Mayor and Chief Announce Appointment of Three New Assistant Chiefs of Police
(6/4/2010) (NEW HAVEN)— Ariel Melendez; Thomas Wheeler, Jr. and Tobin Hensgen were sworn in today as the three new Assistant Chiefs of the New Haven Police Department. Melendez, a 30-year veteran of the Department will be responsible for Operations/Patrol Division while Wheeler will run Investigative Services and Hensgen will be responsible for Professional Standards. Assistant Chief Stephanie Redding will continue to serve as the Assistant Chief in charge of administration.
“Today the New Haven Police Department is taking a major step towards meeting the challenges of the new era of policing by making these new appointments,” said Chief Frank Limon. “I am extremely indebted to Assistant Chief Stephanie Redding for her administrative role and assistance during this transitional period. These appointments are designed to strengthen the Department in the areas of operations, technology and investigations. Overall, all the Assistant Chiefs represents more than a century of combined police experience. I am very excited about the prospect the future holds with this team for the Department, the Community, and the City of New Haven.”
“Public safety is one of the city’s main priorities. Our residents depend, every day, on the work of the men and women of the New Haven Police Department. We’ve invested in moving this department from being a good department to an excellent department and the individuals we are swearing-in today are experienced and prepared to help us do that,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “In these difficult financial times, we are forced to do more with less. And, in doing so, we need to prioritize the needs of the department and the community and find more efficient ways to operate. I am confident that our new assistant chiefs working with Chief Limon and Assistant Chief Redding will lead us in the right direction.”
Wheeler is a former member of the Chicago Police Department, serving from 1976 to 2006. His positions within the department began with field duties, moving to Special Investigator and Detective. In 1999 he was promoted to Sergeant, and from 2000-2002 served as the Chicago Police Department Liaison for the Chicago Housing Authority. Promoted to Lieutenant in 2002, he became Commander in 2005 where he oversaw the day to day operations of 260 Detectives responsible for investigating violent crimes, property crimes, gang related violent crimes and youth crimes. He holds a B.A. in Criminal Social Justice from Lewis University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from Roosevelt University.
“I’m looking forward to working with the men and women of the New Haven Police Department and also looking forward to meeting individuals within the community to foster strong partnerships,” said Wheeler.
Hensgen is a recent retiree of the Chicago Police Department and has twenty-three years of police experience. He has worked in a variety of capacities with the Chicago Police Department including positions in the Patrol Division, Police Training Division, IA Confidential Investigation Section, and Organized Crime Division. In addition, Officer Hensgen heads a not-for-profit corporation that serves small and mid-size police agencies interested in developing technical solutions to resolve specific needs. He received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh as well as an MBA and Masters of Public Administration from Illinois Institute of Technology. Officer Hensgen is currently completing the degree requirements for a PhD from Loyola University where his dissertation topic involves the development of policing strategies based on the model of Intelligence-led Policing.
“I’m looking forward to building upon what Chief Lewis accomplished in taking a good department and making it better. I want to be part of making a better department the best department in the country by implementing new innovations in accordance with the PERF recommendations,” said Hensgen.
Melendez has been with the New Haven Police Department since 1979, following fifteen years of military service in the Navy. He completed duties in the Patrol, Traffic, Training and Recruitment, as well as the Narcotics and Crime Suppression Units before being promoted to Detective. In 1996 Officer Melendez was promoted to Sergeant and in 1997 served as the District Manager of the Hill North Policing District. Positions as Daytime Patrol Supervisor & Shift Commander, City Threat Assessment Coordinator, and Division of Internal Affairs were followed by Melendez’s promotion to Lieutenant in 2008. He currently serves as an Administrative Lieutenant and S.W.A.T. Team Operator. For six years, Officer Melendez was the vice-president and president of the forty-five member Hispanic Officers Society in the NHPD, and for three years serves as an executive board member of the National Coalition of Hispanic Police. In 2009, he received the Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation for Hispanic Community Service.
“It is not only a privilege but I feel it’s an honor to lead the finest men and women in law enforcement as their Assistant Chief,” said Melendez.
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