NHPD Shuffle Begins

Allan Appel PhotoA wave of retirements has led the police department to shuffle the deck in Internal Affairs and the Fair Haven and Westville districts.

Police Chief Anthony Campbell has decided to move Lt. David Zannelli, the current top cop in Fair Haven, to head up IA. The current IA officer in charge, Lt. Rose Dell is headed to Westville as the new district manager. Lt. Manmeet Colon, who is currently assigned to Westville, has a new assignment. Colon was originally being reassigned to Fair Haven. Thursday night that decision changed; instead she will become the new district manager of Newhallville.

Mark O’Neill, the top downtown cop, will become the new Fair Haven top cop. Sean Maher, a former downtown district manager, will return to that position.

Campbell said there will be more changes to come, gradually. He has 27 or 28 officers who are eligible to retire right now. On Dec. 7, another 22 officers will be added to that list. The police department also doesn’t yet have a contract, so Campbell is restructuring the department on a small scale for now.

“We have to find better ways to utilize the people that we have left to get the most bang for the buck,” he said.

“Zanelli had shown interest in internal affairs and really developing a career path for the next leaders of the department,” he said. “So he’s demonstrated from working in the investigative services division and now being a phenomenal district manager that he has the leadership qualities that I believe you need to have when you’re running internal affairs. He’s well balanced, and the fact that he’s interested is great, so we’re putting him there.”

“I had a good 14 to 15 months,” Zannelli said, of his stint in Fair Haven. “The community gave a lot, and we lowered crime.”

Likewise, Campbell said he has thought for some time that Dell would make a strong district manager.

Colon and Dell broke the news about the switcheroo at Wednesday’s Westville Community Management Team Meeting. The CMT was back from its summer break; it marked Colon’s return back in uniform since a maternity leave.

“I’m leaving you in good hands,” Colon said of Dell.

Dell said she’s looking forward to this next step in her career.

“I welcome the change and am excited for the opportunities and challenges of the new position,” she said. “I come from a long line of police and fire officers and look forward to helping our citizens.”

Before other changes can be made, Campbell said, he needs to know whether he’s going to lose all 49 or 50 of those officers who are eligible to retire.

“Rather than make changes on a large scale and have to make changes again, I’m holding off until I see in the new year who’s here and who’s gone,” he said. “That will allow me to make some larger changes throughout the department. We may be shrinking some of our units so we can build up our patrol division again.”

Starting next Monday, a police class of 31 recruits will begin training. Campbell noted that it will be about nine months before they’re out on the street. Meanwhile, a number of seasoned officers who are applying for jobs elsewhere.

“I look at it this way: For the next 18 months to two years I’ve got to restructure the department, trim as much as I can, make sure patrol is staffed up, and make sure that I utilize those people who have demonstrated that they have exceptional leadership skills in the best positions to run the department,” he said.

Campbell said Sgt. Brendan Borer, who filled in for Dominguez while she was on maternity leave, might be tapped to head the Newhallville district until another lieutenant is assigned. Campbell said those discussions are ongoing. Dixwell’s current top cop, Lt. Rahgue Tennant, is currently on paid administrative leave as he faces criminal charges for allegedly beating and threatening his wife, allegations he denies. No one has yet replaced him.

Allan Appel contributed to this report.

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posted by: Fairhavener on September 14, 2018  9:14am

In the last five years, Fair Haven has had what feels like a new district manager every year. Good for Zanelli, but, how does this help with community policing if every time we get a new DM he/she leave. Are we an infinite stepping stone?

posted by: elmcitybornandraised on September 14, 2018  9:30am

Good gracious, the poor NHPD is a jumbled mess at the moment. Shuffling personnel in this moment seems a bit ridiculous….no contract, low pay, ultra low morale, old equipment and cars coupled with anti-police political system equals more bad events to come…..keep your head up Elm City. Get your fingers ready Ricks and Bass…plenty more stories to come…smh

posted by: SpecialK on September 14, 2018  3:51pm

NHPD is rudderless at the moment. Matter of fact the whole city of New Haven is rudderless at the moment.

posted by: thecove on September 15, 2018  7:48pm

Zannelli did a great job in Fair Haven, good luck to him.  Crime, specifically shootings and homicides, is down.  Let’s not be so negative about NHPD.

posted by: NHPLEB on September 16, 2018  7:03am

NHPD does what NHPS does:  when someone is really good at a school;  they are transferred to a really bad school. Sounds more like punishment than reward for the students and staff.