Campbell named New Haven police chief

NEW HAVEN — Officials in the office of Mayor Toni Harp have confirmed that interim chief Anthony Campbell will be New Haven’s new police chief.

A spokesman for the city confirmed that Campbell was named to the position after a search and interview process. The city expects to make the official announcement later this week.

While Harp often credited former Chief Dean Esserman, who resigned last September, with drastically reducing crime and re-energizing New Haven’s community policing efforts, Campbell said at the time of his appointment to the interim position that officers should be more engaged with the community and businesses. He believes he’s the man to implement the plan.

“In many instances, there has been an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality,” said Campbell, of the relationship between the police and the public. “I believe that I, as an African-American male, can help bridge that gap.”

Among his goals:

  • Hire additional officers (currently at approx.450, budgeted for 494)
  • Hire officers, who reflect New Haven’s population
  • Increase the department’s transparency, in part, through every officer wearing body cameras
  • Boost morale within the department (some new police cruisers will be delivered by the end of September)
  • Move some NHPD supervisory positions out to the streets, to support officers