-year veteran of the force, is the front-runner for the job. Harnett, 62, is expected to announce that he is retiring for a second time. He had retired from New York City’s police department when he was named Hartford’s chief by Mayor Eddie Perez in May 2004.
Harnett imported New York’s statistic-driven crime fighting technique called “Compstat,” breaking down crime figures neighborhood by neighborhood and block by block. He pointed to a decline in overall crime rates as evidence that his department was effective. But an epidemic of gun violence during his tenure drew widespread criticism. While he touted reduced overall crime rates, residents protested increases in shootings and homicides. In 2005, homicides increased by 56 percent over the previous year, to 25, while aggravated assaults rose almost 23 percent. More recently, Harnett angered many city residents by his handling of two racially charged situations.