Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella
22nd Police Chief of the City of Hartford
Chief James C. Rovella was sworn in as Hartford’s 22nd Chief of Police on Wednesday, September 26, 2012, in the Atrium of Hartford City Hall.
A Hartford native, James C. Rovella graduated from South Catholic High School in Hartford in 1976 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hartford in 1980 and 1982 respectively.
Chief Rovella was sworn in as a Hartford Police Recruit on June 28, 1981 and graduated on November 2, 1981. Upon graduation from the Hartford Police Academy on June 28, 1982, he was assigned to the Patrol Division, walked a beat on Barbour Street and Park Street, and was assigned to a patrol car in Charter Oak Terrace.
In 1987, Chief Rovella was appointed detective and assigned to the Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit, now known as the Major Crimes Division, where he found his passion to be specializing in homicide and cold case investigations. This career direction led to his taking a position as an Inspector with the State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice upon his retirement from the Hartford Police Department in 2000. In 2006, Chief Rovella was promoted to Supervisory Inspector in the Chief State's Attorney's Office Cold Case Unit and, in 2009, he was appointed Chief Inspector for the Office of the Chief State's Attorney where he was responsible for both operational and administrative duties for the Division of Criminal Justice.
In July 2011, Chief Rovella returned to the City of Hartford and formed the Hartford Shooting Task Force. The Task Force is a combination of Federal, State and local officers dedicated to interdicting gun violence. More recently, the Chief unveiled the Real Time Crime, Data and Intelligence Center, which includes the extensive public camera project and intelligence driven policing. The Department is trending towards State Accreditation and modernization of all the Department's policies and procedures. The Department continues to build on its engagement with the Community in a variety of ways, such as but not limited to the Faith Based Initiative, Project Longevity and building on philosophy and practice of Community Policing.
Chief Rovella is the recipient of the highest departmental award, the Chief's Medal of Heroism, and the recipient of numerous letters of commendation and acknowledgement for Exemplary, Meritorious and Distinguished Service. He is a member of the Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association, the FBI's Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA), and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
Chief Rovella's family is part of the history and fabric of Hartford. His grandparents owned and operated the Travelers Market on Front Street and a meat market on New Britain Avenue in Hartford's south end. While attending college, he was employed at the Hartford YMCA on Jewel Street in positions working with youth, including camp counselor.
Married thirty-three years, he and his wife Sandy have two sons, Daniel, a Willimantic Police Officer, and Marc, a college graduate who works in South Windsor. Of the most honorable note is the Chief's father, Santo Rovella, who is 89 years-old. Chief Rovella and his wife resides in Hartford.