New Haven’s assistant police chief promoted to acting chief | News


NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) — New Haven is getting a new top cop.

Assistant Chief Rene Dominguez will become just the second woman to ever head up the department, as acting chief.

Dominguez has called New Haven Police Headquarters home for nearly 20 years, working her way up through the department.

“I’m extremely excited to be taking on this role as acting chief,” Dominguez said.

An 18-year veteran of the New Haven Police Department, Dominguez walked the beat, served as a K9 officer, and later a district manager all across the Elm City, before getting promoted to assistant chief a year-and-a-half ago.

In June, she’ll become acting chief.

“The department needs stability, the community needs stability. It’s always difficult when there is transition, and I know that together we’ll be able to make it a smooth transition,” Dominguez said.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said that’s exactly what he’s looking for.

“I’ve observed her first-hand on many occasions, engaging with community members, and she’s shown an ability to listen and not just to listen, but bring community recommendations and concerns into actions,” Elicker said.

Dominguez will fill the role, vacated by Chief Tony Reyes, who announced this week that he’ll retire later this summer.

Reyes is taking a job at Quinnipiac University, where he’ll be chief of Public Safety.

“What brings me the greatest joy is that I can pass the baton to a leader within the department that continue to the work we are doing here in New Haven,” Reyes said.

His retirement means New Haven will soon have its sixth chief in 13 years.

“How do we as a community, build with the New Haven PD, if we keep switching the chiefs,” asked Rodney Williams of New Haven.

However, Reyes said that relationship is already there.

“When chief Dominguez takes over, she didn’t start yesterday, there’s been continuity for almost 20 years, serving the men and women of New Haven,” Reyes said.

Dominguez said she’s proud to serve as a role model not just to her other officers, but most importantly her two daughters.

“The best gift of this all is I have two little girls, and I can show them, their mama can do anything, and so can they,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez will serve out Reyes’ term, which lasts until next January.

Interesting to note, the past two chiefs, Anthony Campbell and Tony Reyes were both internal hires, just like Dominguez, and they were both first appointed as acting chiefs before getting the permanent title.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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