Though New Haven Police Department Chief James Lewis told the New Haven Independent last Monday that he would decide by the end of the week whether he will extend his 18-month contract with the NHPD, he still has not made any announcement about his plans to continue serving as the Elm City’s chief of police for another year.

If Lewis does not sign on for more time in New Haven, he will likely return home to Wisconsin after the Jan. 31 expiration of his current 18-month contract, though Lewis told the Independent he will not leave the NHPD until a replacement is chosen. City officials have yet to begin searching for Lewis’ successor.

Widely credited with turning around a department in disarray, Lewis took over the NHPD in July 2008`following a major corruption scandal in the department’s narcotics unit. Since his appointment, Lewis has restructured the NHPD and revamped the narcotics unit, and many believe his tactics have worked: crime rates throughout the city have dropped in the past year.