HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- On Wednesday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced he is nominating interim Police Chief Jason Thody to serve as chief of police.

Thody has been leading the department since April of 2019 after Chief David Rosado stepped down to move to the private sector.

He's been a member of the department for more than two decades after starting as a cadet in 1996.

“After many conversations in the community and a lot of deliberation over the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that our city and our police department would benefit more from continuity than from another change in leadership right now,” said Mayor Bronin. “I’ve worked closely with Interim Chief Thody over the past nine months, and I’ve seen his willingness to tackle tough issues openly and honestly, his commitment to building a culture of professionalism and accountability, and most of all, his personal commitment to the Hartford community and to the spirit of community policing. For me, the bottom line is this: the department is moving in the right direction, and after giving it a lot of thought, I don’t think this is the right time for yet another leadership change, or for a long national search that would create uncertainty and instability as we prepare for another summer."

Bronin touted Thody's involvement in establishing an accident response team, embedding a domestic advocate within the department, and the ongoing body camera roll-out. 

The move follows allegations of misconduct, sexual assault and harassment within the department. 

"I suspect in any large department, any police department or any other large department in almost any city, you're going to find examples of misconduct," Bronin said. 

During the announcement, Thody acknowledged scrutiny over the department, hoping to gain public trust. 

"I hope to build a department that is trusted. I hope to build a department that is opened and transparent and I think we have shown a lot of evidence to date," Thody said. 

In the works, a culture and climate review of the department after critics railed the department's response to sexual harassment claims by Officer Kelly Baerga, and LGBT liaison for the department. 

"It's about his integrity and his honest and as long as he can address the issue when they arise," said Hyacinth Yennie. 

Thody was endorsed by several organizations including the Greater Hartford Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, COMPASS Youth Collaborative, Hartford Police Department Chaplain Association, Interval House, the Spanish American Merchants Association, and the Maple Avenue Revitalization Group.

“Interim Chief Thody has been a strong ally to victims of domestic violence, working closely with Interval House to address the needs of victims,” Mary-Jane Foster, President and CEO of Interval House said. “At his suggestion, we embedded a domestic violence advocate in the police department. He made sure our domestic violence advocate was welcomed and supported in the department, which has already created an effective partnership, and we think he is a great choice to lead the Hartford Police Department.”

If confirmed by the council, Thody will become the next police chief. 

Channel 3 reached out to the police union, but have not heard back. Meanwhile, the mayor plans to hold a town hall next week on his nomination. 

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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