The top cop in New Haven’s Newhallville and East Rock neighborhoods is moving north—to run his own department.
The top cop, Lt. Kenny Howell, Thursday evening was named police chief of Millbury, a town right outside of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Howell beat out four other candidates for the job. Millbury’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to choose Howell.
At first glance the two communities’ departments may look different: New Haven’s has more than 20 times as many full-time officers. It patrols a city with 10 times as many people.
But Howell said they’ll have one important shared characteristic once his puts his policies into place: community policing. He vowed to bring new Haven’s model to Millbury.
For starters, he plans to create policing districts with a top cop in charge of each.
He also plans to bring Compstat—the regular gathering of top cops and others in the community to review the latest crime statistics, spot trends, chart strategy—to Millbury. He figures he’ll start out with biweekly rather than weekly Compstat meetings, given the force’s size (18 full-timer officers, 10 part-timers). Howell said he brought up the Compstat plan in his interviews for the job.
Howell, who’s 43, has been on New Haven’s force for 21 years. He grew up here. He had taken over the Newhallville/East Rock district commander post this past April. He said he will retire from New Haven’s force in two weeks and begin his Massachusetts gig in mid-January.
“I was born here. I love the city. I love the police department,” he said Friday. “I will take it wherever I go.”