LEWIS TO SERVE AS NEW HAVEN’S NEXT POLICE CHIEF
(6/16/2008) NEW HAVEN- At a news conference in City Hall today, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. introduced James R. Lewis as the new Chief of the New Haven Department of Police Services. With an extensive record of success of leadership in public safety, Lewis served as Chief of Police in Green Bay, Wisc. from 1995 until 2003 and Pomona, Calif. from 2003 until 2006. Most recently, Lewis has worked as Interim Chief of Police in Appleton and later Grand Chute, Wisc.
“I’m pleased to announce that Jim Lewis has accepted this position and, starting next month, will assume leadership of the Department,” said DeStefano. “Jim comes to us with significant experience in communities with challenges similar to those we face in New Haven. He has a solid track record and brings with him important skills and knowledge that will help us move our department to the next level of innovative community policing. Under Jim’s direction we will make a good department into a great one to better provide the quality of service that our residents expect and deserve.”
Lewis will complete the remaining 18 months of former Chief Francisco Ortiz’s term of office. His first day on the job will be July 7th. Lewis looks forward to implementing many of the recommendations from last fall’s Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) study including strong anti-violence and crime reduction strategies. Lewis will also focus on establishing a VICE/Narcotics Unit, partnering with the Board of Education for a collaborative Anti-Truancy initiative and improving quality of life issues throughout the City.
“I’d like to thank the Mayor for giving me the opportunity to assist this department as it embarks on valuable changes and moves to strengthening its model and mission to better serve the people of New Haven,” said Lewis. “I look forward to working closely with the dedicated men and women of this department to implement solutions to our challenges and engage residents in problem solving initiatives throughout the City.’
Lewis stated that among his priorities for the department are: creating an improved system of accountability for narcotics investigations, updating policies, working with community partners to identify alternatives for at-risk youth and improving environments to eliminate cultures of violence.
“I’m going to be very visible,” said Lewis. “Alongside Officers we’ll get into every neighborhood of the City to respond to the needs of residents and we’ll work closely with neighborhood groups, management teams, block watches and youth groups so that we can solve problems together.”
Lewis, who is 58-years-old, is a graduate of California State University in Bakersfield where he earned a Masters of Public Administration in 1983 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1972.
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