New Mil­ford names in­terim po­lice chief

State po­lice vet­eran takes over Sun­day; mayor to name new chief Mon­day

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ka­t­rina Ko­ert­ing

NEW MIL­FORD — A State Po­lice vet­eran with more than 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence will take over the depart­ment once the chief’s con­tract ex­pires Sun­day and a per­ma­nent search be­gins.

Lt. Jeff Covello was sworn in as the in­terim chief Fri­day. He will re­place Chief Shawn Boyne, who led the depart­ment for eight years. Sgt. Kather­ine Mas­si­cotte was sworn in as act­ing in­terim lieu­tenant.

Mayor Pete Bass said he trusted Covello and Mas­si­cotte to lead the depart­ment and ap­pre­ci­ated them step­ping up to as­sume the roles.

“I, as well as our pub­lic, feel very confident in our po­lice depart­ment’s ef­forts to keep the com­mu­nity safe,” Bass said.

Covello, 46, of Ply­mouth, joined the New Mil­ford depart­ment in 2016 af­ter serv­ing 22 years with state po­lice, in­clud­ing a decade with the State Po­lice Western Dis­trict Ma­jor Crime Squad. Dur­ing his time with the state po­lice, he in­ves­ti­gated more than 300 death cases.

Shortly af­ter join­ing the New Mil­ford depart­ment he was pro­moted to over­see the de­tec­tive divi­sion. He used that ex­pe­ri­ence to train the depart­ment and bring skills up to a higher level.

It’s rare for a lo­cal depart­ment to han­dle a homi­cide with­out as­sis­tance from the state, but New Mil­ford of­fi­cers were able to in­ves­ti­gate the dou­ble homi­cide in April alone. In that case, a North Carolina man shot and killed two peo­ple in a pickup truck be­fore turn­ing the gun on him­self.

“To have that skill set and be able to be­stow it on the work­force is re­ward­ing,” Covello said, adding this el­e­vates the whole depart­ment.

Bass said he chose Covello to serve as in­terim be­cause he had been help­ing to lead the depart­ment dur­ing the tran­si­tion.

The new chief will be an­nounced Mon­day af­ter­noon. Bass said he has three fi­nal­ists, all from Con­necti­cut.

He ex­pects the in­terim po­si­tions to be needed for about a month.

Bass told Boyne in July that

he was not re­new­ing his con­tract this fall. He said Boyne has been pro­fes­sional through­out the en­tire process.

Boyne could not be reached for com­ment.

Covello de­scribed Boyne as a friend and men­tor. The two worked closely and took on ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as the depart­ment lost peo­ple to at­tri­tion.

Five new of­fi­cers started last week and are now pa­trolling with their train­ing of­fi­cers. The depart­ment has 48 of­fi­cers, two civil­ian clerks and two civil­ian dis­patch­ers.

Covello said he hass been able to ac­com­plish so much in his short time with New Mil­ford be­cause of all of the peo­ple in the depart­ment.

Covello comes from a fam­ily of law en­force­ment. His father and two brothers worked with state po­lice and one brother is still

there. His father also in­stilled a de­sire to fur­ther his ed­u­ca­tion, and Covello has earned sev­eral de­grees in law en­force­ment.

He said this and his 28 years of law en­force­ment ex­pe­ri­ence equip him for the job, though he ac­knowl­edged the re­spon­si­bil­ity needed to lead a depart­ment.

”I def­i­nitely can do it — but it’s a daunt­ing task,” he said.

Covello said he vis­ited New Mil­ford be­fore to in­ves­ti­gate homi­cides with state po­lice, but has en­joyed get­ting to know the com­mu­nity through his reg­u­lar polic­ing.

Mas­si­cotte, 34, of Brook­field, will cel­e­brate her 13th year with the depart­ment Tues­day.

“I’m so ex­cited and hon­ored to be en­trusted with this po­si­tion,” she said.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Lt. Jef­frey Covello is sworn in as in­terim po­lice chief Fri­day af­ter­noon by Town Clerk Noreen Prichard dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the New Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment.

Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia file photo

The New Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment has 48 of­fi­cers, two civil­ian clerks and two civil­ian dis­patch­ers.

Bass

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Sgt. Kather­ine Mas­si­cotte, is sworn in as act­ing lieu­tenant Fri­day af­ter­noon at the New Mil­ford Po­lice Depart­ment.

Con­trib­uted photo

Out­go­ing New Mil­ford Po­lice Chief Shawn Boyne and in the New Mil­ford area.

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