A new leader is in line for the New Haven Police Department.
“What brings me the greatest joy is that I can pass the baton to a leader in the department that can continue the work that we are doing here in New Haven,” said Chief Otoniel Reyes.
On Thursday, Mayor Justin Elicker announced Assistant Chief Renee Dominguez will be named acting chief when current Chief Reyes retires in June.
“I’m really excited to be taking on this role as acting chief. The department needs stability, the community needs stability, it’s always difficult when there’s transition,” said Dominguez, who said her current role with the department will help make that transition easier.
While some are celebrating the second woman to lead the New Haven Police Department, there are some concerns about continuity in the role of chief.
“Picking the next chief for the city is very important and I don’t understand why the community [doesn’t have a voice] in who that person is,” said Rodney Williams of New Haven. He came to Thursday’s announcement to voice his concerns.
“We keep getting chief after chief after chief. We need somebody that’s going to be here and stay here. Because we’re not going nowhere,” said Williams.
Chief Reyes responded by saying officers’ individual relationship building with the community also helps build overall continuity in the department.
“This is not about the chief of the police department. This is about a vision, this is about a product,” said Reyes.
Dominguez adds it’s about setting an example for fellow female officers, and her family.
“It’s about how hard you work not about what gender you are. And, the best gift of all is that I have two little girls and all I can show them is their momma can do anything and so can they," she said.