After a nationwide search, the next full-time police chief in East Haven is Brent Larrabee, who has served as acting chief since the retirement of Leonard Gallo last February.
Gallo retired following the arrest of four East Haven officers amidst two federal probes that looked into discrimination within the department.
The federal probe began in 2009 following the arrest of a New Haven priest, Fr. James Manship.
Manship was arrested after videotaping two East Haven police officers allegedly harassing Latino employees at a local store.
Fr. Manship, of St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, said this is another step in the right direction, but the issues within the department go further than personnel.
“This is about a change of culture within the police department,” he said from his Blatchley Avenue office. “That’s what we continue to hope for and work for.”
Larrabee came to East Haven from Stamford and has been credited by many in this town with bringing stability to a department in turmoil.
“I’m glad everything is over,” said Biegio Martinelli, a 17-year resident of East Haven. “The town has come together and the chief, the mayor, have done a good job.”
The nationwide search narrowed down to five finalists, including Larrabee and prospects from New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Bridgeport.
Mayor Joseph Maturo made the official announcement on Tuesday morning.
Maturo said Larrabee demonstrated a clear vision of the steps necessary to make East Haven's police department one of the best in the nation.
A swearing-in ceremony will be held at a later date.
Photo Credit: Todd Piro, NBC Connecticut