Hartford's fire chief is leaving the state's capital city to become the new fire chief in Oakland, California, according to the mayor's office.
Chief Reginald Freeman, who also oversees Hartford's emergency management, is stepping down in May to assume his new role on the west coast.
Freeman has led the Hartford Fire Department since 2016.
“It has been an enormous privilege serving the residents and firefighters of Hartford over the last five years, and I will miss both very much,” said Freeman. “The men and women of the Hartford Fire Department do outstanding service for our community each and every day, and it has been a true honor to work alongside them."
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Assistant Chief Rodney Barco will serve as interim chief, the mayor's office announced. Barco has been a firefighter with the department for 25 years.
"Hartford has been fortunate to have one of the best fire chiefs in the nation for the last five years, and it is bittersweet to see Chief Freeman move on,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin in a statement. “Chief Freeman has led our fire department with great distinction, and he has earned the trust and respect of all of us in city government, as well as residents across Hartford. He has been an incredibly effective advocate for our firefighters, hiring new classes of diverse recruits, making sure we’re training our firefighters, and leading the process to make the Hartford Fire Department one of the few in the nation to be internationally accredited and hold the highest insurance rating."
"I know that the Hartford Fire Department is well positioned to continue its great work for the people of Hartford," Freeman said.