NEW HAVEN — Recent police promotions led to an overhaul of the department’s command staff, with four of five newly minted captains getting new assignments, and changes in leadership in the department’s two detective bureaus.
Capt. Peter Reichard, a 19-year veteran, was tapped to head the department’s Investigative Services Division, which investigates most violent crime. Lt. Sydney Collier, a 16-year veteran, will take over the job Reichard left as head of Family Services Division, where detectives handle domestic violence, sexual assault and juvenile cases.
Meanwhile, Capt. Bryan Kearney, who was chosen last year as interim head of patrol, was given the post and will remain in charge of the department’s biggest division.
"I wanted to put new leadership in new areas," said police Chief Francisco Ortiz Jr., shown at right, declining to expound on factors behind the moves. "I"I’m not trying to sell these positions." think all of them are bright, intelligent individuals."
All told, nine of 21 new lieutenants and captains received new jobs, which they assumed without fanfare over the past two weeks.
Some assignments could change, Ortiz added, as the department implements more aspects of a consultant’s report that recommended significant change, including the addition of two assistant chief-level positions to oversee investigations and a new professional standards division, which would include internal affairs.
"We’re using the PERF (Police Executive Research Forum) report as a blueprint," said Ortiz.
Along with the new assignments inside headquarters, Ortiz named two new supervisors to take over as district managers. Lt. Jeff Hoffman took over in the East Shore, the largest of the city’s 10 policing districts. Lt. Kevin Costin became district manager in Edgewood/Beaver Hills.
Capt. Denise Blanchard was assigned as an administrative captain under Assistant Chief Stephanie Redding. Lt. Petisia Adger took over the communications room.
Reichard joined the department in 1988 and served as district manager in Westville from 2000 until 2006. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he served as the officer-in-charge of ID-NET, a saturation squad for high crime spots, and later as head of family services.
Collier led the department’s narcotics squad from 2000 to 2003 and most recently was assigned to the department’s firearms unit, working with the state police task force.
Capt. Robert Lanza, who held the No. 2 position in patrol, and Patrick Redding, who led the detective bureau since 2006 and internal affairs before that, will serve in patrol as shift commanders on the evening and overnight shifts.
Chief Administrative Officer Rob Smuts said the decisions were the chief’s, without input from the city administration.
"The chief runs the department," Smuts said.