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Hamden mayor seeking input on new chief after police shooting

Hamden Mayor Curt Leng

HAMDEN — A Connecticut mayor is seeking community input in the search for a new police chief amid controversy over a shooting involving two police officers who opened fire on an unarmed couple.

Hamden Mayor Curt Leng announced late Friday that he has formed a committee to see what residents want in a new chief.  The committee will be called the “Hamden Police Chief Community Input & Transparency Committee”.

Leng says the committee is tasked with four specific action items, including gathering community input, recommending any changes the job description for Chief of Police, researching best practices for recruiting diverse and experienced applicants, and to conduct initial interviews and recommend candidates to the mayor.

Members of the committee will include: Pastor King, Christian Tabernacle Church (Chair); former mayor Scott Jackson; Toni Foreman, community resident; Dominique Baez, community resident; and Valerie Horsley, CEO, Action Together Connecticut.

Deputy Chief John Cappiello has served as acting chief since Chief Thomas Wydra left the department last fall to take a state job.

The April 16 shooting in New Haven sparked several protests and remains under investigation.

Authorities say a Hamden officer and Yale University officer fired at a car when the driver got out abruptly during a traffic stop related to a reported attempted robbery in Hamden. A woman in the car was shot but survived.

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