March 9th, 2011 | Uncategorized

Assistant chief leaves NHPD

Another of New Haven’s top cops is leaving the department.

Assistant Chief Thomas Wheeler will leave the New Haven Police department, City Hall Spokesman Adam Joseph announced in a Tuesday press release. Wheeler, one of two assistant chiefs that Chief Frank Limon brought from the Chicago Police Department, was in charge of the Investigative Services Unit and is set to leave the NHPD on Friday.

NHPD spokesman Joseph Avery told the News that the department had known about Wheeler’s departure since last week, and that he is going to work in academia. He added that Wheeler has not shared where this new position will be.

“Chief Wheeler’s contribution leaves the Department well equipped to continue increasing the impressive results we have achieved in less than a year and we thank him for all his hard work during his time here,” Limon said in the press release.

After Friday, Tobin Hensgen will be the only remaining assistant in a department that has four assistant chief positions. Last Wednesday, Limon went before the Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee and told aldermen that the NHPD needs all four assistant chief positions filled as soon as possible.

The news of Wheeler’s decision to leave the NHPD comes two months after Assistant Chief Ariel Melendez and nine months after Assistant Chief Stephanie Redding left the department. An Internal Affairs investigation made public Thursday found Melendez violated NHPD policy by ordering an officer to take away a citizen’s video camera, erase the camera’s recorded video and arrest the citizen.

Under Wheeler, solved homicides jumped from under 10 percent through the first quarter of last year to nearly 55 percent by the end of 2010.