FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
East Haven Mayor to Pin Ed Lennon and James Naccarato as Chief and Deputy Chief of East Haven Police Department
Following Brent Larrabee’s decision not to seek renewal of his contract as Chief of Police in East Haven, Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. announced today that he will appoint Ed Lennon as East Haven’s next Police Chief and promote James Naccarato, who currently serves as the Department’s professional standards officer, to Deputy Chief effective July 1, 2016.
Maturo explained, “Ed Lennon’s ascension to the role of Police Chief in East Haven is an indicator of the department’s growth, progress, and readiness to lead itself. As we approach the anticipated termination date of the police department’s agreement with the Department of Justice, it is only fitting that an outstanding police professional like Ed Lennon assumes leadership of the department.”
The recent vetting process performed by Maturo, which included soliciting input from community stakeholders, town counsel, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice, and the Police Commission is significantly shorter than the chief selection process which the Town embarked upon in 2012. However, Maturo was quick to point out several key factors which allowed the process to proceed more quickly and efficiently in 2016.
Maturo noted, “In 2012, the Town spent a significant amount of time in the search process revising job descriptions, developing performance measures, and detailing the accountabilities of the chief’s job. In 2012, we essentially started from scratch with respect to redefining the chief’s responsibilities in what would become a brand new department. With that procedural legwork already complete in 2016, we had the luxury of proceeding straight to the vetting process.”
In describing the differences between the vetting processes in 2012 and 2016, Maturo explained the practical performance measures he relied upon in selecting Lennon.
Maturo continued, “No formal application process could possibly compare to the vetting process Ed Lennon has gone through in the forty-one months since he assumed the difficult task of coordinating the Town’s compliance with the Department of Justice consent decree. Throughout that period, Ed Lennon has exhibited exceptional leadership and managerial skills along with the ability to build consensus. He’s demonstrated a practical understanding of the policing challenges that are unique to East Haven and the ability to develop common sense solutions to those challenges.”
Maturo added, “Since assuming the role of Deputy Chief, Ed Lennon has established himself as one of the most talented, progressive, and knowledgeable police professionals in the country. There is no doubt that he has earned the opportunity to lead this department.”
In addition to his discussions with community stakeholders and town counsel, Maturo also reached out to the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice regarding Lennon’s appointment.
Attorney Lawrence Sgrignari, the Town’s legal liaison to the DOJ who has helped facilitate compliance with the Town’s consent decree explained, “When we approached local and national officials who are involved in the settlement agreement’s overnight about the prospect of appointing Lennon, there was a clear consensus about his qualifications and readiness to lead our Police Department. His work on the consent decree has impressed everyone he’s encountered and, to a significant extent, obviated the need to perform a national search.”
The final step in the vetting and search process took place Tuesday night when Maturo met with the Board of Police Commissioners in special session to solicit the Board’s input on Lennon’s potential appointment. In the same meeting, he also sought advice on the appointment of a deputy chief to replace Lennon.
Police Commission Chairman William Illingworth explained, “It was both refreshing and gracious that the Mayor took the time to solicit our Board’s input. Although the charter gives the Mayor the unilateral authority to appoint a police chief, this Board has to work with that person.”
Illingworth continued, “On Tuesday night, there was universal agreement amongst the members of the Board with the Mayor’s plan to promote Ed Lennon. At the same time, members also agreed that Professional Standards Officer James Naccarato would be an exceptional pick for Deputy Chief given his practical understanding of the Department’s new policies and procedures, especially regarding disciplinary and administrative matters.”
Illingworth noted, “James Naccarato retired as a well-respected detective in the New Haven Police Department’s homicide division after twenty-three years of service and he came to East Haven with a wealth of practical knowledge. That knowledge, in addition to the experience he has gained in his four years in East Haven, will be particularly useful in his service as Deputy Chief in East Haven.”
While the announcement of the promotions of Ed Lennon and James Naccarato came Wednesday, the Town indicated that the formal swearing-in ceremony would take place on Thursday, June 23rd to give town officials time to finalize formal employment contracts with East Haven’s new top cops. The ceremony is slated to begin at 6:00PM, but a specific venue has not yet been finalized.
Before concluding, Maturo once again thanked outgoing Chief Brent Larrabee for his service to the Town of East Haven.
Maturo explained, “East Haven has benefited tremendously from Chief Larrabee’s experience and vision. On behalf of the Town of East Haven, I want to wish him happiness in his much-deserved retirement.”
Maturo concluded, ” As our Police Department continues to move forward, we must ensure that we appoint leaders who are capable of preserving the accountability, transparency, and tolerance that we have worked so hard to restore within our Police Department. I have the utmost of confidence that Ed Lennon and James Naccarato are capable of doing so and that they will lead our Police Department with dignity and pride for years to come.”
For additional information, please contact Frank Gentilesco at 203-468-3204.