Thea Digiammerino

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp Delivers State of the City

On Monday night New Haven Mayor Toni Harp delivered her State of the City. For much of it, she focused on the dedication of city workers and first responders.

But the state of the police department remains uncertain. It's seen several officers leave. Chief Anthony Campbell announced his retirement on Friday. He'll leave March 29 to take a job as a state inspector for the Department of Justice in New Haven.

"I would hope that he would reconsider. He's done a phenomenal job. Crime has been down in our city significantly," said Mayor Toni Harp.

Campbell says the main reason he's leaving is the uncertainty surrounding medical coverage. The contract between the city and police union is in arbitration.

Harp says with officers leaving, and more with the ability to retire, she worries what will happen if they do. She hopes the Board of Alders will change their minds.

When it comes to who will be the next police chief, the mayor says she's hoping to promote from within but that they will still do a search.

"I think we are a unique community-based policing city, so whoever the new chief is has to be someone who absolutely believes in that philosophy of policing, understands the critical relationship, good relationship with people in the community, and with other law enforcement agencies. And those are things that will be most important," said Harp.

As far as plans for the city, the mayor says she's looking to do a pilot program that gives school principals more autonomy. She also says residents should see more development throughout the city, from residential to commercial.

"You're going to see people really feeling like they're New Haveners, like it's one city," said Harp.

When asked if she would run for a fourth term, the Democrat says she expects to and will be formally announcing that soon.

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